Weed Woman

I earned that title from my little brother. I guess he noticed that I’ve always been draw to plants, the outdoors, herbs… I recall standing at our back porch and seeing “elephant ears” (as we called them) growing along the foundation of our house. Mother was madly hacking at them, a “weed” she called them. It wasn’t until years later that I learned they were the marvelous burdock. Plantain, lobelia, Queen Anne’s Lace, mullein,  chickory… all “weeds” with healing properties that grew in our back yard.

When I was 15 I got my first paying job – at a greenhouse. I had to nearly bribe the owner to give me a try… he didn’t think I could muscle the bags of dirt that would need unloaded weekly. He gave me a try, I earned the job and then some, not knowing until the end of the first week if I was staying or not. The paycheck was a welcome bonus.

And so today, I still find myself turning toward the plant, the herb, the essential oil: to make tinctures, salves, food. And nearly every herb my family needs for common ailments can be found in my own backyard. Why not schedule an herb walk in YOUR backyard? Find someone who knows herbs, and ask them to show you. You can learn with field guides, as I did, but it is much easier to recall names and uses if someone tells you in person.

Here is a Missouri Guide from the University of Missouri Extension Office to get you started.

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Salt in pregnancy

I’ve been recently compiling a few more resources on salt intake during pregnancy. There simply is no science to support the idea that REAL, WHOLE salt should be reduced or eliminated during pregnancy NOR that doing so will decrease swelling.

Here is a great handout on SALT in pregnancy (not to techy). It is from the UK with some US sources.

MidwiferyServices.org has a lovely section on salt to this tune:

What’s Up With Salt?

Sodium is an extremely important component in your diet and yet many women still get misguided advice to not eat salt while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stopped recommending salt-restriction to pregnant women in 1974, when it was finally acknowledged that this was not only not beneficial, but was potentially harmful!

Sodium works together with protein (albumin) to maintain a normal circulating blood volume. A pregnant woman needs additional sodium to help support her expanding blood volume. Additional sodium goes to the baby and to the expanding breast and uterine tissues also.

Commonly, friends and family will offer advice to cut back on salt if you are experiencing swelling. This is not a healthy solution to this problem (if it really is a problem) and can in fact cause problems. The correct response to swelling is to increase protein and fluid intake. You may even need additional salt if it has been hot or you have experienced increased perspiration. The general rule of thumb is: Salt your food to taste.

And this is my all-time favorite article on the salt-myth because it includes some discussion (often lacking) about the importance of the TYPE of salt you use. Thank you Maryn!!!