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

Hermones, hormones- Panic and Depression

Susun I need help!!!!

First and foremost I have panic anxiety. It started at a very young age but exacerbated with postpartum depression at the age of 20. From that time forward, I have on occasion experienced episodes of panic and depression.

When I was younger, it was easier to handle. The past three years have been progressively worse. I'm 43 and two months. I was a previous smoker not heavy though. My last baby was born three years ago and I nurse them all for three years.

With Madison, my last, I did not start menstruating until she was 18 months old. This is very common for me with my babes. Although this time, I started experiencing a lot of anxiety and panic, prior and during this time. It was accompanied by sleeplessness and all the good things. This was nearly two years ago. My panic anxiety has progressively gotten worse.

During the time from my first birthing to current, I have experienced many life changes as well. Divorce and a move to Michigan from Colorado yuck. My extended family places a lot of stress on me, and dependency. My parents depend on me a lot and my father suffers from mental illness and my mother from negativity. I feel the need to care for them though.

So, last May I decided to give up on the nursing. My Madison was wanting to nurse more and I wanted less and I quit. I was hoping it would normalize my hormones. Not so, my first period was horrible. I was oversensitive to everything, thought I was going crazy. My doctor put me on luvox and gave me klonopin to stop the panic etc. They've been trying to do this forever, you see.

Well, the luvox gave me headaches and the klonopin calmed me down. In the past, I used Motherwort for anxiety, after my daughter's birth. I should have used it again.

I went to the health food store and got Solarays, St. John's Wort special formula and started 2000mg of Evening Primrose. My periods also have been getting progressively closer together this past year. From 28 days to 24 or 25 days. When I started the above, they got better.

Then in September, I did not have any PMS when I started my period. I usually wake up several times, a night or two before my period, with panic and sweat behind my neck. Three days into my period, I cut my foot open and required emergency treatment to extract the object. They gave me a DT shot and keflex (antibiotic) to insure no infection. The keflex made my intestines go wacky. I also had a reaction from the shot.

Then the Trade Center and it was all over. Since then all has gone down hill. This month has been hell to say the least. Finally, two weeks ago I let them put me on prozac. It's horrible. I have weird head! sensations, more nervousness and my period started four days early.

I spoke with the women's health expert at my local healthfood store and they suggested vitex well castleberry and red yam and more dong quai. There is some in my vitamin. I take Maxim for women by Country Life. I hate the prozac, but was told not to just drop it. I felt good on the St JohnsWort combo with some episodes, just less severe. But, I was crying a lot- very sensitive.

What do I do? Some help please. Might I add that my sisters all suffer from panic anxiety as well. We are all like hypochondriacs..

Mina needs blessings

Susun's Response:Re: call me for a free consultation

Gosh, this is a lot to try to deal with in writing. Could you call me on a Tuesday evening (7:30-9:30 EST) soon, before Halloween. We could talk and I think I may be able to offer you some help. NO CHARGE for this. If not, I will try to find the time to write.
A few thoughts: you can use motherwort even if you are taking prozac. Also, you can use oatstraw infusion to strengthen your nerves. It sounds as though you are well into menopause and I would strongly advise you to find some way, any way, to get some time to yourself. I know this is hard with the new baby, but without it you may get worse and that would be worse for Madison than your being away from her for a while. Have you read my book on menopause? Check it out at www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Call me tomorrow or next Tuesday, please.

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

Going Crazy or Menopause

Dear Susun,
I come across your site and don't not know if you could be the answer to my prayers. I am 44 female and have not had cycles for little over a year. Despite what the doctors say, I do not feel normal. Can you help me?

I was basically handling it for awhile, but lately my digestion is not good and constipation has become a real big problem for me! I recently found out my cholesterol is 221 and it should be 200. Now I am worried!

I also cannot cope with little stresses at all! I go into an internal shaking-crying spells-and feel worn out. I have bags under my eyes now too. I feel like I don't sleep well, even though I do sleep. My mind is usually a blank.

Several prescription hormones I tried have even compounded the problems. Progesterone caused a lot of water retention and estrogen effects my heart rate. I have lack of sex drive-but have no problem with vaginal dryness. I have had ultrasounds done, because of abdomen cramping and the only thing they found was that one kidney was atrophied and one was enlarged. But the doctor did not offer any treatments. My ovaries are normal size. I still have all my internal female parts. Several yrs ago I had a conization of my cervix because of dysphasia.

