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11 September 2019

Join us for the 15th anniversary conference

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

We are delighted to be coming together for our 15th year of this strong, supportive sisterhood honoring ourselves, the plants, and the Earth. We hope you'll come join this gathering of wise women in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and see for yourself what the buzz is all about . . .

woman smells plantThe weekend of October 11-13, we will share inspiration, celebration and practical learning about earth-based healing and women’s health. Nestled on 1,400 peaceful acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, our venue, Kanuga Conference & Retreat Center outside of Hendersonville, NC, offers a serene backdrop for over 50 workshops and classes in herbalism, nutrition, personal growth and natural healing. We invite you to renew your spirit, explore your power and engage in the extraordinary experience of the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference!

For the 15th anniversary, many women whose friends have been encouraging them to come for years, are joining us for the first time. Others who have been with us for one or more conferences over the years, are returning to immerse themselves once again in this unique experience of woman-centered learning and connection . . . This is the year to bring in your sisters! 

06 September 2019

Healing Yourself With Herbs

Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

by Karen Rose
Excerpted from "Learning How to Heal Yourself with Herbs" lecture by Karen Rose

Karen RoseOn herbalism and ancestral plant medicine
Healing the spiritual and physical dimension has always been connected for me. There is no separation between the emotional well-being, the spiritual well-being and the physical well-being. They are all deeply connected. I feel very fortunate to be raised in that legacy. I honor my ancestors each day for all the teachings they brought forward in me today to be able to stand in my power.

It seems so difficult to create medicines for yourself, but the first time you create medicines for yourself, you will say “I can’t believe that was it!" It is so easy to create medicine for yourself, to take plants as medicine for yourself!

Plants talk to us, they tell us who they are and they tell us how they should be used.

20 August 2019

How can you have more energy? Start with food....

Posted in Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

by Sally Fallon

Sally Fallon MorrellI learned a very interesting fact recently, one that can give us guidance on how to overcome the modern phenomenon of chronic fatigue: up to 30 percent of the body’s energy goes toward digesting our food. So the obvious first step in treating a condition of constant tiredness would be to consume food that is easy to digest.

The fact is that modern food processing makes our food more difficult to digest, and many modern food habits put a real burden on our poor old guts. With so much of your body’s energy going towards digestion, there is not much left over for doing all the things we want to do with our lives.

06 August 2019

Letter from Corinna to the Wise Woman Community

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner

Corinna WoodWonderful woman, 

I am reaching out to you as a sister in our wise woman community to share an update on changes moving through me in relation to the women’s herbal conference.  

As I journey through my menopausal metamorphosis, I feel my energies and focus shifting. I find myself at a crossroads as I near 50, where I am deeply called to explore inward aspects of the wise woman ways. I am developing a system, “Wise Woman Within,” for supporting women of all walks of life to develop effective strategies to meet their needs–through a lens that is woman-centered, earth-based, and trauma-informed. Students have been asking for more and more, and I am eager to expand my teaching and develop printed materials on this topic. I am being called to make room in my life to incubate this new body of work in addition to my herbal classes. All this has led me to reflect on my relationship with the conference.

18 July 2019

Marvelous mints make hydrating herbal summer coolers

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

peppermint tea 450x600While I do sometimes still reach for a tall glass of water on a sunny day, I've found that drinking plain water can actually leave me thirsty, especially in the heat of the summer. I have come to realize that when we drink mineral-rich herbal infusions or other nutrient dense liquids, our bodies can more effectively absorb the water and quench our thirst.

During long summer days, a cold herbal infusion hits the spot–iced oatstraw infusion is one favorite around here. Steeping the oatstraw (or another favorite herb) overnight allows the nutrients to come out into solution for a strong, medicinal tea. And of course, drinking herbal brews is much more nutritious than the sodas and fruit juices that are so widely available.

05 June 2019

Making Herbal Vinegars

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

bowl of red cloverThis is the time of year I love to stock up my kitchen cabinet with herbal vinegars. Not only are they tasty, they are also rich with minerals. Homemade wild herb vinegars are delicious in salad dressing, on cooked greens, in marinades, or in sauces.

