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Wise Woman Ways
with herbalist Susun Weed

Hi Susun,
Could you explain the benefits of seaweed and how it might benefit the health of a person with MCS and womyn in general? Also, will any seaweed do or should it be “organic”?

Susun’s response:
Seaweed is an everyday miracle. The benefits of including seaweed’s optimum nourishment into your daily diet are extensive: increased longevity, enhanced immune functioning, revitalization of the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, and nervous systems, and relief from minor aches and pains. No wonder seaweed has been part of the traditional diet of all coastal cultures, including the people of Japan, Korea, China, Iceland, Denmark, Wales, Scotland, Hawaii, and the South Pacific Islands, and all the people who had trading contacts with the coastal cultures.

All seaweeds are high in fiber. Those in the brown family supply large amounts of algin as well. Each seaweed contains a wide range of essential nutrients, including enzymes, nucleic acids, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, and A, B, C, D, E, and K vitamin complexes. Seaweeds offer us zest for life and the perfect medium for electrical nerve flow.

Benefits from a wise woman alliance with seaweed—glossier hair, more luminous skin, less digestive distress, renewed energy and stamina, rekindled sexual desires, and reawakened delight in life—will be noticeable in about 13 weeks.

Seaweed is an ally with lots of heart. Dancing, singing seaweed strengthens circulation, balances blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, builds healthy blood, increases the veins and hearts contractile force, restores and increases cardiac efficiency, nourishes and prolongs the life of the heart muscle, and encourages rhythmical working of the heart in all its aspects: physical, emotional, and inspirational.

How can weeds with so much sodium (we all know salt raises blood pressure) be good for the heart and even hypotensive—that is, capable of lowering blood pressure?

did you know? Sodium is not to blame for high blood pressure. Sodium chloride may be. Table salt may be. But table salt contains sugar, aluminum salts, and several other agents as well as sodium chloride. This is an unnatural salt solution and one that creates cardiovascular stress. The naturally occurring sodium in seaweeds (and garden weeds) bathes the inner being with rich salty nourishment, like the amniotic fluid of our original home. This sodium relieves tension in blood vessels made brittle by immersion in the wrong saline solution, table salt. (Note that commercial sea salt is usually as full of free flowing agents and other addenda as commercial table salt. Real evaporated seawater salt is pinkish in color. As usual, if it’s white, you can’t trust it.)

Storm the Drummer

Seaweed is a wonderful green ally to use with other Wise Woman ways when healing those with problems of the heart and circulation including atherosclerosis, hypertension, chilly extremities, varicosities, heart infections, repressed feelings, and self blame.

Seaweed is a way to get your juices flowing: Daily use of seaweed provides optimum nourishment for the hormonal, lymphatic, urinary, and nervous systems. The hormonal system uses minerals and trace elements so richly available from seaweed to repair tissue, build new cells, and create hormones responsible for regulating blood pressure, metabolism, fertility, sexuality, and reaction to allergens, to name but a few.

The lymphatic and immune systems are avid partakers of seaweed’s splendid feast of nutrients. Combined with this optimum nourishment, the communication enhancing effects of seaweed further enhance response time and strength in the immune system. This reduces opportunist bacterial and viral infections and helps prolong youth and vitality, not to mention joy and ease in life.

The urinary system gets a special boost from seaweed’s seeming excess of potassium and sodium. Those with cystitis, kidney weakness, gout diabetic kidney ills, and bladder weakness find health / wholeness / holiness with seaweed and Wise Woman Ways.

The nervous system relaxes in the presence of seaweed’s mineral abundance. Seaweed creates an inner environment where nerve signals flow more smoothly and where brain chemicals are produced as needed: to maintain alertness, increase memory, reduce pain, and provide a sense of buoyant bliss. (Envision the head sized floats of kelp bobbing on a gently undulating sea.)

Seaweed is a gut greaser: Seaweed provides a multitude of gifts to the digestive system: soothing, disinfecting, and nourishing distressed surfaces, helping out with the metabolism of lipids, and maintaining a healthy balance of digestive yeasts and bacteria in the intestines.

Seaweed is an exceptional ally to the wise woman healing those with gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, ulcerated colon, colitis, constipation, watery stools, and other intestinal ills, thanks to its bio-available nourishment, high algin content, mucilaginous fiber, and rhythmical resonation.