I have been under extreme stress over the past several yrs. About the same time my periods started acting up, a small goiter and nodules were found. But all tests were normal. The last 2 weeks of the month are when I have the symptoms. Than when I am supposed to have my cycle things are normal again.

I don't know if you can evaluate my tests. But, my FSH was taken during the time I have the problems and it was elevated to 76.6. I asked for a specific estrogen test but the doc said elevated FSH means you need estrogen. Lh is 46.7 and Prolactin was 4.8 (all meaning post-menopausal, according the doctor). The only answer I get for the constipation is to take fiber and this worsens it for me causing more dry stools. My progesterone was at 0.6 and a dhea sulfate level was taken it was 0.83

I have had someone do kinesiology testing on me and she says I don't need estrogen or progesterone. She says my problem is coming from the bowel and has tried several cleaning methods, which have not worked.

I am at the point where I don't think her thinking is correct. She keeps saying that I have Candida, and that when it's cleared up, my periods will resume. Over a year working with her and I'm not better, but worse.

I feel deep down, tension and stress played a role in what is happening to me, but I just need to find an answer. I pray everyday for a solution. The woman that does the kinesiology on me had me try phytosoy, cause she says that being an A blood type, I need soy. To say the least, I did not see any difference. On my blood tests my chloride level is also elevated and my monocytes are very low (this has something to do with immunity) These worry me also.

I also tried progesterone creams and they cause extreme sweating on me. Even though it is not in my budget, I am wondering if saliva testing would be for me. I have also debated on dhea and or maca. I tried Black cohosh and it caused intense itching. Licorice causes my blood pressure to rise- I normally have low pressure. With the symptoms I've been having, I am wondering if it is all adrenal.

I have done a lot of reading. I am not sure where to turn for help but know the problems are causing me extreme fatigue. I am sorry this is so long. But, I don't know where to turn or what to try or what actually the problem is.
Sincerely Denise(from Iowa)

Susun's Response: this is menopause- you are not Crazy

Dear Denise

Hello, you are in menopause. This is menopause. You are not crazy. You are dealing with menopause.

All the symptoms you have are normal symptoms of menopause. You are however on the verge of ruining your health with cleanses and hormones.

Stop all treatments at once (if you want my opinion). Give yourself a chance to breathe. Take some time off.

Read New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way. Then call me so we can talk. Every Tuesday evening (between March 12 and October 31) from 7:30 to 9:30 I answer the phone at 845-246-8081. there is no charge.

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

                                     Anxious and Not Myself

Question: I am 37 and think I'm feeling the trembling of the big change. My periods have been getting lighter, occasional vaginal dryness, night sweats a few nights in a row once a year for the past couple years. My mom had irregular periods at 37.

I'm a homemaker and home alone all day. I do gardening and some barn chores and tend the wood stoves, sew, cook, bake -all the things that grandma did. I have been taking a tai chi class.

What my "problem " is is that I am feeling like I am 14 again. I cry at the drop of a hat. My husband, is home more then he used to be but I just need to be in his space and feel very jealous of those who can be there when I can't. He is very good and patient. He tells me transitions are called that because its temporary, just as I wasn't always 14- so we need to just hang in there. But I know it is hard on him. If we are home and working it is smooth as glass and I feel great. It is when I have to share him in public, he is very talented and when we go somewhere I feel like others see me as a tag along.

Sometimes I have mind chatter, like the ghost of Christmas future, lives in my head. I worry about things that never were or never will be. Makes me feel a tad crazy. Makes me cry. Some things have gotten better.

My husband plays at an Irish session, and when this one woman would get right in front of him and stare him down while they were in a real wild tune, I would feel like my heart was jumping right out of my body. I hated to see such intense energy with anyone but me. It felt like, what a panic attack sounds like. I told him I should videotape it so he could see what it looks like. I avoided the session for a while because I was scared but decided I needed to go back and get back on the horse. It was better. Last time she played in his face, I felt just a small wave, took a deep breath and told myself- this too shall pass. And it did. It has been more then my husband. To his relief. My best girl friends are just having their babies now and mine is 13 and I am free and flexible but they are tied down in baby land. I am sick of babies.

