One of my favorite herbs. If you’ve ever encountered this magnificent beauty, you will remember it. Here’s a picture of one in my herb garden
She may look innocent, but if you even brush up against her, it feels as if you’ve stuck your hand in fire….. and it feels like that for about 24 hours! Even after that, the skin that she touched remains tender. This is one plant that will not be ignored. I was not surprised to find that Mars is its planetary ruler (Mars rules sharp pointy things like needles and knives) because this little beauty is covered with tiny stinging hairs that are almost invisible.
Ah ha! I was not being whiney! Mrs. M. Grieve, author of A Modern Herbal writes:
“……a burning sensation of pricking, just as if hot irons had been applied, the pain extending and continuing for many hours or even days”
So why would anyone want this plant around? Because it has phenomenal healing properties and once cooked (assuming you can get it into a pot without screaming). It’s an old time remedy for stiff joints and muscle loss; it’s been used as a kidney tonic, bronchial and asthmatic issues, ague (a febrile condition with symptoms of chills, fever and sweating) and goiter according to Mrs. M. Grieve.
I just like it because it tastes great cooked or as a tea and it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals.