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07 May 2015

Fermentation Basics: Hibiscus Whey Cooler

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

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! For our second installment, here's a fizzy, refreshing treat: Hibiscus Whey Cooler

hibiscus cooler 400x600In all traditional cultures, brews and natural sodas were easy and effective ways to get the nourishment and medicinal properties of plants into the community’s bellies. Make sure to use filtered or spring water when making your preparations, sing to your ferments or dance while making them, and be patient...magic is happening!

Whey Cooler Recipe
Makes 2 Quarts

1/4 cup dried hibiscus petals (or 1/2 cup of chamomile, nettles, mint, etc)
1/2 cup liquid whey 
Juice of one lime or lemon (optional for extra tartness)
2 quarts filtered or spring water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

04 May 2015

Cleavers: Galium aparine

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

cleavers flowerAs children (and adults) we love to make garlands, fairy crowns and corsages out of the abundant, and local Galium aparine, aka Cleavers. The fine hairs of the leaves, stems, and seeds tipped with tiny hooks, allow this lovely plant to attach - or cleave - to clothes, fur, hair and more.

cleavers on wristCleavers is an herbaceous annual with long stems that climbs and sprawls over the ground and other plants. The lanceolate leaves are simple and borne in whorls of six to eight, and the white to greenish flowers are 2-3 mm across with four petals. It flowers in early spring to summer, and each seed is 4-6 mm in diameter. The peak potency for harvesting is when both flower and seeds are present.

 

29 April 2015

Fermentation Basics: Kombucha

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

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! We'll start with a well-known favorite: Kombucha!

kombuchaIn all traditional cultures, brews and natural sodas were easy and effective ways to get the nourishment and medicinal properties of plants into the community’s bellies. Make sure to use filtered or spring water when making your preparations, sing to your ferments or dance while making them, and be patient...magic is happening!

Kombucha Recipe
Makes 1 gallon

3 3⁄4 - 4 quarts filtered water (or spring water)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 Kombucha culture
3 tablespoons or 7-8 bags black tea
1/2 cup Kombucha from previous culture

27 April 2015

How to Make an Herbal Infusion

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

An infusion is a potent, powerful, medicinal tea. To make an infusion, the plant material must be steeped for a long time. We find the easiest way to do this is to prepare before going to bed and drink in the morning. Instructions gathered from Susun Weed.
quart infusion

To prepare an infusion:
1. Put one ounce (approximately a cup) of dried herb into a quart jar.
2. Fill with boiling water and cover (this traps the important volatile oils).
3. Steep for 4-10 hours.
4. Strain and drink.
5. Refrigerate the remainder to prevent spoilage.

 

23 April 2015

Rainbow of Flavonoids

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

Juliet Blankespoor explains all the delicious benefits of a flavonoid-rich diet in this highly informative handout from the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference 2014.

raspberries 400x600Imagine a bowl overflowing with color: garnet cherries aside crimson and golden raspberries, blueberries the color of a summer sky, resting against the blush of rose petals. Juicy and alluring, tempting you with vibrancy that promises fresh sweetness. Our intuition is fine-tuned to spot vitality and nutritional density. Humans are naturally drawn to bright colors in our food—the invention of food coloring testifies to this phenomenon. There are a wide variety of compounds lending their color to food; flavonoids are some of the most researched and widely represented colorful phytochemicals in the plant world. It is refreshing to dive deep into the well of tradition and science, both of which describe the medicinal virtues of these tasty treats.

21 April 2015

Homemade Golden Granola

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods

Here's one of the yummy recipes from the Fall Conference. It is super easy to make and is a delicious source of whole grains. Treat yourself.

golden granolaGolden Granola
Makes almost 2 quarts

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered or sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup syrup
1/3 cup sunflower oil (can be replaced with safflower or coconut oil)

15 April 2015

Honoring Women's Moontime

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

corinna-ivyDuring menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, our emotions and perceptions are heightened. There is a primal urge to remove ourselves from the daily routine and allow these feelings to move through our bodies and our spirits. We crave the Moon Lodge.

In traditional societies where the natural order of things was revered, the Moon Lodge offered a retreat, or cradle to receive women when they felt most vulnerable. Women gathered there during their bleeding time. Not an exile imposed upon the ‘unclean,’ rather the Moon Lodge offered a sacred space—tangible or otherwise—that enables those who acknowledge and accept it to feel reverence and connection with the spiritual, to be immersed in reflection, to be still and truly be.