Now is this normal? When do I get to this stage of wanting to be alone, or is this just a different path. Any advise on how to become balanced again? I feel like I'm going backwards instead of forwards. Next week I have a doctor's appointment I just know she is going to want to go the HRT road and it scares me. My mom was on and off the stuff for 20 years. She had to go off because she was getting break-through bleeding, because it made her uterus walls so thin. Sorry this got so long and thanks so much for listening.

Peace~ Gabby

Susun's Response: try some Motherwort-you are in menopause

First, yes, you are normal. And your feelings are normal. And, this is indeed menopause. Sometimes I call it puberty prime. :)

Second, grab yourself a tincture bottle of motherwort and don't let go. A 5-10 drop dose is a specific for those times when your mind chatter is taking over. It is a calmative not a sedative, so you will still be able to work. Helps rebalance hormones, too.

Third, start using nourishing herbal infusions on a daily basis, especially oatstraw, to strengthen your nervous system. Chris Northrup said she could never have survived menopause and a divorce without her oatstraw. Helps the bones as well.

Do you have my book New Menopausal Years? If not, go to www.wisewomanbookshop.com I think it will be a big help for you.

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

                                           Confusing Feeling

Dear Susan,

I recently found your site. I think it is just in time. I am an American who lives with her Brazilian husband and a 15 year old son & 12 year old daughter in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. We have lived here since our marriage nearly 18 years ago. We have a travel agency & a house in the country and an apartment in the city, a dog, a cat....a basically normal & mostly happy family.

I feel I am going crazy. After my second child was born I "tied my tubes" at which point my menstruation flow increased a great deal (my doctor did warn me of this).

I started my periods in the 7th or 8th grade. After about a year or a year and 1/2 of heavy bleeding, I have gone the past 3 months with no menstruation. My breasts are in dire straights (wasn't ever this severe!), I have gained nearly 20 lbs. and I am sad & ready to cry at the drop of a pin! When I not ready to cry, I feel ready to scream. To top it off, I was diagnosed with CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome) in both hands. So, physical therapy is underway to avoid surgery.

Well, to make a long, long short I ran across the book, The Silent Passage, that I had bought year ago & shelved. I had read some of her other works and enjoyed them, so it seemed the appropriate time to dive into this one.

I will be 45 in July and her writing leads me to think I am in perimenopause. O.K. I accept that & can even rejoice...but I am needing help. I am so confused.

My fathers' family has an endless case of early deaths due to heart attacks. My own father, his brother, father, etc...... But my Mom is super healthy, 68- her mother died in early 80's and Paw Paw will be 95 this year! My Aunt on mom's side had huge breasts and lots of fatty tissue she had removed -- I think mostly to stay attractive.

I would truly like to go the natural route. But...Mom says she nearly divorced my father during her menopause (in her early 50's). She thinks I am too young. She is obviously not giving me very positive feelings about trying herbs & the natural route. I would like to continue in my marriage & to have some relationship with my children over time. I am in a year long fitotherapia (plant therapy) course and learning so much. Brazilians use lots of herbs & homeopathic medicines. So....tell me what you think? I will be anxiously awaiting your response. I leave to visit my mother in AZ next week and plan to buy your book...but perhaps you can give me some insight now.

I will truly appreciate it.

Warmly, Patty

                                   Susun's Response: try Oatstraw

Dear Patty,

Yes, you are in menopause. In many places, the husband builds a separate house for the women going through menopause (better than divorce). Hope you have my book by now and are trying some of the remedies. The key is starting to use nourishing herbal infusions on a daily basis. It will not eliminate menopause but will make you feel better. Start with oatstraw infusion. Christiane Northrup says she could not have made it through her stressful menopause (lots of personal stuff as well as the CHANGE stuff) without her oatstraw.

Also, we could talk. Every Tuesday evening (between March 12 and October 31) from 7:30 to 9:30 I answer the phone at 845-246-8081. there is no charge.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

Subject: Re: Re:you are in menopause

Thank you for your quick reply Susun. I appreciate it. I have ordered your book to arrive at my Mother's when I go for a quick visit. But...that is still over a month away. Can you recommend something right now. Feeling desperate.

