Nettle Soup is my favourite wild recipe. As the years have gone by, each year I find out more and more about this wild and very common plant and it has become a favourite for me.

Astrologically the stinging nettle plant is ruled by the planet Mars, which gives me a strong affinity as an Aries with Scorpio rising – both signs are ruled by Mars. Nettle is also a most useful herb for men as it consists of proteins, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, along with vitamins A, C, D, and B complex. Nettle has a high amount of iodine which is central for thyroid gland efficiency as it regulates the body’s “internal thermostat.” It also makes a tasty beer!

Botanically the plant is described thus: a perennial plant which grows upto 2 to 3 feet in height and erect in summer dying down to the ground in winter. It has a creeping and widely spreading root, which is yellow in colour with rhizomes and stolon. The leaves are borne opposite on the stem and they are about 3- 15 cm long. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. The leaves and stems are hairy with both stinging and non stinging hairs which turns to a needle when touched and injects a mixture of histamine and formic acid thus causing the irritation and because of this it derives the common name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel. They bear small greenish or brownish 4-merous flowers in dense axillary inflorescences.