- De Astro-Herborist
Nettles in the house!
Spring is season of growth. It's also the time of year during which our body most easily absorbs nutrients. After all, we keep growing and rebuilding ourselves too.
Asides having medicinal value, some herbs also count as food: they have nutrional value. Nettles (Urtica dioica), for instance, is full of iron, and this time of year is excellent for making use of it. Iron, by the way, is very much present on planet MARS, and Nettles (Grote Brandnetel/ Ortie) strongly embodies this planet.
MARS activates/modulates the Warrior archetype in us. Nettles stings on the outside, but it's anti-inflammatory on the inside. It cleanses and builds the blood, the seeds have an affinity for the adrenals (which are involved in the fight or flight response), and the roots are used for male reproductive issues (benign enlargement of the prostate gland). The leaves are highly diuretic.
On a psychological level, it helps create strong bounderies, or tone those down if we're too hot-headed already. Because maybe we are easily irritated and tend to overreact - to people ... and to pollen and other allergens - Nettles is used for allergies.
To make the most of Nettle's iron content (and other minerals!), allow a whole lot of dried leaves to steep overnight in hot water, filter out the herbs with a cloth in the morning and (reheat before you) drink it. Adding salt or mint can improve the taste.
Given that nettles leaves are highly diuretic, one should make sure to drink enough water when using it. Don't use nettle leaves when suffering from water retention if it is due to heart or kidney issues. Careful with nettles if you have a history of kidney stones. Nettles builds the blood so if you have issues around blood clotting then do check with your physician first! Avoid the leaves during pregnancy (in fact - careful with any plant during pregnancy) and avoid both the leaves and the roots during lactation.
Great tonic during the months BEFORE pregnancy though! (It strenghtens the muscles you need for carrying and bearing the child, and of course it's highy nourrishing)