Would love to call to chat, but I think a call to you from Brazil will be pretty expensive. I am also in class on Tues & Thursday night. But, what time zone are you in, it might work.

Once again. Thank you for your contact & confirming what I thought. Patty

Susun's Response: here are some WebSites

Patty, visit Susun's menopause site for good advice on what to do -

You can take motherwort tincture to keep calm, and do get some herbs to make infusion - Susun recommended Oatstraw.

Take time for yourself.

We are in NY at EST time.

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

                                          Sarafem- Baby Prozac?

Thanks so much for the reply. I guess I could give you the up date of the doc appointment. She said I'm in great health, no thyroid problems etc.... She said my FSH is at 9, which is not even perimenopausal.

So..... For my emotional stuff she is suggesting sarafem, it is like a baby prozac, I guess. I was pretty upset, I thought I could handle it being menopausal, but now this is just my brain. I still feel I am on my way to the big change even though my FSH are normal.
She says I should be her faithful guinea pig until my next appointment in 7 weeks. Then if I don't want to continue on the sarefem, it is totally my choice, but she thinks I should give it fair shake.

Love to here some input..........thanks~ Jenn

Susun's Response: Subject: Re: no no no sarafem no

Dear Jenn,

Sarafem is not baby anything, it is full strength prozac. stay away from it and go get that motherwort. This woman sounds very patronizing and not at all in favor of helping you be healthy. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Green Blessings, Susun Weed
                             Sarafem follow-up

Hello Susun,
I thought I would up date you to what I was doing. I did start the Sarafem. Not proud........... But I talked with my hubby and as I said he is very understanding and I guess you could say that the silver lining to all of this is that we have some of best and deepest conversations ever. Matt (my hubby) said that I was worse in the winter, it is good to have some one looking from the outside too.

I am trying the sarafem until the spring equinox. Always feels like a new year to me. I was waiting for your menopause book and now that it is here, I have read it and look back on it often. Grandmother Growth gives such good pep talks!!!!

I have started the oat straw and now a month later I am starting on some nettles. I have a bottle of motherwort sitting in the cupboard and am going to get a few bach flowers to try also.

When I first started the sarafem I was taking it in the morning and felt lousy all day. In the evening I was feeling pretty good but now it was time to go to bed...... Matt said I should take it at bed time and I could have a fuzzy head while I was a sleep. It worked. I have still had a few spells, but I hadn't cried in weeks and I felt unattached to the world. One day I cried and I never thought it could feel so good. I missed them, I have always been a bit of a cry baby anyway. My grandmother ( also named Eva) was one too.

I thought that if I was to take the sarafem I would know what it was capable of, give me time to do some homework, and get supplies. I think I have used it to remember what it was like to not cry and flash with anger/jealously everyday, the secure old me. Matt told me if I wanted to take the sarafem it was OK and if it just wasn't right that was OK too, he said my grandparents were married over 60 years and if they can handle so many years of tears ~ so can we~ and he can do anything that my grandpa could;). What a keeper. Thanks so much and I'll tell you about the road off of this stuff when I get there.

                                         Susun's Response:

Dear Marlena,
You are a delight and a blessing. Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you are doing. What a beautiful and loving husband.

Hey, I cry a lot too; and yell. Everyone just has to take me as I am. I am not willing to drug myself for their comfort. Life are tuff.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

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

                                       Insomnia + Menopause?


I am currently taking Celexa, which has helped me to overcome the astounding insomnia I developed about a year before my periods stopped. I wonder if you have any thoughts about anti-anxiety medications for menopause? I tried everything I could find in books, begging for help from doctors, naturopaths, anyone I could ask!! The only thing I have found that helps and I feel is safe (non-carcinogenic, I don't want to commit suicide, I feel healthy...) is this anti-anxiety drug.

I am loathe to try estrogen, as I have a strong family history of breast cancer, having had a sister 18 months older than me who died of breast cancer at 33. I did try estradial briefly last spring, and although I was immediately able to sleep again, I reacted very badly to progesterone, which is probably just as well, as I do not want to increase my chances of getting cancer.

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. I must reiterate that my insomnia has been incredibly bad. I was unable to sleep at all many nights, and most of the time in the months before I quit my job had to function on 2-3 hours of sleep.