My most recent harvest for herbal vinegar making, is a big beautiful bowl of red clover blossoms, volunteering in great abundance in my garden paths . . .

27 March 2019

Favorite Wild and Weedy Spring Greens

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

The fruit trees are blooming, the sun is rising earlier each day, and it's time to start clearing a space for this year's garden. I'm always delighted to see that the edible weeds are already up, ready to harvest for the salad bowl!

violet and ground ivyLike mine, your yard may blossom purple in March, with some combination of two common wild weedy edibles: violet and ground ivy. I love making salad with the violet leaves and flowers, adding small bits of leaves from the aromatic ground ivy, daughter of the mint family. 

I also pick dandelion leaves for my stir fries and wild salads, breaking up the young leaves to distribute their strong flavor. Keep an eye out for the dandelion flowers which are just beginning to bloom, to top off dishes with her sweet flower heads.

05 March 2019

Tarana started Me Too~ a movement not a moment

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Sisterhood

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too Movement, is a personal folk hero of mine—or "shero," as I prefer to say. I was thrilled to hear that she was speaking nearby in Asheville, NC  for an Our VOICE benefit for survivors.

Tarana Burke's movement, which was founded more than 10 years ago, has inspired survivors of sexual violence from all over the world to find pathways to healing—including myself.

TaranaBurkeTedXTalk

01 February 2019

Journey to Moon-opause

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Women's Wellness

13 Moons of Menopause

For years I have looked forward to and celebrated the sacredness of my bleeding. In my mid-40’s, as my moontimes started becoming further apart, I occasionally missed one all together . . . and they became even more precious to me, knowing that any one could be my last.

Throughout last year, I watched the calendar, waiting for another moontime to return—once the 13th moon passed, I would no longer expect them to return. Indeed, as of early this month, I find myself standing at that 13th moon crossroads, my next step on the journey I fondly call “moon-opause,” as my mooncycles have paused.

For me, it started subtly; I didn’t even recognize it. Looking back, I can now see the signs. Internally I felt a calling to tend old wounds, to shift out of difficult patterns, to break the rules.

21 January 2019

Menopausal Herbal Allies

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

Recently EagleSong Gardner taught Menopause: A Second Spring at the women's herbal conference.  Here is some of what she shared.

A woman’s journey is one continuous change, deepening her connection with herself and her own unique life. Understanding the different demands and tasks of each stage and calling and engaging allies, green and otherwise, is at the heart of this class. Just as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, this extraordinary rite of passage, the metamorphosis of menopause, becomes your second spring. Staying nourished with cool and juicy herbs is where we’re heading! Having herbal allies to call on when you need support in challenging times, too! And, life enhancing practices to keep you movin’ and groovin’ whilst living your years to the fullest! 

Enjoy the following herbal allies, interludes and practices that fit you and ease into the smooth transformation menopause is meant to be...

Crone’s Time Away: While in the getting ready phase of menopause in your life, make time for yourself a practice. This will look different for each woman. You know what you need, make space for it in your life. Or life will make space for it for you...

stinging nettleNettle: Urtica dioica Nourishing herbal infusion brings strength, stamina and endurance to every day life. Mineral and protein rich, nettle with miso is a quick meal in itself. Nourishing herbal infusion, soup, herbal vinegar. Nourish, strengthen, rebuild kidneys. Rehydrate dry tissue. Leaves.

22 October 2018

We loved Kanuga Lake!~

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Herbal Conference 2018

land 2018 KS lake tents loresI'm savoring the herbal conference weekend with the web of women gathering, connecting, and celebrating. Seeing over a thousand women moving about the land, I fell in love with Kanuga even more! As the women arrived on Friday, the sight of the land coming to life with their colorful tents popping up in the grassy field and along the lovely lake shores, brought tears to my eyes.

Women gathered in nooks everywhere, from cottage porches to laying down to soak in the sun on the grass beside the glorious lake. Maple Tree Center was truly the center of the community--some women browsing the teacher resources and scholarship raffle, while others played the piano in the center of the room!

