There is a reason she is so often written about, so often chosen as one of our greatest plant allies.
Her supportive properties are so numerous, her aid to our body so all-encompassing, I could write pages and pages of all she gifts to us.
For now though, I’ll speak on what she is gifting and teaching me.
Rewind a bit, to just over two years ago, when I was pregnant with my son.
My family and I were at a local orchard picking apples, and though the rows between the trees were mowed, the areas directly under the trees were not.
My husband was getting the closest to the trees, as he could reach up higher and his balance was better (as I was about 7 months pregnant).
He was wearing knee length cargo shorts, and moments after stepping away from one of the apple trees, his ankles and calves had red itchy bumps.
He commented on how he must have gotten mosquito or gnat bites, but he almost never gets bitten before I do (I’m a mosquito magnet) and when I saw the welts on his legs, I noticed that they didn’t look much like bites.
I stepped closer to the apple tree, and saw, hiding in the grasses, patches of stinging nettle.
I laughed and told him it wasn’t bugs – it was nettle!!
Now, it’s rather interesting to note that, though I was familiar with nettle in dried form, having had nettle tea and tincture before, and seen her briefly in old plant plate drawings, I had never actually seen her fresh and in the wild.
But somehow, before I even realized what I was doing, I was identifying and going on and on about the benefits of nettle. It was a surreal moment…a moment I look back on and realize that I was REMEBERING. I had this knowing in me, this recognition, about this plant ally that I didn’t even realize was there.
Of course I googled a picture to be sure, because my head and logic decided they should check to make sure my heart and intuition were correct…and they were.
Now fast forward to the birth of my son. I had a successful VBAC with the aid of a wonderful team of nurses and my midwife, however two ours after his birth, I had a massive hemorrhage.
I was one point away (in terms of iron count in my blood) from needing a blood transfusion, that’s how much I lost.
Enter the wonderful NETTLE!! I immediately started taking her in the hospital during recovery as a tincture, that also contained dandelion and yellow dock.
I continued taking that tincture for almost a year.
At the time, I didn’t know anything about infusions, otherwise I’d have added those as well.
And that brings us to this year, at the end of May. With my son still breastfeeding, my husband losing his job, moving for his new job and honestly, not nourishing myself as much as I could/should have been, I wasn’t eating enough, I was flat out depleted.
I began to have severe anxiety like I’ve never known (and I’ve known anxiety)…so intense that I felt like I was going to lose my stomach and bowels all at the same time.
Every noise made me jump. I couldn’t sleep. The list goes on.
I had multiple blood tests done, all coming back normal.
I had been, on and off, drinking oatstraw infusions, and though it was comforting to me, I wasn’t drinking it often enough.
“Drink nettle” my body kept telling me, louder and louder.
“But you don’t like the taste” my mind told me.
Finally, one day my body just went into survival mode. I couldn’t get up, anxiety was more like a panic attack and I felt like I was dying.
I asked my husband to bring me my nettle tincture, and start water boiling for an infusion of nettle.
Long story short-ened (haha), I have been drinking nettle every day since (I also add a bit of red raspberry)…I’ve missed a day here and there and I can tell almost immediately.
I have been able to eat more, I have better sleep, less anxiety, my energy is stabilizing.
Nettle is my plant ally lifeline.
Her stalk is strong, and sure, calling to mind a strong backbone to support her prolific leaves.
I love that those leaves have a myriad of little veins running through them, making me imagine her nourishing gifts running through our veins, our nerves, gently but effectively supporting our every system.
I admire that she can be grown by seed or by her quick to spread rhizomes – she gifts us with her nourishment so bountifully!!
And She feels so grounding to me, when taken as an infusion – giving me the feeling of being stable and safe.
And I think, looking at her in her fresh wild state, that may be one of her most important gifts – grounding.
We often get (or at least I know I do) caught up in our heads, looking up, searching for “higher” things, the next best thing, to help us or heal us.
Nettle, with her sharp sting, calls us back. Reminds us that we have to be grounded FIRST.
We have to have roots FIRST, before we can grow tall, strong, higher.
She is like the deep roots of the plant world – giving us a sure foundation to build upon, aiding the effectiveness of other plant allies.
Nettle, without a doubt, has become my closest ally and my greatest plant teacher.
Shianne (IG is quintessence_of_life )