“Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilties, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.” Richard Louv
Listen to the podcast and/or read the text, my relationship with nettles begins.
For those of you who prefer reading or for people who are learning English and wish to read and listen, here’s the text of the podcast episode.
I have decided to go in a slightly different direction with this podcast, hence the name change, Nature to Heart. The goal of this podcast is to get closer to nature and by doing this maybe even help ourselves to heal and evolve.
Lately I have found myself wanting to connect in a deeper way with nature, to connect at on energetic level. I have decided to start by experiencing plants, looking at what symbolism they may hold and how they may help us physically by eating them.
I would also like to add that this podcast is for information purposes only, I am not a doctor or qualified herbalist so how a plant affects me may not be true for everyone. I do research the plants I eat and never try anything if I am unsure what it is.
The plants I would like to look at today is the nettle. stinging nettles going by the Latine name of Urtica Dioica. To begin with let’s look at its meaning, what symbolism do stinging nettles hold for us. When looking at the meaning I believe first and foremost it is a personal matter.
For me, perhaps, they remind me of my childhood and looking around for a dock leaf if we got stung. They remind me of summer holidays as we would always play outside so the occasional sting was inevitable. Of course it wasn’t a plant we picked and admired, because of its sting Nettles could be said to symbolise pain and cruelty but it could also symbolise protection as it protects itself with its sting, it is a plant that commands respect and a wide birth if you are wearing shorts.
As far as eating its leaves, it really is a bomb of nutrients, the first time I boiled it for a short time then lightly cooked it in olive oil with other herbs and chillies. It was rather nice and I prefer it to spinach. If you do decide to experiment with nettles do read up on the best way to harvest, store and cook them. For obvious reasons it should not be used in salads; cooking and drying eliminates the sting in the nettles.
Some of the nutrients nettle leaves contain are vitamins A, C and K plus several B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, useful fats and all the essential amino acids, these are but a few of the nutritional benefits we can get from this plant.
Of course check with your doctor or a qualified person before trying nettles if you are on medication. As I said before I’m not an expert this podcast is simply a kind of diary of my journey into nature.
One afternoon I went to pick a few nettles to dry out, I decided that I would listen to the nettles too. For those of you who know me, you’ll be aware that I have a little device that reads the vibrations of the plants and translates them into MIDI notes which can then be played as music via a synthesizer. The following is the music of a nettle that I listened to growing in a little wood. There are moments of silence so don’t think the recording has stopped, plants also have moments of silence, just like we do.