14 October 2018

Healing the Wise Woman Way  

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Robin Rose Bennett shared the tenets of the Wise Woman Tradition in her class at the 2017 Herbal Conference. Here's a little of the wisdom she had to offer.

act 2017 JK solo singing lo resThe  Wise Woman tradition is the oldest, continuous healing tradition on the planet. It has existed in many lands and cultures under different names, as an oral tradition over countless years, and it is still practiced using story and other Wise Woman/shamanic/witchy/magical practices such as simple rituals, along with specific, practical healing skills that the individual practitioner brings to  her healing work. This way of healing is intimately connected with the land on which the wise woman and her clients live, where she gathers and grows her herbal medicines.

The Wise Woman way provides  a framework within  which healing is understood to be more than simply physical. A Wise Woman healer can and often does focus on helping to relieve uncomfortable or painful symptoms, or on helping a person heal themselves from an underlying disease, yet healing is always understood to be holistic, including mind, body, heart and soul.

27 September 2018

Dandelion for women's health

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

05 01 052 RsmGladstarThis article excerpted from the materia medica of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Healing for Women, who we're delighted to be welcoming back to the Herbal Conference again this year!

Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
Compositae
Parts used: root, leaf, and flowers

Though not generally considered an herb specifically for women’s problems, dandelion is high in plant estrogens and is utilized in many formulas for women. It is one of the outstanding healing herbs, and like comfrey, has been lauded through the centuries by every great herbalist.

The root is considered the herb par excellence for the liver and is used for all liver disorders, digestive upsets, and gallbladder problems. As a specific herb for the liver, it also benefits the female reproductive system by helping to regulate and normalize hormone production.

29 September 2018

Rage is a natural and healthy response, sisters

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Women respond to rape culture


Rape Culture v4This is a hard time, sisters. How are you feeling? Are you grieving, or remembering/reliving old traumas? Feeling confused, or enraged?  

These responses are all healthy and natural. We are standing with and among the survivors. 

Like all of the staff, I am working long days preparing for the conference. In the background, I have been tracking the stories of women in the wake of the senate judiciary committee hearings and the testimony of Christine Basley Ford.  I see rape culture everywhere.

For at least a week,  I have been feeling a low level of rage stirring in my body. At times it intensifies and I pause to allow the emotions to surge through me. A furious bike ride Tuesday morning. Home alone for 15 minutes on Thursday evening, I yell, hitting the bed, and collapse into sobs. Why am I so enraged?

I draw from my needs-based language training, remembering that my feelingsin this case anger and griefpoint me to underlying needs. I ask myself, what needs are not met, by this current display of rape culture? Many needs are not met. Respect. Safety. Valuing. Integrity. Honesty. A shared sense of reality. These are all basic human needs.

19 September 2018

Lovely lavender

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Women's Wellness

This article excerpted from the materia medica of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Healing for Women, who we're delighted to be welcoming back to the Herbal Conference again this year!

lavender 600x400Lavender
Lavendula officinalis and related species
Labitatae
Parts used: flowers and leaves

Lavender is one of my favorite herbs for nerve stress and tension. It has a special affinity with women’s spirit. Often thought of as a delicate ornamental, lavender is not only beautiful and aromatic, but pungent and powerful. Native to the Mediterranean, where it grows wild on sun-drenched hills, it has traveled far and wide and has taken up residence in gardens everywhere. With its lovely, lavender blue flowers and fragrant pungent odor, it as entwined itself into the hearts of women everywhere and is a very useful herb if we open to its strengthening and empowering qualities.

Lavender has long been valued for its ability to bring courage and strength to the user. Traditionally, sprigs of lavender were tied in bundles and placed in the hands of women in labor. Squeezing the fragrant bundles was believed to give them added strength and courage during childbirth. Lavender has long been used to calm nervous stress and is especially useful during menopause and menstrual difficulties. During the Middle Ages it was a valued remedy for hysteria. I’ve found it can be very healing to women undergoing their periods of intense stress to place sprigs of lavender and lavender oil in the rooms of their home. Its essence brings calmness and inner strength to the user.

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