black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal
Susun Weed Herbal Medicine Help

Green Blessings abound to help us regain and maintain health. Herbal Medicine the Wise Woman Way is simple and safe. You can help yourself with herbs and knowledge.
This archive is for you. Enjoy!

  black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal
Breast Care and Cancer Prevention
Melanoma, poke and surgery

Dear Susun,

I love your website and monthly newsletter. I have been geared up since your article on anthrax was forwarded by a friend, and was inspired to dig poke root and comfrey and echinacea and make tinctures and infused oils. In short, I am moving quite nicely forward on the Wisewoman herbal pathway. I like it.

A friend was recently diagnosed with melanoma in the form of a mole on her chin. Surgery has been set for January 17, when they will remove the mole and a good chunk of skin around it. Is there something you would recommend she do in the intervening weeks??? A window of opportunity, perhaps, to try alternatives.

Thanks to the above, I happen to have on hand infused poke oil and poke tincture. Would they be helpful in this situation? What about aftercare?

Thanks for your help.


Susun's Response: melanoma, poke, surgery


Do you have my book Breast Cancer? Breast Health? It gives lots of remedies for those going for surgery. Things to do before, during, and after.

If you were to use poke root oil I would think it would take longer than two weeks to work and the meds fear that melanoma can spread internally and that is nasty.

Hope this helps.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed           black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal     
                                   to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST

                                   Cancer + Wessiac or Essiac Tea


I have a friend that just found out she has bone cancer. I had read about the Essiac tea a few years
back and wanted to make some for her to try.

In talking to my friendly herbal seller, she told me that some of the traditional ingredients could be toxic and that you may have a safer formula. I'm hoping that you will be able to share it with me and let me know if there is more information that I can read about it.

I remain hopeful in Oregon,


Susun's Response: Avoid Essiac. Try Wessiac

Dear Sherry,

From page 302 in Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way

1 ounce dried burdock root
1/2 ounce dried yellow dock root
1/8 ounce slippery elm

Combine herbs in a quart jar. Fill to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly. Let brew overnight or for at least four hours. The daily dose is 1/2 cup.

You can read more about Wessiac and Essiac in my book, available from www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                            black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST   black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal

                                                Lung Cancer


A while back I wrote to ask about herbs specific for lung cancer. You were away and your daughter answered with the suggestion of mullein.

My 51 year old male friend has recently been diagnosed with a slow growing and rare type of lung cancer, one spot in each lung. 10 yrs ago, he had one lobe of R lung removed due to tissue present of unknown origin.

This man is a carpenter and was exposed to asbestos. He has started red clover infusion 16oz a day. What else? The Dr. wants to wait 3 months before starting any test to see how fast this is growing and than will look at new experimental therapy. I figure it's 3 months to get in there with herbs and he is willing!

Susun, any information will be very appreciated.
I loved taking your class this summer in Rowe.


Blessings , Sue

Susun's Response: red clover and mullein

Dear Sue

So sorry your friend is dealing with such difficult health issues. Red clover is a great anticancer herb and I am glad he is using it. Mullein is still indicated and he can drink it as an infusion alternating with the red clover if he likes. Be sure to strain it through a fine cloth to remove the hairs.

And, maybe we need to consider stronger herbs. How about poke root tincture? Read more about it in my Breast Health book. A dose is one or more drops, but build up slowly, as it is considered poisonous and is very powerful.

And, of course, lots of whole grains, lentils, leafy greens, and cooked vegetables and fruits. And do avoid all supplements, especially ascorbic acid (a favorite food for cancer cells), vitamin E supplements (which encourage metastasis), and beta carotene (know to make lung cancer much worse).

Good luck and Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                    black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal  black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST

Cancer of the Larynx

Hi Susun

Do you remember me? I was at the green witch intensive in the summer of 1999. Came back rejuvenated ...so much so I conceived another child on the equinox that August. She is a dream goddess. Born when the planets aligned in Taurus her name is Taura.
Anyway for my question, my brother -in- law is 35 and was treated for cancer of the larynx when he was in his early 20's. He was a singer and musician. This career is no longer possible and is now working at his own business with my sister doing research for medical institutions. Very paper pushing.

