Nettle has a lot, a lot of bling. Or more appropriately a lot of bite, referring to sting of nettle leaves. Although nettle has heart-shaped leaves, with pretty yellow or pink flowers, the stem is covered in tiny, stiff hairs that release stinging chemicals when touched. The history of nettle stems from Egyptian antiquity, to the Roman Empire to the Scots soups. Its biological name is "Urtica Dioica" associated with the Latin word "uro" meaning "I bite" which has stuck with nettle. Still both bling and bite fit this intense, multipurpose herb.

Those "biting" leaves of nettle can be dried and used as powders, tinctures, creams, teas, beer and even cloth found from the Bronze age. As a medicinal nettle is high in nutrients and may help reduce inflammation, manage blood sugar, lower blood pressure, hay fever as well as other conditions. There's a lot to nettle; more medicinal, culinary and that which has yet to be discovered for those willing to withstand its sting.

It's not far-fetched to consider a connection between nettle herb and the practice of mindfulness. Although the great benefits arrive from simply sitting and being quiet, mindfulness like nettle is multipurpose. Some may find the stillness of mindfulness a bit of a sting at first, however, if you stick with it, the practice you'll discover its many benefits. Mindfulness offers the opportunity to just calm down; to rest the body and to relax the mind. In this way mindfulness can help lower blood pressure, ease migraine and body aches. Of course, mindfulness can help clear your mind, open awareness and invite awakening.

The purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace.

Edward Thomas

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