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Corinna's Corner

01 October 2020

As she moves through autumn, a woman feels . . .

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

 I want to share with you a poem which I love to return to at fall equinox.  Do you feel "autumn woman" this turn around the spiral of the year?  Keep an eye out for her within you as this autumn unfolds over the coming months . . .  
~ Corinna 

  "Fall" by Patricia Monaghan ~ excerpted
 
“Now comes the time of reckoning, the season of limits. There will never be more than there is now. Now is the time to celebrate the plenty that work and time have wrought. Now, the time to feast with friends, share the bounty, toast the work well done.  ”As she moves through autumn, a woman feels a passionate connection with all life. Yet, wise in in the seasons of living, she can be unsentimental, even pitiless. She does not try to nurture everything and everyone . . . she becomes selective.
 
autumn forest path
 

28 August 2020

Tuck a little lemon balm into your mask!

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

lemon balm in mask I’m excited to share one of my latest inspirations with you! Recently as I was heading to town, I snatched a few leaves from my lemon balm plants which overflow their doorstep planter. Known as a calmative and mood elevator, she always seems to give me a lift.

As I drove, I gratefully inhaled the delicious aroma of the lemon balm leaves wafting around me.

When I parked and grabbed my mask, I realized that I was loathe to leave my herbal ally behind–so I tucked her just inside my mask.

20 April 2020

Stinging nettles on my mother's birthday

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

In the midst of the pandemic

nettle loresIn early April, our dogwoods bloom. I harvest wild nettles for my soup pot. And we celebrate my mother’s birthday. 

This year, her birthday fell during the onset of stay-at-home orders in North Carolina. Fortunately, she lives nearby and loves long walks out in the fresh air–among our permitted outdoor activities. And at that point, groups under ten were still allowed to gather in our county.

We carefully planned a socially distant Sunday walk,  followed by a socially distant open-air picnic, each with our own personal cooler of food. 

03 April 2020

Bringing Chickweed into Your Backyard

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

chickweed in planterLike many of you, I am cultivating my strategies for staying calm and nourished in my body amidst all that is happening in today's landscape. The current stay-at-home status here in the mountains of North Carolina includes the freedom to get outside and move. I'm finding that my favorite days are those a walk, bike ride, or gardening . . . often keeping an eye out for wild foods to harvest along the way!

My beloved wild edible ally, chickweed, loves the cool, wet weather of the spring and the fall. Studying botany in college many years ago, I challenged myself to replace my grocery store veggies with wild greens. Chickweed quickly became a staple!

31 January 2020

Tulsi at this snowy Imbolc

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

The first snow of the year came at last to the mountains of North Carolina today, just in time for Imbolc! Also known as Candlemas, Imbolc is the seasonal marker at the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.  

Gazing out the window in wonder at the huge snowflakes falling, I stopped to admire once again my tulsi "houseplant." Also known as holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), she is one of my herbal beloveds. I have a whole stash of holy basil pesto in my freezer, tincture in my cupboard, and dried leaves for infusion. This is the first year I discovered that I could bring one of my pots of tulsi in from my porch, and enjoy her all winter long!

tulsi snow

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.

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!

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.

09 August 2018

Delicious nutritious coconut oil fudge

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

2018.7 cutting fudge 2 600x450As you may know, nourishment is one of the main tenets of the Wise Woman Tradition, right up there with local plants and self-love.

Unlike the "heroic tradition" which focuses on denial and cleansing (therefore inherently viewing our bodies as dirty), we prefer to nourish our bodies to health and wholeness. For example, rather than doing a liver fast/cleanse, we use herbs like dandelion to support our liver. Because when the liver receives optimum nourishment, it is able to effectively perform its function of filtering the blood!

When I arrived at Susun Weed's home as a young apprentice, I had been very much caught up in the heroic tradition. I fasted regularly and ate a very low-fat vegetarian/vegan diet, unwittingly contributing to nutritional deficiencies that had already begun to manifest in a variety of health issues in my early twenties. Susun helped me recognize that I had been denying myself some of the basic nutrients my body needed—most importantly, the healthy fats.

Around the same time, I discovered Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and the work of the Price Foundation identifying common elements of traditional diets worldwide.

It turns out that across the globe, traditional people received 30-80% of their calories from fats, almost all as saturated fats! This was shocking for me to learn since both mainstream and alternative nutritionists were touting low fat / no fat diets as well as polyunsaturated vegetable oils like canola.

Nowadays, I am relieved to see that more and more people are getting turned on to the healthy fats—including organic butter, olive oil, and coconut oil—as a central food group. And we still have a lot of questions pop up!

03 July 2018

Anise hyssop ~ a family favorite

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

2016.8 annise hyssop planter lo resI wish I could insert a “scratch and sniff” here . . one fragrant whiff, and you would swoon! Outside the Southeast Wise Women offices, the purple double-lipped flowers of anise hyssop are blooming this June. She belongs in the mint family, with the characteristic square stem with opposite leaves. I love to pick a leaf for visitors to taste and wait for their exclamation of surprise that an herb can be so delicious! As the name suggests, her leaves are aromatic, with the sweet flavor of anise.

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