He had most of his larynx removed and some other parts. (not sure what) He now speaks with a raspy voice and has difficulty breathing . The growth has come back but it is not cancer this time. It is a vascular tumor. It surrounds his windpipe and larynx. They are telling him that they will monitor it for a few months to see how fast it is growing and are warning him that within the next two years he will have to have a trach, permanently. After this he will be able to get oxygen but eventually he will not be able to swallow, at that time they are planning a serious combination of surgeries to remove the growth by taking everything out and rebuilding.

He leads a very active life, hiking and backpacking often but it is getting more and more difficult. He gets fatigued earlier than most would.

Do you have any suggestions where I could look for help for him? Is there anything at all that you know of that can be done?

He has been talking about writing for as long as I have known him and part of me feels that this is a message for him to take seriously his hearts desire to write. Soon he won't be able to talk.

Let me know .

I loved my time with you and I would like to come back this year, maybe the work weekend. With 6 children and a farm to run, it is hard to find time, but it is important to me, so I will make the plans.

Thanks again, Julie

Susun's Response: Re: answer

Dear Julie,

Best advice I have is in my book Breast Cancer? Breast Health? Don't let the word breast put you off. The info applies to all kinds of cancers. Best of luck to your brother.

So glad to hear of your child Taura :)

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                           black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal  to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST

                                   Herbs for Cancer from Peru

Dear Susun Weed,

I am forwarding you a message that I sent to an email group that I am
a member of. The response to this letter from the group has been
helpful, but it has not provided me with as much information as I

I was wondering if you could help me with the request contained
in the message below? I would be very grateful for any help you can

I know that herbs are to be respected and not taken lightly, and
that is why I am trying to find out about the herbs below. I would
hate for my sister to take something that is potentially dangerous to

I hope that you will be able to find the time to read my message
below. I thank you in advance for any help that you can provide.



Here is my e-mail:

I am usually a very quiet member of the group, however I must now
come out of solitude to ask an important question.

Here is some background information:

Recently my sister, Elaine, passed away due to breast cancer. During her battle, she visited an herbal doctor in Peru. She came home with a regimen of herbal teas to take. She followed his instructions and the cancer started to recede.

All of it except for that in her liver. Her doctors here didn't want her
taking the herbs, so she stopped. The cancer came back rather vigorously.
Again, Elaine contacted the man in Peru. He sent her a second batch
of herbs to take. Unfortunately, it was too late and Elaine never was
able to take them.

While Elaine was alive, she had asked my other
sister, Noreen, to take these herbs from the second shipment with
her. I don't know if Elaine knew what the properties of these herbs
were or if she just needed morale support. Anyway, Noreen now has the
herbs and she wants to start taking them.

I made her promise me that she wouldn't take any of them until I
could find out what they are and what they do. You see, all of the labels
are in a foreign language, possibly Spanish. The botanical names are also on the
labels, but they haven't been much of a help in my quest for
information. It could just be that my Internet searching skills are
not as good as they should be.

Now, my question is: Does anyone on this wise and knowledgeable list
have information they could share with me about these herbs? I am placing
the list below.

The first name is what I believe to be in Spanish and the second name is what I
think is the botanical name. If anyone could help us out, I would be
extremely grateful.

1. Flordearena Tiquilia / Parony chioides
2. Cola de Caballo / Equisetum arvense
3. Una de Gato / Uncaria tomentosa
4. Huay Acan / Guajacum officinate
5. Maca / Lepidium meyenii
6. Sangre de Drago / Croton draconoides
7. Agracejo / Berberis vulgaris
8. Queto Queto / Gnaphalium spiccatum

This is how the labels are spelled on the bags of dried herbs. I have
had no luck in hunting these down. Once again, I wish to express my
appreciation to anyone who can help me out. I thank everyone very
much for taking the time to read this entire message.

Goddess Bless!

