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 to boost Progesterone while pregnant?

Dear Susun Weed,

Thanks for all you have done for women.

Can you recommend any herbs that will help boost progesterone? A blood test a year
ago identified very low progesterone as one cause of my repeated miscarriages. I have become pregnant again (age 44, no children) and would like to boost this hormone if
possible without taking progesterone supplements. Currently, I drink a quart of raspberry/nettle/alfalfa tea each day.
Any advice in the way of herbs, other foods, other supplements?

Thanks for your help,


Ps. my health habits and diet are pretty good. I grow a lot of our own food, am
vegetarian, no coffee, no alcohol, lots of exercise.

Susun's Response: try wild yam

Wild yam is the herb most likely to help you increase progesterone. You can read
more about it in my WIse Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Also, note the
recipe for preventing miscarriage by Jeannine Parvati Baker in the foreword. Many
women have found it especially useful.

I prefer to use herbs as simples and would urge you to use one herb at a time rather
than mixing them. Also, teas (a little herbs brewed for a short time) do little, while
infusions (a lot of herb brewed for a long time) do a lot. Instructions for making
infusions are also in my books.

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

                    Can I use motherwort for premature labor?

Dear Susan Weed,

Your book, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, recommends the herb
motherwort for premature labor. My midwife suggested that I take it to help
abate contractions that I was having too frequently (I am 34 weeks). I took a
dose of it and it increased the frequency of the contractions. I was
worried that I would go into labor.

I looked up Motherwort in Rosemary Gladstar's book and Deb Soul's book on
women's herbs and both of those books state that Motherwort is an emmenegogue
and to be used to stimulate contractions. I was even more distressed to find this
information. I drank lots of water to flush my system and took lots of valerian. My
midwife recommends it because your book does.
Do you still recommend motherwort to ease premature labor?


Susun's Response: Re: Motherwort is an emmenagogue


Susun is in a intensive until Monday. I will refer to her book that you noted,
Childbearing Year, to try to answer your question. Below I have copied all of the
sections that Motherwort is referred to in her book. In chapter one Motherwort
INFUSION is listed as an emmenagogue. The rest of the references to Motherwort
in the book have to do with easing pain and calming the nerves, all doses are in
TINCTURE form. There is also mention that motherwort may stop hemorrhage,
and there is an Anti-hemorrhage tincture that includes Motherwort in its list of

So, based on my studies of Susun Weed's book Wise Woman Herbal for the
Childbearing Year I can state that she does NOT recommend motherwort for
premature labor. In fact, she lists it as an emmenagogue on page 10, in the first
chapter of the book. She does recommend motherwort tincture to ease PAIN
and to aid the nervous system.

Please read the following excerpts from Susun's book and forward or print them
for your midwife. Thank you for contacting us to verify this and it is good that you
are taking care of yourself in a well-informed way rather than passively believing
what others tell you. You are truly a wise woman. Your choice of valerian will help
with the pain, which is why the midwife might have recommended the Motherwort
in the first place....

Please let us know what comes of this matter. And, if you have further questions
concerning your condition, Susun will be here Monday to answer email. She is now
in a four-day intensive.

Justine (Susun's daughter)

Please: note disclaimer at the end of this email


Chapter One: Before Pregnancy

On page 9-10 a list of emmenagogues is listed - Motherwort plant infusion is
listed here as an emmenagogue.

Chapter Two: During Pregnancy

On page 43 Motherwort tincture is noted to calm without causing drowsiness.
Five drops can restore emotional balance. there is a CAUTION to use it in a
limited way as it can become psychologically habit forming.

Chapter Three: Childbirth

On page 58, Motherwort tincture is recommended to ease the pain of early labor.
The very next line guides the reader to refer to Preventing Threatened Miscarriage,
pages 27-28 (motherwort is NOT mentioned in this section at all). Next, there is a CAUTION to seek immediate assistance and guidance for premature labor
before 37 weeks.

