Because I'm one of the "why" people, I always want to know the reason I'm asked to do something. So, assuming there are others out there who might like to know about our friend Nettle.
Surely you've met our friend at some point (haha!! I made a funny). But you might not have thought him a friend. Maybe you were gardening, or hiking. Suddenly, as you brushed against a plant, you found your arm or leg burning & stinging! "Bad Weed!" you may have thought (or something more colorful may even have been uttered).
Actually, Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica, is one of the best wild plants out there! The whole plant is useful, from the leaves to the stem, to the roots & even seeds. Nettle is one of the allies to cherish...with gloves on.
Here are just a few of the properties of our new friend:
Magic(k)al (Scott Cunningham)
Nettle is a masculine plant, ruled by Mars & associated with the Element of Fire & the god Thor (sounds about perfect for our use, huh?). He has the powers of exorcism, protection, healing & lust. Nettle has been long used in magic to remove curses, keep out evil, avert danger, allay fear & harmful energy, as a healing herb, & to induce lust (oh la la!). Nettle's magical properties, as those of many of our herbs allies, are closely related to his energetic & medicinal properties.
Energetic (Susun Weed)
"Nettle's sharp energy cuts loose old patterns & reweaves connections...Nettle leaves & stalks are an energetic changer, [working on] the entire energetic system (nerves, neurons, chakras, & subtle bodies." (again...perfect for our use this month!)
Medicinal (Susun Weed & Rosemary Gladstar)
Nutritive & tonic (meaning restorative & safe to consume daily), he strengthens & tones the entire system. Good as a diuretic, mild laxative, cleansing (antiseptic & astringent), anti-diabetic, anti-rheumatic, anti-asthmatic, expectorant. Rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc & chromium & more vitamins. Great for PMS & menopause, liver problems, allergies, hay fever & a host of other symptoms. Basically, Nettle cleanses & nourishes, allowing the body to restore itself to health.
These are just a few of the wonderful properties of our hot & fiery plant ally, Nettle, when used as a tea. He has many other uses too: as a hair tonic, for eczema & acne, etc. You can cook with fresh Nettle leaves, make fabric & cords with the stalks, make wine or even beer...oh the possibilities are endless!
If you have some time to get to know this wonderful friend, do so. Just use gloves if you're communing with the fresh version, he stings!
*update: Some people have told me that Nettle tea is a bit to astringent for their tastes. Try brewing 3 cups in the following manner:
3 cups Water
3 Tbsp dried Nettle
1 Cinnamon stick
a dash of freshly ground Nutmeg
a few slices of orange
a splash of Agave nectar
Allow to steep for 20 minutes, then remove the Nettle. You can leave the cinnamon stick. This tisane will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Wild & Bright Blessings!