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The weeds are my allies

"We are all healers in the Wise Woman tradition. Self-healing and self-loving, we co-

create healing with our allies. Our allies are our problems; they bring us gifts of

wholeness. Our allies are wise women; they support us in our transformation. Our allies

are green allies, wild plants; they supply us with optimum nourishment."

-  Susun Weed, Grandmother of the Wise Woman Way

The Wise Woman Way 

The Wise Woman Way is an ancient tradition of healing that considers the uniqueness of

every individual. Honouring the wholeness and holiness of each person, it sees our pains and

our problems as part of our story. A story to be embraced rather than a set of symptoms to be

fixed. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we do not punish or purify, we nourish and re-wild,

understanding that unconditional love is a healing remedy unto itself. 

When we think of this ancient tradition, we may think of our grandmothers. The wise elders

who knew how to gather weeds, plant seeds, and heal their families with simple remedies.

Whilst modernisation and medicalisation may have suppressed and overridden these ways, it

lives on in our bones. Many of us feel it as a yearning to reconnect, to reconnect to nature and

our own intuitive nature.

Be Your Own Healer 

Another key aspect of the Wise Woman Way is that it empowers us to become the healers we

seek. It places the power of our health back into our own hands, asking us to trust our

intuition and pay attention to the patterns playing out in our lives. How we eat, how we

move, how we sleep, how we love, all play a role in our overall well-being. It reminds us that

we are only as healthy as our connection to nature and to ourselves. Looking beneath the

surface of many of our issues and inviting us to return home ~ home to our bodies, home to

the land, and home to the wild plants that surround us. 

Wild Weeds for Our Current Times

It may come as a surprise to learn that weeds are not just those pesky imposters in your

garden, but are actually the foundation for many of the wise woman’s favourite remedies. 

Prized for their rich micronutrient make-up, they carry codes of resilience for they have

learned to survive even in the harshest of conditions. Weeds refuse to be contained. They do

not cooperate and are therefore not harmed by monocropping and other industrial agricultural

practices. Whilst they may be overlooked by the mainstream, they are well known on the

outskirts to be a superior form of medicine. They are the rebels, unshakable in their roots,

undefeated by attempts to poison them. They show up, imperfectly perfect, able to withstand

droughts, destruction, and desecration. Who better to turn to in our current times?

“When the call came it said, 

Go to the moor. 

Live wild there. 

Eat only nettles for one year. 

And this is what I did…”

- Nettle- Eater by Tom Hirons

Three Sisters - Foundational Weeds for Wise Woman 

The Wise Woman tradition recommends common, simple, and accessible weeds. Grown in

abundance almost everywhere in the world, the Three Sisters below are packed with essential

micronutrients that support the nourishment of all bodies at all stages of life.

Sister One ~ Nettle {Urtica dioica}

Nettle is considered the wise woman's original superfood. She is one of the most nutrient-

dense greens in the world, known to energize our systems from the inside out. Her magic is in

her ability to fortify and repair our adrenals, easing us out of our cravings for stimulants.

Replace your morning coffee with an infusion of nettle and watch your mood, energy, hair,

skin and nails glow with delight. If you have found yourself depleted by the stress of this past

year, look to nettle. She harnesses the energy of the Earth and nourishes our immune systems,

leaving those who commit to drinking her as an infusion (not a tea), with a newfound lease

on life. Her medicine is safe and accessible, growing abundantly near streams and wild

forests, her gentle sting asks that we pay attention to the healing that she brings.

Sister Two ~ Red Clover Blossoms {Trifolium pratense}

Red clovers are another common weed almost all of us have walked over in a park, unaware

that this wild plant is one of nature’s most prized multivitamins. Packed with lavish amounts

of micronutrients and antioxidants, red clover is a foundational anti-cancer ally. She is also

fertility-enhancing and hormonal-harmonizing, a great friend for women going through

menopause. Known to improve chronic conditions, red clover provides phytosterols that are

bio-converted into helpful anti-cancerous & anti-stress hormones. She is best drunk as an

infusion and danced with before & after pregnancy, not during. Her blossoms are the epitome of fertile abundance, helping bring on the flow of mother's milk.

Sister Three ~ Oat Straw {Avena sativa}

Oat straw is an ancient Ayurvedic herb of longevity that invites emotional flexibility. Her

medicine is malty and sweet, leaving our nervous systems feeling soothed and strengthened. 

Best enjoyed as a simple infusion, she brings back the golden glow for many who have lost

their way in the dark. Oat straw infusion packs a mineral punch, especially high in calcium,

she moderates blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as ensures strong bones and a

healthy heart. Delicious, nutritious & another special superpower... she boosts our libidos by

inviting us to surrender to pleasure. Oat straw infusion - yes, please!

Sister Four ~ Buchu (Agathosma betulina) 

Buchu is another wild favourite, grown on the Western Cape peaks, she is our indigenous

healing ally. Known as the medicine of the Khoi and San people, she is traditionally used as a

remedy for kidney and urinary tract infections. Buchu asks that we be mindful of her vulnerability though as, unlike the Three Sisters, she is selective in her habitat. Practice

mindful foraging, always leaving more than what you take. Buchu is also an ally against

fevers, high blood pressure, and tummy upsets. She can be enjoyed as a digestive tea, or

infused in hot water, honey, or apple cider vinegar. With her unique scent, she awakens new

sensations in our olfactory and gustatory receptors. 

Infusing Your Weeds 

Wondering how best to enjoy your new wild friends? Infusions are the way of the Wise

Woman. Simple. Highly effective. They include generous amounts of weeds that are brewed

in hot water for four to eight hours. By making a long-brew infusion, we ensure all the

magical micronutrients imbue into the water. 

What You Will Need:

  •  1 litre console jar (that can handle boiling water)

  •  Wild-foraged dried weeds or weeds from Wild Nettle

  •  Springwater 

  •  Strainer (or Wild Nettle Ritual Pack)

  •  Patience 

How to Make Nourishing Infusions

i. Place roughly 28g of dried weeds into your console jar (warm jar first to prevent breakage)

ii. Pour boiling water into your jar, using a metal spoon to stir away any air bubbles.

iii. Put a tight lid on your jar & let the weeds steep for 4 hours minimum or 9 hours


iv. Strain weeds with a sieve, squeezing all liquid from the plant.

v. Drink strained infusion immediately or refrigerate – must be drunk within 2 days of


vi. Compost leftover plant material or feed to houseplants for a mulchy-mineral boost.

When making an infusion remember that the Wise Woman tradition has no rules. Connect to

your intuition, spend time in nature, see which weeds call for your attention. Re-wilding and

re-wise-ing is a remembering of something innate in every single one of us. 

Trust yourself, 

Trust the weeds,

Drink wisely and wildly.

- By Wild Women, Annette Müller for Holistica Magazine

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Solomon Richards
Solomon Richards
Sep 03, 2022


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