As a crone cruising through her 70th year (70th birthday December 2012) who is innately repelled by pharmaceutical and allopathic approaches to ensuring wellness and avoiding dis-ease, I’m always on the lookout for alternative methods and substances that cost nothing and pack a punch. For example, weeds that help my body stay strong, flexible, and healthy. This spring, I’m “doing” more dandelion than usual, sometimes chopping and boiling roots, then drinking the liquid, other times just whipping up some green leaves in my blender and straining the results. Great in the early morning before anything else, especially with a bit of lemon!
Oh yes, and here’s the “more” of the title — get ready to be shocked! — for the past two weeks I have been also drinking a few sips of the first urine that I pass each day, as well as a few sips of my urine in the evening. Why? It seems to help my allergy to poison ivy. At least it did last year, and I’m hoping that by being proactive this year, and starting to drink it regularly before I even get a rash, it will prevent it all together. Urine therapy is actually an old old tradition (google it!), used in all sorts of ways, both to heal and prevent disease. Also has garden applications. See the book Liquid Gold.
I know, I know. “DRINK MY OWN URINE? HUH? IMPOSSIBLE!” Yes, it seems impossible, when a taboo has been so firmly locked into the collective psyche. I dare you to try it. The first sip is the hardest. Then, oh my, it’s kind of like when I stopped going to Sunday Mass and was astonished when the devil didn’t get me! In one fell swoop, all sorts of Catholic conditioning got washed away with that first daring act.
So too, here. Dare to drink one sip, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And ultimately, curious, that your urine should taste different on different days, depending what you ate, your stress levels the day before, etc.
Back to “weeds” and other herbs. I’ve been following a daily protocol of three herbal infusions: nettle, oat straw, and red clover, as per a talk Susun Weed (yup, that’s her real name) gave here in Bloomington a few years ago. Yesterday, I read the latest edition of SageWoman magazine, where she talks specifically about herbs for crones, and I see she’s added two more to her regimen: comfrey and linden flowers.
Here’s Susun Weed showing why and how to do an herbal infusion.
And here’s an article that I just saw on my niece Megan Assaf’s fb page. (Megan is herself an herbalist who specializes in massage for women’s health. Her website: wombsforwisdom.com). It’s called Ten Weeds You Should Eat and How to Enjoy Them, including dandelion, purslane, lambs quarters, comfrey, plantain, dock, and others. The author also includes her recommendation for foraging guides.
Enjoy your wild self! It’s never too late.