Nettles, at this point in my life, are my spirit plant. I have always noticed nettles, and found them irresistibly fascinating, with their dainty stems and fuzzy, jagged leaves and potent sting.
A few months ago at the Spiritweavers Gathering, I listened to a woman plant healer from The Gaia School of Healing speak about nettles, and the profound health benefits that they can provide us. I learned about their potent cleansing ability to the lymphatic system......
"Nettle plants grow wild across the U.S., Europe and around the globe; they are used for both medicinal purposes and as food. Highly nutritious, the prickly plant is often used as a spring tonic. It's a natural cleanse that removes metabolic wastes and is both gentle and stimulating on the lymph system, promoting easy excretion through the kidneys. All parts of the nettle plant are used; and it's available in a wide variety of medicines ranging from dried leaf, to ointments, tinctures, homeopathic remedies and herbal extracts." -NaturalNews
I learned about the mineral and vitamin support that they provide, especially for women....
"Nettle is high in iron making it excellent for combating anemia and fatigue. It supports the liver and the female hormonal system. Pregnant women benefit from stinging nettle as it protects against bleeding and strengthens the fetus. Known as a galactagogue, it promotes milk production in nursing mothers. Stinging nettles reduces PMS symptoms, processes estrogen to relieve menopausal symptoms and curbs excess menstrual flow. It's often used in herbal tonics to remove fibroids and regulate the menstrual flow." - NaturalNews
I learned about how the personality of the nettle is to be nurturing, but to set firm boundaries. This is the lesson we get to take from the nettles healing power and potent sting. And I don't know about you, but as a mother of young children I can use all the support in being nurturing and setting firm boundaries that I can possibly get!
Have you been stung by a nettle before? If the answer is yes, than you are familiar with the feel of a nettle sting. As I write, my thumb feels the shooting electricity of a nettle sting, a feeling which registers as a mix of mild pain and itch. This sensation is a reaction to contact with an acidic compound on the nettles surface, concentrated in the underside of the leaf. And this sting, miraculously, can be instantly halted and soothed by the nettles sister plant, dock, which is always growing along side it.
The dock plant contains an alkaline compound that nuetralizes the sting of it's sister. So cool, right?