Southeast Wise Women
Spring greens for equinox
Are you feeling the stirring of springtime? Sensing the plants calling you? We are now at equinox!
It’s been a challenging winter--recently we've seen nature’s elements freezing back tender plant shoots (or burying them in snow, depending on where you live). The herbs and flowers are looking a bit ruffled, with dead leaves around their shoulders as they are emerging from the underground time of year.
And we may feel the same way, gazing around in wonder at the world beginning to blossom around us. We may also be surprised by our own strength and resilience--like the plants, finding the stamina to survive through challenging times.
Dandelion and nettles are two favorite early spring greens for wise woman herbalists to bring into the kitchen.
A healthy addition to salad, dandelion is also tasty as a dip made by chopping and combining it with soft cheese or yogurt, garlic, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.
Tonifying for the liver and gallbladder, dandelion supports our bodies in filtering our blood. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we turn attention away from the Heroic focus on "cleansing," to nourishment. By calling in the support of plants like dandelion to nourish the organs that filter our blood, we embrace our bodies in an act of self love.
With its rich, buttery flavor, stinging nettle soup is a fun wild food dish to share with friends and family (see recipe in sidebar). Don’t worry, once cooked, nettles loses its sting. Just remember your gloves when you head out to the nettles patch!
With extremely high levels of chlorophyll and minerals, nettles are deeply nourishing for kidneys and adrenals. Known for building bones and supporting the smooth functioning of the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems, nettles also reduce the symptoms from allergies.
So keep an eye out for these two wild ones!

Hungry to know more about nettles?
Read more in Corinna's article on nettle
Or watch her short video about nettles . . .
Corinna's Corner ~ Honoring Girls
Like the buds of spring, girls embody vitality, curiosity, strength and resilience. At the same time, our girls are facing serious challenges and traumas in these times. In recent months, women have been calling attention to the concerns for safety and education for women and girls around the world.
Like many mothers, I am deeply concerned about the environment for girls growing up today, starting with the their relationship with food and their own bodies. Media images and messaging suggest there is something wrong with girls’ bodies, or that they have to be a certain way to be accepted. The pressure to fit in or please others teaches girls that it is not safe to be too much, too loud, or too smart.  
Patterns learned during girlhood, often continue into our lives as adult women. In my own journey towards physical health and healing, I am becoming more and more aware of the impact of systemic sexism and emotional trauma on women’s bodies.
The women’s herbal community recognizes that adrenal fatigue is an important issue for women and an underlying source of many common women’s health problems.
I have also come to understand that when trauma happens over a long period of time in an environment where we see no way out, as is often the case for daughters subject to abuse and neglect, it can have lasting impacts on our identity, personality, brain and neurological development, creating false belief systems that undermine our emotional and physical health . . . 
continue reading on our blog

Corinna Wood
Director, Southeast Wise Women
I Change
This is where I yank the old roots
from my chest, like tomatoes
we let grow until December, stalks
thick as saplings.
This is the moment when the ancient fears
race like thoroughbreds, asking for more
and more rein. And, I, the driver,
for some reason they know nothing of
strain to hold them back.
Terror grips me like a virus
and I sweat, fevered,
trying to burn it out.
This feat is so invisible. All you can see
is a woman going about her ordinary day,
drinking tea, taking herself to the movies,
reading in bed. If victorious
I will look exactly the same.
Yet I am hoisting a car from mud ruts
half a century deep. I am hacking
a clearing through the fallen slash
of my heart. Without laser precision,
with only the primitive knife of need, I cut
and splice the circuitry of my brain.
I change.
~Ellen Bass
Nettle Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
6 cups broth/water
3 cups fresh nettle tops
sweet white miso, to taste
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. Stir in your carrots and potatoes. After a few minutes, cover them with the water or broth (vegetable or chicken broth work beautifully).
If your nettle tops are small, you can put them in whole. If they’re larger than you would want to have on your spoon, put your gloves back on and chop them coarsely before adding to the soup. Bring to a boil and let it all simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.
Dilute several spoonfuls of sweet white miso in some of the broth mixed with cold water to bring it to a tepid temperature. Add the diluted miso to the soup bowls at the table so the beneficial microorganisms don’t get cooked by the boiling temperature.
Kimchi Rylander
Our beloved Kimchi Rylander died February 16, at the age of 56, from breast cancer and complications of long-term diabetes. She died peacefully at her home at Earthaven Ecovillage surrounded by friends and family. 

Kimchi was an artist, radical feminist, deep ecologist, educator, and culture-changing activist. She made allies and friends wherever she went. 
A staff member of Southeast Wise Women in our early years, Kimchi designed the original watercolor version of the logo that we still use, 13 years later.

All who knew, or simply encountered, Kimchi, will forever remember her bright spirit, dedication to her chosen path, open heart, and her huge and infectious laugh.
Kimchi, you will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in peace. 
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Southeast Wise Women  •  17 Benchmark Rd  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

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