Susun's Response:Re: herbal formula from SA explained

Dear Carrie

Several things stand out in your letter that I would like to address

1) Herbs that counter cancer are not always safe to take to prevent cancer. The macrobiotic diet is known to reverse some cancers, but both the daughter and the wife of the leading proponent of macrobiotics have been diagnosed with cancer. No matter what the herbs in the formula are, it is probably not safe for someone who does not have cancer to take them.

2) Herbs from far away are inherently more dangerous than herbs from home. Possibilities for mistakes multiply with distance, increasing the possibility of misidentification, contamination, and degradation. Since there are excellent cancer-preventing herbs available to us from North America, I prefer to use those and urge you to as well.

3) Herbal formulas are usually designed for a specific person. It may or may not be safe for someone else to take the same formula.

That said, here is what I can tell you, briefly, about some of the herbs in that bag:

1. Flordearena Tiquilia / Parony chioides
I do not know of this herb.

2. Cola de Caballo / Equisetum arvense
This is Horsetail. It is used to improve mineralization of bones. It can sometimes cause kidney distress. It has no effect on cancer.

3. Una de Gato / Uncaria tomentosa
This is cat's claw. It is considered a cure-all, but is not especially effective against cancer.

4. Huay Acan / Guajacum officinate
I do not know of this herb.

5. Maca / Lepidium meyenii
This is related to turnips and cabbage, both cancer-preventatives. Maca is the new hot herb of the year and it is being vigorously promoted. You ought to be able to get lots of info about it. It is loaded with phytoestrogens and may be helpful in reversing breast cancers but no studies have yet been done.

6. Sangre de Drago / Croton draconoides
This is dragon's blood, but I do not know the properties of this herb.

7. Agracejo / Berberis vulgaris
This is barberry, a common North American shrub. It contains bitter principals that activate the liver, but it has no anti-cancer effects, nor was it used by Native Americans against growths.

8. Queto Queto / Gnaphalium spiccatum
I do not know of this herb.

Red clover blossoms, brewed as an infusion using one ounce of dried herb brewed for at least four hours in a quart of boiling water, are both cancer preventation and cure in some cases. Red clover is loaded with phytoestrogens and is very active against reproductive and breast cancers. It is safe enough for pregnant and lactating women to take. You can find more information about this herb and lots of other common, safe, inexpensive, local herbs in my book Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way available from www.wisewomanbookshop.com

If you want to know about the herbs I have not covered in your formula, an apprentice can look in my library for you. The charge for this service is $20 per hour with a one hour minimum.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                                   black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal    to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST

Use of Poke Root and Cancer

Dear Susun:

First of all, I want to thank you for your books your recent talks in Boulder that I attended. " Breast
Cancer, Breast Health" has been a great reference, and I have been recommending it to my friends and acupuncture clients.

I have a question about Poke root. Unfortunately this winter, my boyfriend was diagnosed with penile cancer. It has taken us awhile to overcome the shock of this blow to my sense of security.

Anyway, now I'm living in the present and doing what I can to help with diet and herbs. He has had surgery to remove the squamous cell carcinoma. His Mri's, etc look clear, but his doctor is concerned about and wants to do a biopsy of his inguinal lymph nodes.

I would like to put him on an herbal brew of cleavers, burdock, (red clover?) and a little bit of poke root or use tinctures as you recommended in your book I can,t seem to find tinctures of cleavers or poke root.

There seems to be a difference of opinion in the literature about using fresh or dried poke root(Peter Holmes says dried). I did find dried poke root at Wild Oats. I am aware that it needs to be used very cautiously and to be built up gradually.

So my real questions are: is dried poke root safe to use in small doses (1gm) in a decoction with burdock? If not, do you know where to get a tincture of poke and a tincture of cleavers?

One more question: I feel very drawn to elves. Are they plant spirits?. I have taken a few inner journeys and have encountered some rather adorable images of some plant allies.

Thank You,


Susun's Response: try not to mix may herbs


Of course elves are plant spirits. Peter is the only herbalist I know who thinks dried poke is effective. Everyone else, including me, agrees that the tincture is the only safe form and it must be made from the fresh root and taken in tiny, tiny doses. It is available from the sources I list in my book. Those sources also usually have cleavers.