On pages 67-68 Motherwort tincture is recommended as being just right for the
early achey part of a REGULAR LABOR when the actual birth is still hours away.

On page 71 it is written that midwives who give Motherwort tincture to every
mother after the baby is born claim that it prevents hemorrhage.

On page 74 One dose of 10 drops of Motherwort tincture is said to act quickly
to calm the feelings, strengthen the heart, and allay shockiness. There is a
CAUTION that bleeding may be increased by repeated doses.

Chapter Four: After Pregnancy

page 81 Motherwort herb is noted to relieve after-pains and help to tone the
uterus and ease the nervous system. Tea or tincture can be used, but the tea is
very bitter.

page 84 Motherwort tincture is said to offer clear-minded, non-drowsy relief
from the tension and confusion of overwhelming emotion. There is further
CAUTION to resist excessive use to prevent dependency.


page 154 Motherwort is included in the recipe for Antihemorrage Tincture #1 -
it is noted that the Motherwort adds a calming influence to help forstall shock,
and relieve pain.

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

                                  Pregnant and Bleeding alittle

Justine and Susun,

Hope you both had a lovely holiday. We all had a mellow time.

I have a question. I have a young friend who is 2 months pregnant. She has
had 2 other children. Today she called and said she was having some slight
bleeding. Yesterday pinkish, today reddish.

I don't think she is going to a regular OBGYN or to a midwife. I told her I'd
make some inquiries. She has never miscarried before. I know this isn't much
to go on, but any info would be helpful.

Thanks, Renee

Susun's Response: try the miscarriage formula

Try the miscarriage formula in the introduction to childbearing year, the one by
Jeannine Parvati Baker.
Good luck.

Love to you. Sorry to be so short. Hundreds of e-mails today.
Yikes. Susun
                                               black & white illustrations are by Durga Bernhard from Susun Weed's Healing Wise the second Wise Woman Herbal   back to LIST

Pregnancy and Hypothyroidism
Hi Susun,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom through this resourceful site!!

I read Jessica Godino article with great interest. I was diagnosed with
Hypothyroidism in 1993 and was put on levothyroxine. In 1996, I had two
miscarriages (at 10 and 7 wks) and had my son in 1997 after my gynecologist
put me on progesterone. I stopped taking the levothyroxine for 4 yrs a few
months after my son's birth.

I used to get a breast infection every four weeks for 4-5 months right after
delivery. My period never stopped after the delivery and I breast-fed my son
for almost 3 yrs. I followed your book "The Child Bearing Years" to deal with
the breast infections. I also took bladderwrack and astragulus for my thyroid.

Right now, I am 35 and am planning to get pregnant soon. I just started taking
Thyrolar and since then find myself very tired and sleepy right after lunch. I
also get a lot of tenderness on my right breast just before my period starts. I
was interested in taking Vitex (chasteberry), however, I wasn't sure if it safe
to take with the thyroid medication.

Thanks, Minal

Susun's Response: thyroid/vitex

Dear Minal

You say you stopped taking thyroid medication after your son's birth. When
did you start again? For what reason?

In what form are you taking the bladderwrack? My herbal friend Ryan Drum
suggests a large dose of the uncooked bladderwrack. There is a whole section
on herbal allies for thyroid health in New Menopausal Years, just released (and
available from ) Includes information on some
herbs you may want to avoid too.

As far as I know, there is no contraindication for taking thyroid medicine and
vitex, but this is a rapidly changing area. And I have never heard of Thyrolar.
Is it a standard drug? How is it different from Armor thyroid? (That is the one
most alternative practitioners' recommend.) The vitex may make your breast
more tender though. What effect did you hope to get by taking the vitex?

Most people do get tired and sleepy after lunch, that's why moms invented naps
for the kids! I hate to teach classes after lunch because they just want to sleep
and I have to work extra hard to keep their attention. So maybe this is normal,
but you know yourself best.

Premenstrual breast tenderness is also common and normal. Cleavers tincture
can be helpful for this.

