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Energy & Stamina the Wise Woman Way
If having enough energy to earn your daily bread and to get all your chores done is a struggle for you. If you go to bed tired, but wake up even more tired. If you can't get up and go without coffee, or can't slow down and relax without alcohol. If your fatigue is ruining your mood and your friendships. Then it's time to build energy and stamina the Wise Woman Way. The Wise Woman Tradition nourishes optimum energy, and optimum health, by using safe simple nourishing herbal infusions, eating whole grains, and avoiding stimulants.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is my favorite energizing infusion. It gives me the energy to work 14-15 hours a day on my dairy goat farm, train my apprentices, write books, run a publishing company and a workshop center, and fly all over the world to teach. I don't know how I could do so much otherwise. I buy dried stinging nettle and prepare it like this: Put one ounce by weight in a quart canning jar. Fill the jar with boiling water, cap well, and allow to steep for four hours or overnight.
Strain and enjoy. Refrigerate the remainder. Drink within 36 hours. Because stinging nettle strengthens the kidneys and adrenals, it builds powerful energy from the inside out, and gives one amazing stamina. If you drink 4-5 quarts of nettle infusion weekly, you can expect to see results within 3-6 weeks. There are no contraindications to the use of stinging nettle infusion. Side effects may include: thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, and greater delight in life. Nourishing herbal infusions can be made with other herbs too. I like red clover blossoms, lots of anticancer protection there, as well as lots of phytoestrogens. And oatstraw, such a mellow brew, and it's so great for easing and nourishing the nerves.
I also use chickweed, comfrey leaf, linden blossoms, and mullein as infusion herbs, depending on my need. All nourishing herbal infusions are made as instructed above. Whole grains are the backbone of a whole food diet. Because they break down much more slowly than refined (white) flour products, whole grains provide a "time release" capsule that allows you to work and work and work (or play and play and play, as you will). For more energy, eat more whole grains. Notice which white flour products you currently use, and replace them with whole grain versions as you run out. Soon you'll be eating: whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat English muffins, whole wheat crackers (read boxes carefully), whole wheat pretzels, whole wheat cookies, whole wheat bread, brown rice, kasha, millet and more. The tastes and textures will bring new delights to your dining pleasure as well as lots of energy for you to do with as you will. Avoid stimulants. For powerful stamina and lots of energy, we are well advised to avoid stimulants.
Not just drug stimulants like cocaine or "speed," but herb and food stimulants too. It is tempting to try to get more energy by using stimulants. But stimulants actually decrease overall energy. They provide fast fuel, but no steady flow of energy. Stimulants push us beyond our innate capacity. In effect, they make us work harder than we truly have the energy for, and thus deplete us at deep levels. The energy-depleting effects of coffee, soft drinks, and white sugar products are cumulative. The more you try to get energy from these sources, the more tired you make yourself. The long-term consequences often include a profound fatigue. Black pepper and spices such as cinnamon and cloves are acknowledged stimulants too, and, if overused (as in drinking chai daily) can also weaken the internal fires that give us energy.
Herbal stimulants such as ephedra (ma hang or Mormon tea), cayenne, ginseng, and guarana are also unlikely to help build real energy and stamina unless used sparingly and wisely. Herbal stimulants may even be quite dangerous, especially when powdered and taken in gelatin caps. Water-based preparations of stimulating herbs (teas and soups) are usually the safest, and tinctures are next safest, unless standardized. Small amounts of these herbs taken occasionally are harmless enough. It is long-term use of stimulants that erodes healthy energy. White sugar is one of the most common stimulants in the fast-food culture. We consume it in dozens of forms: corn syrup, cane sugar, "raw" sugar, fructose. I find that when the diet is rich in minerals, especially those in nourishing herbal infusions, whole grains, and yogurt, the desire for sweets is lessened and more easily satisfied with far less. For energy and stamina everyday, plus the extra you need to deal with everyday emergencies, follow the Wise Woman Way: drink nourishing herbal infusions, such as stinging nettle, red clover, oatstraw, and chickweed.
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