Youthful long life, promises the heroic tradition, is given to those who follow the rules, atone for their wrongs, and get clean.

It is especially important in the Heroic tradition to cleanse the body inside and out: to purify the body with austerities and sweats, to clean out toxins with fasts and purges, to clean the blood, clean the liver, and above all, clean the colon.

A widespread belief in the Heroic traditions of health care, especially for the past several hundred years in white-occupied North America, and for several hundred more in Europe, is that disease arises from filth in the colon.

Many Heroic tradition practitioners recommend enemas and colonics as the first line of defense against every problem from menstrual cramps to cancer. Laxatives and cathartics and all kinds of intestinal cleansings are recommended as daily fare for well-being and optimum health. To some, it seems that the colon can never be too clean. An empty colon is about as close to clean as a colon can be, so frequent or regular periods of fasting are encouraged in most Heroic traditions.

Cures in the Heroic tradition are usually through dramatic and heroic means. Purity is to be achieved at any cost. If the treatment is part of the punishment, so much the better.


Above is a very small excerpt from Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed, in which she covers the three traditions of healing (Wise Woman, Heroic, and Scientific). We do hope that you will reconsider your view of your body and that you will begin to approach health in the Wise Woman way by loving yourself as you are.

To illustrate what we mean, following is an excerpt from Healing Wise (page 14):

Nourish the new cells, optimally, says the Wise Woman tradition, and the old cells and other waste will be cleared away easily. The liver is replaced, every cell of it, in six weeks. Nourish each new liver cell optimally, and the liver will clean the blood. The kidneys are replaced, every cell, in a month. Nourish each new cell optimally, let the kidneys clean the blood. The blood volume itself is replaced, every cell, in three weeks. What cleaner blood than new and optimally nourished cells?

Partake of optimum nourishment, as understood by wise women through the ages, and soon every cell of your body is healthy/whole/holy: the nervous system functions more smoothly, the hormonal system fluctuates more evenly, the liver and kidneys are more effective, the immune system is better organized, and the digestive system makes better use of all available nourishment.

Nourishment encourages expansion and growth. Nourishment includes. Nourishment supports each being as unique, holy, individual. Nourishing our problems encourages love for all parts of ourselves. All health occurs through nourishment. A wonderful way of nourishing your body is to drink nourishing herbal infusions.


Nourishing herbal infusions are the second key to vibrant elder years and an easier menopause. They provide protein, minerals, phytoestrogens, and special fats needed by menopausal women. Many common menopausal problems can be connected to a lack of one or more of these nutrients.

Low protein leaves hair and skin dull, lifeless, and thin. Nourishing herbal infusions, plain yogurt, lentils, and organic meats are excellent sources.

Low levels of minerals leave the bones and heart deprived of calcium, the immune system low in zinc, and the muscles prone to pain and spasms. Nourishing herbal infusions, plain yogurt, seaweed, and organic chocolate are magnificent sources.

Insufficient phytoestrogens in the diet increase breast cancer risk and menopausal distress. Nourishing herbal infusions, lentils, roots and seeds are the best sources.

Lack of high-quality fats, can lead to thyroid problems, immune system stress, lack of energy, and blood vessel disease. Nourishing herbal infusions, full-fat yogurt, organic chocolate, olive oil, organic butter, nuts and seeds are superb sources.

How Too Make a Nourishing Herbal Infusion

Buy (or gather and dry) at least one ounce of nettle leaf or oatstraw or red clover blossoms or comfrey leaf. Place the ounce of dried herb in a quart jar. (One ounce equals one full cup of dried herb.) Fill jar to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly and allow to brew for at least four hours. Overnight is fine. Strain and drink 2-4 cups a day. Most menopausal women prefer their infusion iced, but you can drink it hot or at room temperature. A little mint or sage may be added to change the flavor.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you'll jump up and exercise.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa) reduces high cholesterol, increases libido, and strengthens the nerves. A cup of oatstraw infusion contains more than 300 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of many other minerals. Its steroidal saponins nourish the pancreas and liver, improving digestion and stabilizing moods. Oatstraw is best known however for its ability to enhance libido and mellow the mood. Do be careful whom you share it with, or you may find yourself sowing some wild oats. In Auryuvedic medicine, oatstraw is considered the finest of all longevity tonics.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is better in every way than its cousin soy. It contains four phytoestrogens; soy has only one (isoflavone). Red clover infusion has ten times more phytoestrogens than soy "milk," fewer calories, more calcium, and no added sugars. Red clover is the world's leading anti-cancer herb; soy isoflavone encourages the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab. Red clover improves the memory; Japanese men who ate tofu twice a week doubled their risk of Alzheimer's disease. Soy beverage can contain up to 1000 times more aluminum than milk, according to Sally Fallon, lipid researcher and fat specialist. She believes that "the highly processed soy foods of today are perpetuating . . . nutrient deficiencies ..."

Comfrey (Symphytum) leaf is free of the compounds (PAs) found in the root that can damage the liver. I have used comfrey leaf infusion regularly for decades with no liver problems, ditto for the group of people at the Henry Doubleday Research Foundation who have eaten cooked comfrey leaves as a vegetable for four generations. Comfrey is also known as "knitbone," and no better ally for the woman with thin bones can be found. And, don't forget, comfrey contains special proteins used in the formation of short-term memory cells. Its soothing mucilage adds flexibility to joints, eyes, vagina, and lungs.

Menopause can change your life. Our Wise Woman grandmothers used nourishing herbal infusions, fermented dairy products, healthy exercise, and simple whole foods to weather their change naturally and live productively another 50 years. You can too.

For further information on these herbs, and lots more, see New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way, available from

Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

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Author's Bio: 

Susun Weed, copyright 2011

Susun Weed is the voice of the Wise Woman Tradition, where healing comes from nourishment. She is known internationally as an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. Ms. Weed restores herbs as common medicine, and empowers us all to care for ourselves. For free ezine, on demand radio, recipes, resources, online courses and much more, go to:

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Susun Weed is the author of the Wise Woman Herbal series, including: Healing Wise, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, New Menopausal Years, Breast Cancer? Breast Health, and Down There Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way. Learn more at site includes hundreds of books, CD’s DVD’s digital downloads, and educational opportunities.

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