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
Herbs for Pregnancy

Dear Susun,

I am trying to conceive and maintain a successful pregnancy (after two early miscarriages) and I would like to subscribe to your list.

Thank you so much!

Susun's Response: Re: herbs for you

Dear Leah,

Red clover is an excellent herb for women who want to be pregnant. Wild yam can prevent miscarriage.

Specific info on these herbs and others is in my book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

You are on our list. Thanks for asking.

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

Herbs to Avoid while Pregnant

Question: You had written a list of herbs to avoid while pregnant and I
misplaced it.

Where could I get that article/ list again??

Please help!! Thanks,

                          Susun's Response: check out my book

It is on pages 13-14 of my book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year available at www.wisewomanbookshop.com

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

Nettle Infusion and Pregnancy

Hi Justine!

Subject: Fwd: Re: Feedback: Ask the Pharmacist

I emailed this guy and asked him for some info on the safety of nettles that I could
give to my doctor. His site seemed to be in my doctor's language. He sent the following. I have never seen this before. What do you think of this?

amy d

" Since you are a pharmacist, maybe you will speak in a
language understood by my doctor. I have told my doctor that I drink nettle infusion every day. He has never heard of this and therefore thinks it's dangerous. Can you point me to something scientific that I can show him to clear nettle in his mind. I don't want to change my doctor, because I really like him personally and that's so hard to find."
amy d


Are you using it for its diuretic properties or
something else? I'd like to point him in the right
direction with the proper reference. Also, are you
taking any other medications want to make sure that
nothing interacts. Although nettles is pretty safe, I
just want to make sure.

Steve (pharmacist)

Oh yeah, he's my obgyn and I am wanting to get pregnant

Good thing you mentioned the pregnancy thing. I have
some concern since nettle has abortifacient activity and
can alter the menstrual cycle so this may play a roll in
your chances of becoming pregnant. It is actually
contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women. I don't
suggest the use of anything during the first trimester
unless it is absolutely necessary.

             Susun's Response: Nettle infusion is as safe as kale
Dear Amy

I know hundreds and hundreds of women who have used nettle infusion during pregnancy and while lactating with nothing but good results. Dozens of these women are midwives who not only use nettle themselves, they have recommended it to hundreds more pregnant and lactating women, again with nothing but increased health, better outcomes at delivery, decrease in postpartum hemorrhage, and increase in nutritive value of the milk.

Just yesterday a woman who was told her nine--month old son had to take an iron supplement called to tell me that she has been drinking nettle infusion (a quart a day) for three weeks, and the doctor told her that her son's iron level is now in the top 1/10 percent. (Of course he insisted that the nettle infusion had nothing to do with it as he knows that iron cannot be passed from or absorbed from breast milk.)

What can I say about the completely false statement that nettle is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation? First, let me say, that by linking to a website, we don't necessarily agree with everything on the site. Second, that he is speaking from the Scientific tradition, which believes that the whole is the same as the most active part. It may be that nettle capsules, or freeze dried nettle, or standardized nettle tincture could be harmful. I advise my students to avoid any herb in a capsule and to use only non-standardized tincture for the very reason that these forms seem to be dangerous.

In the Wise Woman Tradition, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Nettle infusion is as safe as kale. Nettles are cooked and eaten as a green throughout their growing range. If they were problematic for women this would be in the folklore. The opposite is the case. Old wives' tales recommend nettle for women who have trouble conceiving or whose breast milk is "thin."

As always, what you do is up to you. You make your own decision. You decide if a man has the answer, or generations of wise women.

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

                                 Pregnant + needing an Iron Tonic

Dear Susun and Justine,

I am nearing my 16th week of pregnancy and am concerned that I will
need to supplement with an iron pill soon. (eek!) I prefer to make an herbal
iron tonic using yellow dock root, but I recently was told it was too
strong to use in pregnancy. I haven't found anything to support this
claim from a fellow herbalist, but I'm concerned none the less.
What do you think?

P.S. I conceived one week after the G.W intensive, and Grandmother
Twyla's gift of pipestone on my tummy. Thank You!


Susun's Response: Herbs and food with iron


Yikes...supplements!...Here is what Susun's book, Wise Woman
Herbal For The Childbearing Year says for Iron: PS. if you are
concerned about the Yellow Dock there are plenty of alternatives
below, but it does not seem there should be cause for concern.... ...
And, if you don't have Childbearing Years you may want your own
copy... www.wisewomanbookshop.com . It is truly invaluable.

