Common Name: Nettle
Scientific Name: Urtica dioica
As we enter Autumn, I have felt a pull toward nettle and have observed its abundance and ability to thrive even in the most turbulent of seasonal disruptions.Found alongside streams and dense rainforests, this plant is abundant in the marshy wetlands of Australia.
Applications and features
- I’m constantly surprised by the power of plants when we choose to listen to their call. Nettle is the plant that has been calling me to work alongside it this month.
- Nettle is a powerful anti inflammatory and iron booster
- This high iron content is what makes nettle ideally suited for people with challenges to their immune system and low energy.
- Stinging nettle is a blessing for any one who suffers from allergies. Its secret lies in the nutritional boost it gives the body as well as the anti-inflammatory action of its leaf. Nettle is usually thought of as relief for pollen allergies (Make it a perfect ally for Autumn)
- This month we will make a Nettle Tea Blend and Nettle Tincture
- Historically used during the war as a textile, Stinging Nettle fibers were manufactured into uniforms.
- As a medicinal tonic popular amongst the Tibetan people, the nettle was brewed to ‘clear the bowels’ after long arduous winters.
- Stinging Nettle historically has been used for ailments pertaining to the lungs such as bronchitis and asthma, and also topically as a treatment for issues of the scalp and hair, promoting healthy hair growth.
- Nettle also has hypoallergenic benefits, helping to alleviate triggers (particularly pollen), as we move into Autumn.
- Rich in iron, the Stinging Nettle is ideal for those with low energy levels or immune system challenges and as a galactagogue for lactating mothers as a milk stimulant.
- When ingested, Nettle’s nutritional values (vitamins, minerals and amino acids) combine with the anti-inflammatory properties of its leaf to soothe our immune system.
- In addition to its bodily applications, Nettle is also incredibly powerful as a nourishing green garden manure.
Finding & Harnessing
As its name suggests, the Stinging Nettle contains tiny hair-like tubes on the undersides of leaves and the stems, that can implant into the skin and cause a painful reaction.
It is advised that you wear proper protective gloves and clothing when harvesting the leaves, keeping in mind that the plant may die if you take more than ⅓ of its living leaves.
The leaves themselves are sharply serrated, with a heart-shaped base and an elongated tip. It can grow up to 1m, usually reaching its highest point during summer and wilting as we move into winter – however – it is known to persist through Qld winters, thus representing the steadfastness of our sunny state and our community.
If the plant is flowering, it is older and less potent in its offerings to us. The dried older leaves and flowers are ideal for brewing tea.
If you are stung by the plant, it isn’t entirely a bad thing! The prostaglandins released to combat the chemical irritant actually builds up an immunity to the sting, reducing its severity each time you come in contact with it.
This month we will prepare a Stinging Nettle tea, and also a nourishing tincture.
Do you have a favourite way to ingest Stinging Nettle? Why not share online, don’t forget to tag @thewaysthatwere
The sting of the Nettle is symbolic to the aftershock of transformation; think fireworks, a light at the end of a tunnel, the bringer of Joy.
Symbolically, Stinging Nettle is a great representation of flipping the narrative from a ‘sting’ to rather, an ‘awakening’.
It is said to bring us to the present moment, to be a comfort on the darkest of days or nights, which we are seemingly surrounded with at the moment. Dis-ease, La Niña flooding, War and a disconnect with humanity.
The juice of the Stinging Nettle has a reconciliatory effect on the sting itself; applying the juice to skin affected by the sting can provide a handy antidote!
The Stinging Nettle has anecdotally shown a tendency to assist in the treatment of diabetes-induced mental disorders. Its antioxidant applications on both the liver and cardiovascular system have been found to reduce cardiovascular disease in those suffering from diabetes.
From topical skin tinctures, to brewed medicinal teas and its mood-altering affects, the Stinging Nettle is a very underestimated and incredibly versatile wonder of nature.
Aligned with spiritual refresh and rejuvenation, this plant is a perfect Ally for the Ways That Were, as we move toward the season of Autumn. What better way to invite steadfast clarity and uplift the expressions of self – than by utilizing our very own spiritual cleanser?