10 April 2015

Wildcrafting Tips

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

imm out 2015 6 536 cropped lo resWildcrafting is fun and exciting, a bit like a treasure hunt. You'll come home with lots of fresh, edible and medicinal treasures from your bioregion. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Start with a few easily recognized plants, and get to know new plants slowly.

2. Study the poisonous plants that grow in your area, and always know whether the plant you're harvesting has any poisonous look-alikes.

3. Always be sure you have identified a plant correctly, either through the use of a field guide or an experienced harvester.

08 April 2015

Delicious Nettle Recipe

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

The first stinging nettles are starting to pop up! A renowned wild food delicacy, their sting is neutralized by cooking (wear gloves when harvesting!). Here is Corinna's favorite way to bring nettles into her kitchen...

Nettle cream soup 600 x 400Rich Russian Nettle Tonic
from Healing Wise by Susun Weed

4 cups stinging nettle tops
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
salt to taste

25 March 2015

Are Standardized Extracts Better?

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

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Nancy and Michael Phillips to help address that question.
Green Blessings ~ Corinna

2012.5 hand with red clover top of pagePhilosophy enters deeply into the debate on standardizing herbal preparations. People oriented towards a scientific point of view feel the need to quantify healing possibilities by knowing the concentration of the chosen active principle (constituent) used to achieve proven results. Others view synergy and spirit as working in ways we may not fully comprehend but have certainly observed with whole plant remedies that embrace healing, often in more ways than one.

03 March 2015

Wild Green Garlic Medicine

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

cw facebook profileHungry for a bite of green medicine? One of the most potent wild edibles of the cool season is actually wild garlic, a common volunteer in lawns and gardens. Wild garlic belongs to the same genus, Allium, as both garlic and onion, known for their medicinal benefits--from boosting immunity to tonifying the heart and circulatory system.

Tromping along my favorite walking path, I usually stop to marvel when I reach the cool spot along the path’s edge where the garden meets the woods--poking up through the dead leaves, are oodles of tangled clumps of wild garlic! I grab some of the savory greens to munch on as I walk. If I have a bag handy, I break off a large handful or two to bring back to the kitchen with me.

24 February 2015

Bone Broths

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods

2013.11 corinna  dylan at linville gorgeIn the winter, I always have some stock simmering on the stove. There’s something so comforting about that the delightful aroma and the simple, flavorful goodness of a hearty broth. It’s such a primal pleasure during these cold, cloistered months. It’s almost magical. My son came down the stairs one chilly morning recently, noted that I had three pots of stock going at once—chicken, beef and fish—and exclaimed, “Great! Let’s make some potato leek soup!”

Anything that can motivate a teen-aged boy to help chop vegetables has some serious mojo, indeed.

09 December 2014

Cooking Greens

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

cw headbandWhen I cook greens, my technique tends towards the traditional Southern style. I use just about any dark, leafy greens, whether they’re cultivated—spinach, collards or kale—or gathered wild—dandelion, lamb’s quarter, yellow dock, sochan or nettle. When I say "Southern style," I mean chopped greens in a long, slow sauté (30 minutes or more) at low heat with olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee along with onions, garlic, a generous splash of vinegar and a dash of salt. When I’m feeling really daring, I’ll even add a little fatback. I cook those greens until the leaves are soft and limp (and yummy).

14 November 2014

2014 Photos

Written by Flora

The 10th anniversary Herbal Conference was a smashing success by all reports!
From the powerful herbal and women's health classes, to the gorgeous warm weather,
women were raving all weekend about the depth, learning, and beauty of the conference.

4smiling women

 Fun new friends

rachel singing

 Rachel Bagby belting it out at Opening Ceremony

06 October 2014

Unity Village

Written by Flora, Posted in Sisterhood

action 2013 10 women arms around webUnity Village has become the heart of the conference, which we collectively create as a community of women. As the central hearth, Unity Village hosts Welcome and Farewell Jams, evening fires with song and drumming, daytime classes, facilitated talking circles and a central hearth fire. Unity Village aims to support women to connect and integrate by honoring our diversity, creating safe and intimate spaces, and inspiring creativity, playfulness, movement and relaxation.

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