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Breast Cancer? Breast Health!: The Wise Woman Way (Wise Woman Herbal) Paperback – April 11, 1996
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Designed to be a resource for both women who want to maintain breast health and those who've been diagnosed with breast cancer, Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way draws on "women's wisdom," or the inner knowledge often ignored by modern medicine, as a powerful tool for healing. Author Susun Weed proposes an anticancer lifestyle, and, if cancer does enter the picture, a six-step plan for healing (sleep is at zero, or "Do Nothing"; surgery is number six, which she terms "Break and Enter"), with various complementary healing techniques included throughout.
Weed is careful to point out that supplements and herbs can hurt as much as they can help, and she lists several alternative-medicine techniques that should be avoided no matter what. The steps she does recommend--from herbal oils for breast massage to help detect lumps early to the herbs milk thistle, dandelion, and burdock for women with liver damage from tamoxifen--are explained clearly, sometimes with fascinating quotes from centuries-old books on healing.
Weed will draw ire from some readers for recommending that mammograms be avoided. She says they tend to squeeze cancer cells into the bloodstream and can't detect cancer until it's metastatic, which are reasons enough to not have them, and adds that women would be better off by making her suggested anticancer lifestyle changes, paying more attention to their breasts, and performing regular self-exams.
The warnings about the dangers of electromagnetic fields, exposure to estrogen, and organochlorides from plastics may frighten some, but Weed means to enlighten and empower. She dedicates the book to environmentalist and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson and poet Audre Lorde, who both died of breast cancer. Extensive herbal resources, a solid glossary, and a thorough index are included.
About the Author
Susun S. Weed is the voice of the Wise Woman tradition, where healing is nourishing. She is known internationally as an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. For more than thirty years she has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations, restoring herbs as women's common medicine, and empowering women to care for themselves.
Susun is founder of the Wise Woman Center, editor-in-chief of Ash Tree Publishing, a high priestess of Dianic Wicca, a member of the Sisterhood of the Shields, a Peace Elder, and happy herder of her dairy goats.
Her four books: Healing Wise; New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way;Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way; Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year; and Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way are used by more than a million women throughout the world. She writes a regular herbal column for SageWoman Magazine and hosts the Wise Woman website and forum atwww.susunweed.com created by her amazing daughter Justine.
Susun continues to train apprentices, initiate green witches, work with her correspondence course students, and write books.
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Though some of the herbal remedies I was familiar with and agree with, Weed's take on chemotherapy, radiation and surgery as a cancer remedy is what I most identified with. Weed sees these actions as options in the course of healing, not as givens. I am in full agreement and I'm of the belief that people have been taught one avenue when it comes to cancer - kill it. I don't believe in "killing" cancer. I believe that cancer, and any disease, is the body calling attention to something that wants to be healed. With that I see that breast cancer calls to cells that need healing, compassion, and love - not killing, fights, battles, or harsh and often invasive treatment. Weed discusses similar in the book.
Though the book was written in 1996, it is a fantastic reference manual for herbalist and layman alike, as well as, mentor in a way for women with breast cancer. However, I would love to see an updated version with more recent statistics and research.
With that, it is complete with glossary, references, Materia Medica, and recipes - the book didn't disappoint! From herbal wisdom, to emotional encouragement, to scientific statistics, to knowledgeable perspective Breast Cancer? Breast Health! gives readers an insight into breast cancer not often seen and opens up an entirely different path of healing than does allopathic medicine. I would encourage every woman to read this book and every person to try the Garlic Toast Country Style recipe which has turned into a favorite breakfast addition for me!