Page 36:Yellow Dock root: The yellow dock roots of many
Ruminex species, prepared as a decoction, syrup, or tincture, provide
and excellent, fully absorbable, non-constipating source of iron. To
prevent anemia, use 1 tablespoon of decoction or 25-40 drops of
the tincture daily. If anemia is present, use the same dosage, but take
it three times a day. Yellow Dock root is commonly used by herbalists
to replenish hemoglobin after a hemmorhage.

Other herbal sources of iron include Parsley, Nettles, Amaranth
greens, Dandelion root, and Kelp. Also see Appendix 1(below) Best
food sources of iron are liver, leafy greens, beets, oysters, heart, and
tongue. Vitamin C aids assimilation of iron. Avoid coffee, tea, excess
bran, alkalinizers, and phosphates; they inhibit absorption of iron.

IRON TONIC:2 ounces dried Yellow Dock roots,4 tablespoons honey,
2 tablespoons brandy (optional) Put the roots into a quart jar, fill
completely with boiling water, cap well. Infuse for eight hours or overnight.
Strain plant material out a discard. Steam liquid over a very low flame
until it is reduced to one cup. Do not boil or simmer. Add honey and
stir until it dissolves. Turn up fire and bring mixture just to the boil.
Pour boiling hot into a very clean jar. Add brandy or other liqueur
if desired. Cap. Cool. Then store your tonic in the refrigerator. Yellow Dock
roots concentrate iron from the earth and offer it to us combined with
the minerals and vitamins needed for best iron absorption in our bodies.
Rises in the hematocrit (a measure of iron), of as much as a point a
week are reported by women taking this iron tonic during pregnancy
and after hemorrhage. The dose is one or two tablespoons daily.

Page 151. ANEMIA PREVENTION BREW: 1/2 ounce dried Nettle
leaves,1/2 ounce dried Parsley leaves,1/2 ounce dried Comfrey leaves,
1/2 ounce dried Yellow Dock root,1/2 ounce dried Peppermint leaves.
Measure herbs and put them into a glass half-gallon juice jar. Pour boiling
water in until the jar is totally full; cover tightly. Steep for at least eight
hours. This brew contains three excellent sources of iron: Nettle, Parsley,
and Yellow Dock. It provides folic acid from the parsley and vitamin B12
from the comfrey. The green herbs all contribute vitamin C which aids
iron absorption. The mint makes it tasty. Drink freely, up to four cups a
day, for one week each month. Page 164. (from Appendix 1)Herbal
Sources of Iron: Nettles, Dandelion, Alfalfa, Yellow Dock, Chickweed,
Burdock, Kelp, Mullein, Sorrel, Parsley, Comfrey, Chicory, Watercress,
Fennel. Iron is depleted by: lack of high-quality protein, coffee, enemas,
black teas.----------------------------------------------------------------
Let us know how it goes......and if you need more help/info...
Justine (Susun's daughter

Subject: Re: yellow Dock root iron tonic

Thank you Justine! I do have the book, and I refer to it often. It was just
this odd little incident with a fellow herbalist. She owns a shop, and she
got all concerned when I said I was going to use yellow dock. She even
has a Warning posted on the bulk herb "NOT to be used during pregnancy."
I'm sure I'll be fine. Thanks!

Subject: Re: yellow Dock root iron tonic

yes...I think so too. .she must be extra cautious...when I told Susun
she laughed and said it was absurd....oh well, it takes all kinds...

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

                       Which form of Red Clover should I take?

Hi there.
I'm delighted to learn about the possibilities of red clover and fertility, as I am one with "undiagnosed infertility". I've been searching high and low to find these "blossoms" and mostly what I'm finding from herbal shops is already in liquid or capsule form.

I like the idea of making my own infusion, but I seem to be out of luck, until I can track down this clover myself next spring. Can you tell me which would be the best form to begin with, until I can find blossoms to make my own?

Here are some options I've located:
Red Clover Power 30C Brand: Nature's Herbs Form: Capsule

Red Clover 1 fl. oz. Brand: Nature's Answer . Form: Liquid Ingredients:

Holistically Balanced Fluid Extract (1:1) of Wildcrafted Red Clover Tops in a Base of Triple Filtered Water, Coconut Glycerin and 12-15% Certified Organic Alcohol

Red Clover Tea 24 bags Brand: Seelect Tea Ingredients: Red Clover (trifolium pratense) Form: Tea Bag

Thank you, Sylvia
                          Susun's Response: None of the above.

