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Local Plants

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.

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.

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!

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.

05 September 2018

Forest Bathing

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

Holli Richey offered a forest bathing class at the 2017 Herbal Conference, here's some of what she had to share.

2014 06 15 waterfall 450x600FOREST BATHING is a  mindful practice of opening  the senses to become more aware while walking in the forest. The  practice originated in 1982 in Japan  where it is called shinrin-­‐yoku; however, the practice of Forest Bathing borrows from ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices of being  present with nature and mindfulness meditation. Continued scientific research is proving the therapeutic benefits of Forest Bathing through its impact on biomarkers associated with stress—reduction  of heartrate, blood pressure, cortisol, sympathetic nervous system activity and blood glucose, and increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity and  natural killer immune cells—and even its improvement of individual and social well‐being  measures, such as empathy, depression and anxiety.

Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally paying attention without judgment.

Direct your awareness to how you are right now in the moment, noticing your ordinary awareness—how you’re standing, where your mind is, what expectations you might  have about this practice, what physical sensations you notice. Bring your attention to your breath, and then escort  your attention to your feet touching the ground. Take a moment to center yourself in your awareness of your breath as you stand firmly on the earth.

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.

15 May 2018

Spring woodland wildflowers

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

at Joyce Kilmer

trillium squareWhat a treat to visit the Joyce Kilmer old growth forest near the Smoky Mountain National Park recently . . . Seeing the spring wildflowers in bloom among trees hundreds of years old was like stepping into a fairy land!

Walking along the forest paths, we saw trillium emerging, with her signature triple leaf and flower pattern. Also known as “birth root,” trillium has long been valued by indigenous women. An endangered woodland wildflower, she is one that I only admire, rather than harvest . . .

chickweed squareAnd I loved seeing star chickweed, Stellaria pubera. She is the larger cousin to the common garden chickweed we often eat in salads at home. Star chickweed’s flower is more defined, embodying her name, Stellaria: star flower. 

Like her common cousin, she is edible and delicious. While hiking in the forest, I occasionally nibble a bit as a trailside snack.

18 April 2018

Conference registration is now open

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

Welcome, wonderful women ~

rosemary new 1We invite you to join us this fall as we gather once again in sisterhood—celebrating plants, the Earth, and one another. 

For this year's 14th annual conference, we have another powerful group of presenters who will be sharing their gifts with us.

We are thrilled to have internationally acclaimed herbalist, author, and teacher Rosemary Gladstar returning, of the Northeast Women's Herbal Conference—our foremother herbal event.

And we are delighted to welcome for the first time Ubaka Hill, performer, artist, inspirational speaker, drummer, and master drum teacher for over 30 years.

14 March 2018

Chickweed dishes

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

chickweed 001Have you been joyfully nibbling on chickweed sprouts already? She thrives in the cool, wet weather of early spring. A favorite salad green around here, she can be used as the base of a wild salad, or to garnish your bowl of fresh lettuce leaves.

When this versatile green is in season, chickweed rice salad is always a big hit. Just mix equal parts chopped chickweed and cooked rice, then stir in some olive oil, minced garlic and salt to taste. It's even more delightful with chopped walnuts and crumbled feta cheese. 

Another delicious way to introduce your friends and family to chickweed is the BCT (bacon, chickweed and tomato sandwich). Chickweed also works well in pasta salads, omelets and potato salads.

07 December 2017

Gathering roots ~ giving death

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

By Judith Berger, excerpted from Herbal Rituals

When one gathers roots one is giving death. And so one must become the crone, carefully considering the effect of the act upon the environment.

One must uproot flippancy, hurry, or casualness from the ground of one’s own mind before taking trowel or spade in hand. Then one must, with certainty and clarity, be able to see as the crone sees, how this death will create the space for new life.

One must press one’s ears to the ground of mystery, listening for the voice of the plant which calls the root digger toward it to gather its flesh. Medicines made with such attentiveness often initiate healing in both the body and spirit.

30 October 2017

Herbal Conference Reflections

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

act 2017 JK dancingWomen of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life gathered this October, to learn, teach, and grow together . . . 

We gather each fall to nurture ourselves with a shared sense of reality, to remember our own strength, beauty, and power, and to lift one another up.

At the doors to Opening Ceremony, those entering each infused a pinch of wool with her hopes for women and the Earth. As the ceremony and the weekend progressed, spinners among us actually spun that wool into yarn, and then wove it into a powerful creation (below) for the closing circle. 

gina corinna weaving 600x450

At home and during the weekend, we all are experiencing, practicing, and carrying on the Wise Woman Tradition. This work is not always easy. We must begin by getting un-confused, seeing and naming clearly what we know, who we are, what we see, and how we heal. And we continue the work of untangling ourselves from the web of messaging that is internalized day after day--messages of sexism, racism, ageism, heterosexism, all the -isms.

As Director Corinna Wood shared, “We are here this weekend as strong women, standing on the shoulders of generations of brilliant women, surrounding our circle! If it were not for the devotion of the women of my mother’s generation, to civil rights and to feminism, we would not be here like this today.”

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