Nourishing the Body With the Wise Woman Tradition
by Corinna Wood
When it comes to our health, we crave clarity and understanding. But it’s awfully hard to find a sense of deeper wisdom in the florescent glare of a drug store. It’s all rather cool and impersonal; separate from our everyday lives. The bright packages of over-the-counter medications promise quick fixes ”new and improved” while minimizing their more questionable attributes in the small print of the ingredient list.
But it’s not the only alternative. Reaching back through cultural memory is the Wise Woman way, the oldest tradition of health on the planet. It embraces local plants and wholesome foods to restore and maintain balance and wellbeing. And for centuries, its practitioners, midwives, helpers, herbalists and mothers have cared for their families and communities in their kitchens and at their hearths. They have passed their skills along from hand to hand and heart to heart. Quietly. In the woman’s way.
The Wise Woman tradition is somewhat invisible. It tends to be preventative rather than heroic. As such, the teaching encourages nourishing the body by consuming plants, herbal teas and infusions with beneficial properties. By supporting and tonifying the digestive, immune and hormonal systems, the body is better able to help itself when presented with health challenges such as infection, injury or stress. It is built on a trust in the body’s innate wisdom.
At Red Moon Herbs, our mission is to empower people to trust the wisdom and the cycles of the plants, the earth and their own bodies.
Excerpts from Kate O’Connor
First published in Bold Life Magazine, July 2005; updated & reprinted in Natural Awakenings Asheville, August 2009