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
                                                 Precocious Puberty

I am writing to you to request your help for a health condition that my 4 year old
daughter has. I am not sure if this is something that is even appropriate for me to ask.
I came across your name, from the Red Moon Herbs website, which I came across
from the EarthHaven website. I read your website over and thought that maybe you
would be someone with experience in this area.

My daughter is 4 years old and has central precocious puberty, which began when
she was about 2 years old. After numerous tests, including an MRI (showing no tumors present), it was determined by medical Doctors that she has a malfunctioning pituitary
gland that is producing estrogen and putting her into puberty at this early age. Naturally,
we declined the medical treatment that was offered to us, in the form of potentially
harmful drugs. We are still seeing the endocrinologist, but are not exactly sure why,
because there really is nothing more that seems to be offered to us there, at least not
things that we would consider.

We have changed our lives around very much from the way that they were (although
we still have long ways to go), in the past 2 years, because of both my daughters' and
my health problems,. We are very cautious as to what we eat, (try to stick to organics),
what we do, what is in our environment (ridding our home of plastics, petrochemicals...
and rebuilding our home to be a healthier one using inert, and non chemically treated products).

We are not sure why she has this, although I can speculate it could either be the steroid
I was treated with during pregnancy to keep from going into labor, or the non-organic
and probably very dangerous formula and foods she ate during her first 2 years of life..
We have since learned of the dangers of the ignorance we had for life.......

I have been searching for different things that may stop her pituitary from producing so
much estrogen, and perhaps slow down this growth and puberty process that is
occurring. I have found several herbs and foods to avoid as they have
estrogen-enhancing properties, but cannot find anything that helps. I have been referred
to high soy diets, which, after researching both soy and it's progesterone effects, feel
this to be a possible dangerous experiment.

I practice some aromatherapy to help with my own health, but have not come across
any essential oils that I have found that might be of help. I am very worried about the
effects that this early exposure of estrogen could have on her chances for problems in
the future. Naturally, every medical doctor I have spoken with has said that they don't
know, and every naturopath that I have talked to is too unfamiliar in detail with
women's health to offer any information or help.

I do not know if this is something that you would normally do or if I will receive a
response to this. However, if you do have the time, please know that anything that
you can provide me with, would be so very very much appreciated.

Thank you so much,

Susun's Response:vitex

Dear Kate,

I hear you. What a distressing situation. And what a good job you are doing of
informing yourself and creating a healthy environment for your daughter. I agree that
it could be laid to the fault of the steroids you were given while pregnant.

I myself took birth control pills for the first five months of my pregnancy with my
lovely daughter Justine. As you have found, no one knew what to tell me and that
was before ultrasound so we didn't know until she was born if she had been damaged
by the hormones. No. she is not. And I believe that your daughter will grow up to be
healthy too.

All that you are doing sounds great: no plastic, no chemicals. I agree that you and
your daughter would do well to avoid soy except for miso and tamari.

There are two things you don't mention that may help. One is light, or rather its
absence.Make sure your daughter sleeps in a totally dark room, no nightlight, no
LEDs. You might even want to cover the windows and block the crack at the
bottom of the door.

And perhaps vitex (chasteberry) could be an ally. It is said to reset the pituitary
and pineal glands and counter too much estrogen. Virtually every plant contains some phytoestrogens,
I would not worry about that at all. In fact, the more plants with phytoestrogens eaten,
the less effect the body's own estrogen has, so you may want to eat more roots, berries,
and whole grains. :)

Please keep in touch and let us know from time to time how you and your daughter
are. If anything I offer helps please let me know so I can tell others. And if there is any problem, or no effect, let me know that too.

Wishing you all lots of Green Blessings, Susun Weed
                                       black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal   back to Remedies List  black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal

Abnormal hair growth on my daughter

Dear Susun,

Have just been visiting your wonderful site and cannot wait to buy one of your books.
I just wanted to ask your advice, since you specialize in women's health, about a very troubling problem.

My beautiful daughter Kim - who is now 17 - quite suddenly developed very dark and
coarse facial hair just as she turned 14. Since then we have been trying to deal with it.
First of all Kim just would not talk about it because it is excruciatingly embarrassing
and then we went to our GP who wanted to put Kim on the Pill, which Kim declined.
She also does not want to take steroids etc.

Kim has had a scan and apparently the ovaries are fine. Her hormone levels are all
'normal' according to mainstream blood tests. Kim has now been prescribed saw
palmetto and chaste tree by a local herbalist who thinks the hirsutism may be caused
by insulin resistance - although Kim's insulin levels are 'normal' but she has blood sugar problems and she is obese. She has been extremely stressed for a long time and also
suffered a head injury 2 years ago to complicate things - although the hair was there
before that. Her adrenal glands must be depleted. Can this affect abnormal hair growth?

I have been trying to research myself and I am really confused about what to do.
Kim has been taking the prescribed herbs for approximately 3 months now and there
is no visible decline in the hair. I know you have to wait longer with herbs. Kim is really distraught about the whole thing and it is really affecting her whole health. If you know
of anything we can do to help diminish the hair I would be eternally grateful. I feel really powerless and cannot stand to see Kim suffer so terribly. There seems to be plenty of literature on menopausal problems but nothing on pubertal problems. I am at the end
of my tether with her and she is not coping - understandably - with the problem. Please
help us if you can.

Sincere best wishes from New Zealand

Susun's Response: Daughter's hirsutism

Dear Linda

I have devoted a whole chapter in New Menopausal Years to hairy problems and
the advise there is good no matter what your age.
You can preorder a copy at www.ash-tree-publishing.com (it will be out in about
a month).

You do not say where the hair is. On her chin? cheeks? upper lip? Honestly, my
first thought is to invite her to meet the many intelligent, beautiful, dynamic, successful
women I know who have hair on their faces. Yes, some very profuse. There was a
women at my workshop this weekend with a lovely little beard and everyone admired
it!! I know this is a very long reach for an adolescent, but the alternatives are so bad (hormones, etc) that it is worth encouraging her to think this way. Let's face it, all
teenagers agonize over some "defect."

I do not agree that herbs work slowly. Nor am I particularly thrilled that she is
taking so many herbs, some of which may be canceling out the effects of the others.
Why not just work with chasteberry tincture and nothing else for the next six weeks.
To read more about it, consult my book, and go to http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Vitex_RedMoonHerbs.htm

Meanwhile, how about bleaching it with lemon juice and sunlight? hydrogen peroxide
is heavy duty, but if the hair is really dark, you could use it with CAUTION.

Adrenal exhaustion can cause many strange side effects. Stinging nettle infusion
(one ounce dried herb brewed in a covered jar with one quart of boiling water for
four or more hours) is an ideal way to strengthen the adrenals. Results (in the adrenals,
but not necessarily with the hirsutism) will be evident within three weeks.

Hope this helps. Write again and give me more details and feedback on these suggestions.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed
                                          black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal   back to Remedies List 



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Introduction by Jean Houston. Illustrations by Durga Bernhard
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                                                   Mary Ann Copson, traditional midwife