I know how tempting it is to do everything when faced with something so serious. But really that does not help. How about limiting your herbs to red clover infusion on a daily basis and some poke root tincture daily for several months. This way you can see the results and connect them to the herbs. When lots of stuff is mixed together, if one herb causes a bad reaction, you won't know which one and may loose out on all the great ones!

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                          black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal     to Breast Care + Cancer Prevention LIST

             Basal Cell Carcinoma-taking Soy and Calcium

I have had basal cell cancer on my lip for many years. I have had about 6 surgeries and use topical chemo to keep it at bay.
I use herbal remedies for almost everything. There must be a Wise Woman way to manage or cure this disease. I am a RN and I avoid the sun, wear hats, use sunscreen and try to eat organic and healthy whenever possible. I grow some of my own herbs and do not take hormones. I am 52 years old and in full menopause.

I manage the s/sx,s with soy, calcium and black cohosh.

I would appreciate any advice or help you can give.

thank you Rosi

Peace, love and rock and roll.

Susun's Response: the Wise Woman Way treats people, not disease

Dear Rosi,

Ah, you see the problem here is that the Wise Woman Way does
not treat or manage or cure diseases, it treats people.
Nourish your wholeness is the Wise Woman Way.

The first rule of nourishment is to eat only food. You are breaking
this rule by consuming soy and calcium and black cohosh. I am not saying
to stop, since this works for you, but consider:

Soy chelates calcium out of the bones unless it is fermented (eg miso or tamari). Soy beverage and tofu contribute to thyroid dysfunction and memory problems. A recently-released study which has followed a group of Japanese men for over thirty years, found those who ate tofu more than
once a week doubled their risk of Alzheimer's.

No alternative cancer clinic in North America lets any patient eat soy unless it is fermented!!!! There is some evidence to indicate that cancer cells are promoted by eating unfermented soy.

In Australia, a 6.6 year study followed 10,000 post menopausal women. Those who took calcium supplements were twice as likely to break a bone as those who got their calcium from foods.

Black cohosh is rapidly becoming an endangered plants. More than ten tons of the roots were yanked out of national forests last year and sent to Germany to be made into Remifemin. The forests can sustain a harvest like that for only a few more years. United Plant Savers asks that we use
only cultivated black cohosh.

As for your dance with carcinoma, have you tried drinking red clover infusion? It has the longest, strongest, most validated reputation of any anticancer herb and yet is so safe, it is given to pregnant and lactating cows. One man, whose entire extended family had died, one by one, of colon cancer cured himself by drinking a quart a day for three months. This was confirmed before and after by colonoscopy and is a case I advised, so this is first-hand knowledge, not hearsay.

In fact, do you have my book Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way? The first hundred pages lay out my anticancer lifestyle. I suspect there would be a lot of useful information for you there. Don't be put off by the designation of breast cancer. The information is general enough that you can use it to help you with your basal cell carcinoma. There are lots of alternative treatments
discussed in the book, including those to avoid.

Keep in touch and let me know what happens. It helps me help

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

                                      black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal    back to LIST    black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal  black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal




     This site is sponsored by Susun Weed and Ash Tree Publishing.

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
The Wise Woman Way

by Susun S. Weed
Foreword by Christiane Northrup, MD
380 pages, index, profusely illustrated.
Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen.
Retails for $14.95

Read a Review

Read some excerpts:
Mammograms - Who Needs Them? from Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
Using Herbs Safely from Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
My Anti-Cancer Lifestyle from Breast Cancer? Breast Health!


What a gift to women of all ages! This book helped me overcome my fear of what I might discover during self-examination. I am so grateful that this book came my way and I am healthier in mind, body, and spirit thanks to Ms. Weed's wise words! If I could, I would give a copy of this book to every woman in the world!

    "The latest Wise Woman Herbal, Healing Wise, gives more than it promises. I experienced an invisible cellular knowingness as I read Susun's words, resonating within the contextual matrix of my being: soft and flexible, resilient and persistent, vulnerable and risky, intense and impeccable."
                                                   Mary Ann Copson, traditional midwife