Seaweed is an ally in women’s mysteries: Seaweed flows and shifts like the energy of a woman. Saline solutions of ocean and uterus rock in rhythm. Pulses of tide, menstruation, heartbeat, and fertility join seaweeds and wombs. Nourishing breast milk merges with waves of green fronds.

Seaweed eaten daily is a powerful ally to a wise woman for prevention and healing herself or others with osteoporosis, breast cancer, mastitis, uterine cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cancer, fibroids, ovarian cysts, infertility, fibro-cystic breast distress, and pre-menstrual / menopausal problems such as water retention, emotional freak-outs, chills and hot flashes, fatigue, lack of lubrication, loss of calcium and general irritability.

Seaweed is a great way to stay in shape: By providing optimum nourishment to the thyroid, helping to regulate metabolism, and increasing the effectiveness of the digestive system, seaweed helps you get in shape and stay that way.


• Protective—anti-radiation, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-toxic, anti-rheumatic, antibiotic, antibacterial, alterative.

• Nutritive—trace mineral supplement, cardio-tonic, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac.

• Mucilaginous—Emollient, demulcent, aperient, anti-constipative, diuretic.

• Anti-stress—Analgesic, calmative, anti-pyretic.

Heavy metals and natural radioactive elements are found in most seaweeds and there is serious controversy about the bio-availability of such toxins. Well-documented studies attest to the fact that the arsenic in kelp is not assimilated. Does this mean that the other heavy metals are not assimilated either? One author suggests that none of the minerals in kelps are bio-available! Australia has banned the sale of Japanese seaweeds due to the high toxic metal content. For my own peace of mind, I gather my own seaweeds from the least polluted ocean waters I can find; I support the efforts of other small-scale, conscientious seaweed gatherers; and I contribute to water conservation and quality improvement personally and through organizations. (excerpted from Healing Wise)

Green blessings, Susun Weed

photos: Wise Woman Spiral © / Chuck Spidell | Storm the Drummer ©2002 Carolyn Hillyer


Bladderwrack Tea
• Gently simmer a handful of fucus for 15 minutes in enough water to cover. OR, fill a quart jar only full with dried bladderwrack; add boiling water to completely fill the jar
• Cap and let steep overnight.
• Next morning, strain (give the seaweed to the nearest patch of earth), warm and enjoy, seasoned to your taste!

Mother Earth Ocean Soup
3 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, sliced
2 parsnips, sliced
1 cup dried or fresh wild greens
1 cup dried seaweed of your choice
12 cups pure water

• Sauté onions in oil until brown.
• Add all the remaining ingredients and cook until vegetables are done.
• Adjust seasonings adding sea salt as needed and let mellow overnight or serve immediately.

Green and Purple Salad
4 cups of watercress
1 cup dulse pieces
1 cup goat cheese
Olive oil and lemon at table for dressing

• Tear watercress and dulse into pieces.
• Arrange on 4 plates of brilliant hue.
• Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.
• Dress with oil and lemon. (Voila!)

Carrot, Onion, Hijiki
1 cup dried hijiki
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions crescent cut
2 carrots diagonal cut
1 tablespoon tamari

• Soak hijiki in water about 20-30 minutes.
• Cut onions in half from top to bottom, then cut into slices.
• Cook onions in oil until very brown.
• Put the carrots in an even layer over the onions.
• Top with a layer of hijiki.
• Add tamari and about half of the soaking water and cover pan tightly.
• Cook until the carrots are tender.

Rare and Common Soup
8 shitake mushroom (if unavailable use any mushroom)
1 cup dried fucus (bladderwrack)
hot water as needed
6 cups pure water
1 teaspoon garlic oil
6 oz soba noodles
1 tablespoon tamari or miso

• Soak shitake and seaweed separately in hot water for 30 minutes.
• Reserve the liquid when draining.
• Slice shitake caps, saving the stalks for later use.
• Bring the 6 cups water to a boil and add seaweed, garlic oil, reserved soaking liquid (minus any grit that settles to the bottom), and the noodles.
• Cook uncovered at high heat until seaweed is soft.
• Add tamari or miso after removing soup from heat and serve.

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posted on December 24, 2006 | tags: , ,

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