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I harvested a ton of stinging nettles today with the intent to make an infusion with it, sautee it along with meals, and try it in a hair tonic. It was recommended to me by a friend when I mentioned to him I’d been suffering from inexplicable fatigue the past few days. We put on some gloves, grabbed some scissors, and walked down to a massive patch at the foot of the garden.

These plants are fighters! They actually sting you. Covered in tiny spindly hairs, each hair has a microscopic ball of chemicals on its end. When you touch it, the hairs become needles and inject you with the chemicals, causing a burning and numbing sting, much like that of a bee sting. You’ll notice your skin reacting as if it were stung by an insect – it becomes raised and inflamed. I was handling them seven hours ago and my fingers still tingle from the stings I received. Apparently a number of people self-flagellate with stinging nettles because of its stimulating effects on the muscles and itch-relief.

If you can bear the pain, the payoff is enormous. Stinging nettles are used to treat an unthinkable¬† number of illnesses and other causes of dis-ease, ranging from gout to eczema to allergies to anemia. It helps women lactate and endure more bearable menstruation periods. As a food it’s incredibly rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, as well as iron and protein. This plant is magical!!! Go pick some and nourish yourself with it. I ate a bunch of it raw today by folding the leaves up carefully and rolling them into a small ball to release the stinging chemicals before popping it onto my tongue.

I also picked some garlic mustard, which tastes delightfully just as its name describes. I sauteed it with some tomatoes, chard, and garbanzo beans and topped pasta with it, along with some ground flax meal and nutritional yeast for dinner. Awesome.

Walk outside. Look at all the life beings that so readily capture the mysterious essence of light and morph it into respiration, nutrition, universal mothership. The light wants to feed you. The earth wants to feed you. Partake!

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