I first heard of Nettle as a toddler when my Grandma used to tell us stories with enchanted Faeries weaving magical garments out of nettle’s fibers. She also used to feed us Nettle soup in Spring and rinsed our hair with a Nettle infusion .
To this day Nettle is one of my favorite companions and teachers. When the first tender leafs appear I collect some and make soup. It is the greatest thing one can do after winter. This unassuming plant is rich in minerals and iron.
Late spring I collect more for tea and make some tincture too. Also it makes a great tea for other plants in need . I leave handfuls of nettle in fresh water , covered for few days. It will stink but the result is an amazing picker upper for veggies and flowers alike .
As a biodynamic gardener I use various preparations of nettle for the compost or the Barrel Compost , a mixture of eggshells, cow manure , nettle and crushed basalt , which later I dilute in water and use when I transplant or for young trees , or in any place nurturing is needed.
When I first started to garden seven and a half years ago , my first thought was to invite powerful allies for healing, protection and soul nourishment.
I grew Nettle from seeds purchased from Turtle Tree Seed . And then every fall and spring I replanted the roots around the perimeter of our back yard and in the center of my veggie garden. It took off spreading fast and healing the clay dirt beneath.
Rheumatism , anyone? Try some fresh nettle : brush it with your hands or let your knees touch it. The formic acid contained within it is a great cure although it will give some a skin rush.
At first i thought she could be invasive . Gently she taught me otherwise. All plants do great in her vicinity. Competition into cooperation. This is what I have learned. A Mars influenced plant acts like a true worrier but with a very compassionate heart.
And the fresh leaves make a green dye for natural fibers ,the stems harvested , softened and carded will give a beautiful , strong fiber which can be weaved into a very fine fabric or twisted in a rope.
So next time you meet some in a garden or out in the wild befriend it and honor it for its humbleness and the awesome gifts.