Stinging Goddess

A couple of years ago I had the
pleasure of learning my herbs for
a whole year at the Boston
School for Herbal Studies.
I emerged with a certificate
as a Family Herbalist which
really just meant I got to try
out all kinds of teas, infusions,
tincture, salves and lotions
using my family and myself
as guinea pigs.

I did however learn more than
I thought possible and I also
became in tune with the plants.
One of my teachers, Tommy Priester
is a Native American shaman and took us
journeying to the plants in meditation.
When you become in tune with the
plants they will let you know what you
need, sometimes it is a simple as
craving a salad, because your body
is calling for a green cleanse.
In Spring I usually eat a leaf of
dandelion before breakfast because
the bitter taste gets digestion started.

One of my favorite herbs, the
bane of many gardeners and all
those who crave the “perfect”
landscape is Urtica dioica
or Stinging Nettle. And boy it
does sting, but tastes so good
(once cooked it has no sting).

It grows profusely and bears
thousands of seeds, which if you
are not careful, will cause it
to populate your property and
then some, but if trimmed all
during the growing season,
this can be avoided.

It is a tonic herb, full of
vitamins and minerals,
great for the liver and kidneys
along with friend dandelion
and the delicious tea
also makes a great
hair rinse.

Here are the
young shoots growing
in my garden.

I must admit I have let it get a little
out of control, so I spent some time this
weekend pulling unwanted new colonies
that had spread underground on
the roots. Anything you pull makes
a great compost tea, so it doesn’t go
to waste.

One of our favorite ways to eat it
is to saute the tops lightly and then combine
with shredded zucchini, fresh basil or parley
or both and some garlic over spinach fettucine.
It is also great with peppers in veg lasagne.
Nettles even make a nice filling for an omelet
with fresh duck eggs of course.

One of my favorite herbalists
is Rosemary Gladstar.
You can read all about her work
at Sage Mountain and United Plant
Savers at the link. She is just so
down to earth and practical,
and her books are easy to use.

I transplanted many plants yesterday afternoon
and had earth all over my hands and feet, which
took quite a while to scrub clean.  I never did
like the feel of garden gloves, I guess I want
to get stuck in and really feel the soil. 
Earth was on my mind as I work on this envelope.

But there is a little
purple and orange
to keep the theme going.

7 Responses to “Stinging Goddess”

  1. lyle April 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    wondered what those leaves were! stinging nettles ! sounds nasty.where is the sting located? do they have burrs or is the whole plant the sting?? no, dont want any! but interesting to read about lyle.

  2. Snap April 6, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    I guess I should have known you are an herb person … sort of E.S.P…. we stick together! When I was much younger and lived in New Mexico, I had the good fortune to meet several wonderful curanderas. My herb garden is very small … just the cooking variety, but I do love them. Love learning about them … love learning! I know what you mean about garden gloves … UGH!

  3. amy April 6, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    I like the envelope! I have a friend that has been doing further herbal studies. I tend to be one that would need to get out and up close with someone to id different plants. I hope I can do some more wildcrafting this summer in a park nearby. Plants are truly amazing aren't they?

  4. Jensters April 6, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Wonderful reading……i dont mind stinging nettles as long as there is a dock leaf near by…lol.

  5. Kim Mailhot April 6, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    So many wonderful gifts to us in the this world. It is good to know that there are people like you promoting the respect they deserve ! The fettucine sounded delish !
    Happy Dirty Playing !

  6. Marilyn Rock April 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    And another talent you have; thanks for sharing about the herbs! They certainly are a lovely plant and many benefits. Love, love, love your mail art!

  7. Jensters April 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Corrine loved your message on my blog, thanks for stopping by x

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