It is interesting to note that prior to my mishap, I was looking at ways to maintain and improve bone health through foods and herbs.
|How the young nettles looked a week or so ago.|
The sting of nettle leaves and stems disappears once the plant is cooked or dried, but I have only a mild reaction to the plant's formic acid contained in little hairs on the leaves and stalks, and even in the roots. Some people have more robust reactions. The juice of any dock species (Rumex) serves as an antidote to the nettle sting. Just crush dock leaves or stems and apply the juice. Plantain also will provide some relief. Some other Urtica species give a wallop far greater than this helpful plant, including one tropical species that can be fatally toxic.
|How nettles look now.|
Humans have used nettles for thousands of years as medicine, food, animal fodder and fiber. Nettle is a great nourisher for women, enriching the blood and other areas of the body. According to Susun Weed, some menopausal women have had their menses return after frequent use of nettles. I had intended to take advantage of the spreading patch of nettles at the back of my garden this year, to nourish my glandular system and tone the whole body. Now my need for healing highlights my need for this herb. Nettle has so many uses in nourishing and healing the body that it would take a lot of blog to cover them all here. I highly recommend that you find a copy of Susun Weed's "Healing Wise" and read what she says about nettle. I also will try to add information in future blogs.
|Mature nettles sporting their tiny flowers.|
Comfrey provides a very energetic healing action. One should be absolutely certain that a wound is clean (be sure no infection is present, as well) and that broken bone ends are properly aligned before using comfrey for it will almost immediately begin knitting things together.
Unfortunately, it is too early to find comfrey leaves in my garden. I am taking homeopathic comfrey, known as Symphytum (the genus name for comfrey), which was recommended by a friend. I also purchased some dried comfrey leaf and horsetail (Equisetum) to make a bone nourishing tea.
Both comfrey and nettles are easy to grow. Too easy perhaps. You must be sure that you plant nettle in a place where she can run to her heart's content. Nettles are related to mints, and expand their territory by underground rhizomes. Once you plant comfrey, it is extremely difficult to move it out of the area. Essentially, you simple expand your crop, rather than move it, because its roots extend deeply and any piece left behind will become a new plant.
|Comfrey in May.|
|Bumblebees love to sip from comfrey blossoms, so this plant |
supports this native pollinator.
We also can use nettle hay to feed our chickens (when we get them), which not only will make the hens healthier but make their eggs a richer food source for us.
It is amazing to know that these two hardy, robust and easy to grow plants are so nourishing to myself and my gardens.