It began pretty suddenly in the spring just before my 46th birthday. Then it abated for a few months in the following fall and early winter, but came back with a vengeance in the late winter/early spring and never went away. My periods were also changing during this period, getting a little further apart. I missed maybe one period at some point, then they just stopped.

As I said above, I am sleeping now, but I am afraid the insomnia will come back if I go off Celexa. But I have to go off it sometime. I am looking at this as a short-term measure of a year or two. When I am ready to start weaning myself, do you have any recommendations? I would be eternally grateful.

I am now 48 and haven't had a period for 17 months. I am otherwise healthy, although I probably had overstressed myself for some time before menopause set in. I had a high-stress job; I have worked as a programmer and consultant for about 20 years. I was on-call, worked a lot of overtime the last couple of years, etc. I have one child, born 12 hours before my 38th birthday. My husband is also going through mid-life changes, it seems, more interested in spiritual matters and he returned to school (unfortunately just months before I hit full-scale menopause) to be certified as a secondary school teacher.

My main menopausal symptom has been insomnia, although I have trouble with word retrieval, which is extremely annoying, and sometimes have dizziness. I have seen a naturopath, my chiropractor/nutritionist, an m.d., and a counselor, who I am still seeing. I tried lavender, valerian, melatonin, stopping eating sugar, exercise, meditation (I learned to meditate many years ago), eating more soy, red clover. The naturopath put me on B6, B5, B12, calcium and magnesium. The magnesium, I believe, does help somewhat with sleep, and tofu seems to keep away hot flashes.

Currently, I am feeling pretty good, though I am not sure I'm ready to go back to work. I am meditating again, attending Unity church and able to participate in girl scouts and various things with my daughter, which is great. I find I have a craving to be alone, and seem to need things to sift out.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any advice you can give.


           Susun's Response: get off your drug with the six steps of healing

Dear Sofie,

I work with a system I call the six steps of healing. You are currently at step 5, take drugs. You will want to go back to step 4 from there, using a strong herb such as skullcap. From there you return to step 3, nourishing your nervous system with oatstraw. Then to step 2, to engage the energy of sleep. ANd from thence to step 1, which is now share information instead of collect it. ANd you end with step 0, do nothing, sleep all night.
You can see the whole pattern at

Let me know if this helps you see how to withdraw from Celexa and still sleep. Yes, I have known many people on drugs to use this way of getting off.

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

                               Menopause and Brain Functioning

Dear Susun:

Thanks for your letter. I promptly bought the NEW book and also the Wise Woman Herbal. I was on Soya Isoflavones and flaxoil for a year and discontinued the use now. The soy protein (20%) was heavy on my system and because of the other awful things I learned about it, I better stay away from it now.

Another product my naturopath prescribed to me is PS or Phosphatidylserine. Do you know anything about it? What is the raw material? Are there any bad side effects?

It is recommended for better brain functioning, i.e. memory, tinnitus; also for Alzheimer patients. I wonder if there are any foods or herbs I can take instead.
Thanks again for your beautiful and informative website.


Susun's Response: brain food

Dear Chelsea,
Natural health can never come from pills. I avoid all pills that claim to be for health. Of course,if one needs insulin or thyroid hormone then one takes pills, but that is to treat a disease. You don't have Alzheimer's do you? Then don't treat yourself for it.

There is a section in New Meno on memory; check it out.

Comfrey leaf infusion is loaded with special proteins that are used in the brain.

Eat well. Exercise often. Smile. Maintain curiousity. These are the best things to do for your brain.

PS Avoid healers who sell pills. Would you buy a drug from a doctor? This is malpractice in my book. You do know that he makes a lot of money on pills he sells you. Spend that money on good food instead. Drink nourshing herbal infusions.

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


NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way:
Alternative Approaches for Women 30 - 90
by Susun S. Weed
Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
304 pages, index, magical illustrations.
Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD.

Read Juliette de Levy-Bairacli's introduction:
This book should be in the hands of every woman, of every race,
no matter what age, worldwide.

Read some excerpts:
Building Better Bones
Kundalini Meditation

Order New Menopausal Years in our Bookshop

"If this book had not been given to me by a close friend, I would be experiencing menopause in an entirely different manner. The Wise Woman approach to the various and unexpected discomforts and joys of the Change has motivated me to seize this experience to transform my life for the better."


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