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   back to LIST

Pregnancy + Leg Cramps


I need your help. I am 26 weeks pregnant with my fourth child and
cannot sleep. I have severe leg cramps every night that keep me up. I have
tried everything and nothing seems to work.

I take plenty of extra vitamins, Cal, Mag, Vit E, Folic Acid and a Multi vitamin.
I do yoga and go to the gym. I eat salads all the time and nothing is helping.

Could you please give me some suggestions, I need sleep.
I also am reading your book Wise Women Childbearing Year.

Thank you

Susun's Response: leg cramps

Dear Kim,

It may surprise you to hear that I believe your problem may be caused by the
drugs you are taking. Yes, drugs! What drugs? All the pills you are popping.
There is no vitamin that can be put in a pill. You think you are taking supplements,
but you are really consuming pharmaceutical drugs. For your sake, and the sake
of your baby, I urge you to stop.

Women who take 10,000 IU of vitamin A supplement per day are five time more
likely to have a baby with a birth defect.

Folic acid in pill form has already killed several women in the USA.

Women who take calcium supplements are twice as likely to break a bone as those
who do not.

Instead of pills, try drinking nourishing herbal infusions. I tell you how to make these
vitamin and mineral rich drinks in all of my books. Healing Wise is a good one to
start with, as is Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. You can get signed
copies from at a 20% discount.

Also, I would be glad to answer your questions personally by phone. I have a free
service on Tuesday nights. Call me at 845-246-8081 between 7:30 and 9:30 pm
east coast time and I will be glad to talk with you. The line is of course busy most
of the time, but keep trying. An auto-redial phone helps!

Green Blessings, Susun Weed

Re: more help on leg cramps from Weed's daughter

Kim, hope you are getting more sleep...I know how frustrating it can be when you
are doing all you know to take care of yourself and its still not working..ugggh....

You have Susun's book, Childbearing Year already, so you won't have to buy it to
get the wisdom...skip to pages 20, 21, 36, 37 for solutions to your problem...
.leg cramps...checked in the index under cramps..

Page 20 Covers the benefits of drinking Nettle Tea, as Susun suggested in her email
to you, and you can learn how to make infusions on pages 129-131.

Page 21 discusses the importance of calcium in your diet (as you know) and how to
get it from natural absorbable sources: goat milk and cheese, salmon, sardines,
mackerel, seaweed, sesame salt, tahini, and dark leafy greens such as beet greens
and kale. The problem with calcium tablets is the pass through the body undigested,
and it is hard for the body to handle the calcium without enough magnesium
or vit.D... SO, if you Must take a calcium supplement, please find a dissolvable
in water form with almost as much magnesium in the mix....You can find this at the
health food store...BUT, remember to eat your dark greens and oily will
also get good Omega 3 from these foods, which you will really need extra of when
you are breast feeding (if you do so). Walnuts are good for omega 3 too,
as is flax seed.....

PP.36 and 37 talk more about leg are doing yoga...good...are you
over doing the exercise? only you can tell? I like the part on p. 37 about getting a massage..and the moist, warm heat part too....

Good luck and don't lose faith.

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

Pregnant with questions about Squawvine

Hi Susun!

Wonderful to hear from you recently.

I am four months pregnant now and doing well. I had six weeks of light
bleeding in my first trimester following a threatened miscarriage, but all
seems to have stabilized. I still have occasional slight spotting. The
baby is moving and I'm feeling generally fine.

I began gathering squaw vine in the fall for my third trimester, but after
reading your caution in this month's newsletter, I wonder if I should use it
or not? Presently my daily infusion includes nettles, red raspberry leaf,
comfrey leaf, and occasional red clover -, with yellow dock root tincture
and occasional Vitex added to the brew.

What do you think?
much love,

Susun's Response: Squawvine is endangered

Dear Durga,

If you want to use it you could, but I am not sure it would be helpful. Do be aware
that it is an endangered plant (I know, hard to tell since we have so much of it).
Love you.

squaw means penis. not a great name for this plant. How about partridge berry
or mitchella?