Dear Sylvia,

Order the dried flowers from an herbal distributor such as Frontier and make the infusion. Then, when the flowers present themselves to you next year, harvest your own, dry them and make infusion. Try Frontier Herbs and look on our links page for their web address and for other herbal vendors....

We know there is a lot on the market, but the capsules and tincture are not what will help you, when referring to Red clover.

Justine (Susun's daughter)

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

Getting good fat from your foods


Thank you so much for responding to my questions!
I have been on a semi-low carb diet since May and have lost about

I eat some red meat, but eat much more chicken. I try to eat a lot of veggies. I try not to eat too much fat because the medication that I take for my diabetes has me in the bathroom all the time. And even more, if I eat things with too much fat!

I am going to try to find a health food store even if I have to drive a ways. I will look for the Red Clover to make for myself.

Thank you so much for all the information that you have given me!

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Beth Ann

Susun's Response: getting your omega-3 fats

Dear Beth Ann,

Have you tried Frontier Herb online? They must have dried red clover flower and leaf ....as will some of the other woman-owned herbal vendors on our links page...Also, do you eat fish? You can get good omega-3 fat from Salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and anchovies....plus almonds, walnuts, avocados, olives, lots of dark leafy greens, etc...Then you don't have to add to much extra fat on your food, just eat it in the food....

Have you read the articles Susun sent you? Enjoy your quest for a health food store.

Justine (Susun's daughter)

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

What is it about Soy that is bad?

Dear Susun;

What is it about the soy bean/ tofu that is bad ?
Also, what herbs would be good for my daughter who is 7months w/child?

Thank you, Tamara

Susun's Response:check out these articles!

Check out these articles:
http://www.susunweed.com/Weed_letter_Oct-01.htm#surprise (How safe is soy)

http://www.susunweed.com/Weed_letter_Jan-02.htm#article (Herbal allies for pregnancy problems)

Then, if you have more specific questions, send another email or order her comprehensive
Childbearing Year the Wise Woman Way, read a review:

Sending love,

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

                                      Barley grass while Pregnant?


Can I drink barley grass juice while pregnant? I have just finished my first trimester. I couldn't find it in your book, which I like very much. I think some of the fertility boosters helped me to conceive again after my first miscarriage. I am going to share some of my red clover and raspbery leaves and false unicorn root tincture with my neighbor because she is also trying to conceive.

Thanks for your help.
      Susun's Response: Barley grass? Try something more nourishing

Dear RaNae,

Barley grass juice has little to recommend it. I would prefer to see you drinking something that is nourishing to you and your baby, like nettle infusion. If you insist on barley grass I can't stop you of course, but the nourishing herbs are so much better.

So glad to hear that the herbs helped you conceive.
Blessings on you and your babe.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

 I'm looking for alkalizing effects
I am using nettles infusions. I really benefit from the alkalizing effects of the barley grass. Do you know if the nettles has the same alkalizing effects?

Susun's Response: for an alkalinizer, then consider Dandelion


Sorry for the long delay in response. Definitely, do what works for you, if you like barley grass then enjoy it!

If you are also looking for another herb that is a dandelion leaf! She may be a great ally for you. You can make a digestive bitter to drink (with boiling water or cold white wine) or just eat them as a salad or cooked green. Of course, there are a million other reasons to use dandelion leaf too, so don't hesitate to make friends with her soon!

PS. Here is a fun recipe for dandelion wine from Susun book Healing Wise, where she devotes 35 pages to the wonders of dandelion in all its forms: http://www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Justine (Susun's daughter)

Clover is an alkanizer too!!!

Hi, I was just drinking some Red Clover infusion and picked up Susun's childbearing book again to read about this infusion, and I noticed Red Clover is an alkanizer too!!! Thought you might like to know!

Love, Justine

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

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
by Susun S. Weed
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker.
192 pages, index, lovely illustrations.
Now in its 24th printing. A confirmed favorite with pregnant women, midwives, childbirth educators, and new parents. Packed with clear, comforting, and superbly helpful information.

Retails for $11.95


Read a review
Read an excerpt Herbal Birth Control


"Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year is a unique treasure of a book! I used this during my entire "childbearing year" and am so glad that it is still available so I can give it to my best friend's daughter as she prepares for her first child. I still use the Herbal Pharmacy section quite frequently so this book has a permanent place on my bookshelf."
~ Wise Woman

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