On our journey back to the light, we have moved through the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, (known by many fairies and elves across the world as “Imbolc”) and later this month we will embrace the Spring Equinox with its equal balance of dark and light. Now is really the perfect time of year to honour the literal and metaphorical seeds that are stirring below, and beginning to break through, the surface. What fertile seeds have you planted that are ready for nurturing to grow within yourself? Are there any intentions or wellness goals that you may have envisioned for this year that are thirsty and ready for further watering?
Amongst many other plant medicines and herbs, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is one powerful plant ally that can support us in becoming the most vital and vibrant versions of ourselves. After the dark spell of Winter, Nettle is breaking through the surface with a richness in calcium, magnesium, and iron to name but a few of the essential gifts she brings with her. This multi-vitamin superfood has also traditionally been used to treat rheumatism, arthritis, prostate and kidney issues, eczema, hay-fever, allergies, and is a potent diuretic.
One little known gift that Nettle brings is the teaching of presence; as my co-worker and dear friend Jason Greenwood showed me in action one day here at the Farm(acy), when you give Nettle your complete focus and attention and make gentle contact with her at first while harvesting bare-handed, she does not sting you; as soon as your mind wanders and you lose focus, she lets you know! From first (bare) hand experience, I can say that when I consciously approached the plant with a humble and loving focus, and made contact in a gentle and present way, I could visibly see the stingers go down and was able to harvest with ease. And when my mind wandered, well, I was quickly inspired to pay attention again! Crazy you say? If you are open to this practice in mindfulness and it resonates with you, try it, we say!
Nettle is one of the main certified organic ingredients in our Winter Wizard tea, (which is now also available by the cup/pot at the Duncan Garage Café!) and in one of our tincture blends made locally from fresh herbs here at the Folki Herb Farm.