Lots of love to you. Susun

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

Bacterial Infection in Pregnancy


I am hoping for a little input to ease my mind and gain some knowledge. My
midwife gave me a pap smear on my 2nd visit and it has come back with a bad
reading. (High yeast, high bacteria and abnormal cells)

My main concern is that she wants to treat the bacterial part with Flagyl. I asked
exactly what I have and she said it is undetermined. She and the doctor she
consults with, think Flagyl is no big deal...but I hate taking any western medicine
unless it is necessary.

I have consulted with an acupuncturist, my friend in medical school and the net.
All I can see is the dangers and side effects from this drug (not to mention I will
need to wean my 2-year-old cold turkey). I know the bacteria are capable of
causing breaking of the membranes, early delivery, underweight baby and/or

I get that it is important to treat this...yet I cannot find any support in doing this
holistically. Someone suggested oil of oregano, but that seems to be harsh in
pregnancy. Can it be worse than Flagyl?!

I have been using a douche of 1 TBS myrrh, 3 TBS eucalyptus and 4 TBS
goldenseal in the morning and alternate nights with good yogurt and apple cider
vinegar. I am taking lots of different vitamins and also acidophilus and flax caps.
I have given up sugar and caffeine completely.

Do you have any advice?!

I sure would at least like to try something more natural and get a 2nd pap before
I agree to Flagyl.

Thank You,

                           Susun's Response: eat more yogurt
Dear Sandra

Here it is a week after you wrote and I wonder how you are doing. I hope this
information is not too late.

I agree that Flagyl is a big deal. Many countries have banned it. If not safe for
your two year old, how safe is it for you? (But, I will admit to being concerned
that you are nursing while pregnant. That is not so healthy for you either.)

Eat more yogurt. At least a cup a day of plain yogurt. Make sure it does not
contain powered milk in any form (many health food varieties do, Dannon
does not). Additionally, use plain yogurt as an insertion into your vagina for at
least ten days. If your husband is willing to help, he has the best application :)
and that will insure that he is treated, too, and thus less likely to reinfect you.

Meanwhile, take Echinacea tincture orally. A dose is one drop for every two
pounds you weigh. Take the full dose every four hours for two weeks. After
you are done inserting yogurt, insert a garlic clove vaginally for at least a week.
Be prepared to reek of garlic when you do this (worse than if you eat it).

And (yes, all these things at the same time) start drinking red clover infusion to
stop those abnormal cells in their tracks. Red clover is grown to give to pregnant
and lactating cows, so it is safe for you to use in a water base. It has a powerful
reputation as a cancer killer.

Then, another pap smear. But let me say here that I am shocked that your midwife
decided to act so quickly and with such harsh drugs. Pap smears are known to
be misleading, and it is standard for a "bad" one to be redone in six weeks to see
if it was a fluke or a real problem.

How far along in the pregnancy are you? Is the bacterial infection so outrageous
that you are worried for your baby? Please do follow your own intuition here
and do what you feel is the best for yourself and your children.

I thought douches were contraindicated if there was a bacterial infection of the
vagina during pregnancy since that is one way to help the bacteria into the uterus.
I believe the insertion remedies are far safer.

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 and Fibroid  


I'll make this short (and hopefully sweet). I am 18 weeks pregnant. On the advice
of my midwife, I had an ultrasound 2 weeks ago, and they found a fibroid.
Do you know of any herbal or nutritional treatments I could use to help deteriorate
the fibroid?

I am hoping to do a water birth and want to ensure that the fibroid does not get
in the way. She said that if it grows too big, I may have to do a caesarian birth. Yuck!
Thanks alot.

I really look up to you, all your accomplishments are amazing, you
certainly bless the earth.

with love, in peace,

Susun's Response: here are some links for you

Lynne, You will want to read Susun's article on fibroids at:

You will also be interested to read the following articles to help you:
Feeling Frisky?

Herbs for Fertility

Fertility After Forty

Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems

And, remember to always use herbs safely :

Sending 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


"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