3 N’s for the Nose: Neti, Nasya, and Nettles by Tom Wolfe
Part 3: Nettles
“Boiled with barley and eaten as a porridge several times a day, the fresh or dried leaves of sister spinster stinging Nettle loosen and bring up deep congestion without irritating sensitive respiratory tissues…Considered a specific for adults with asthmatic allergies, Nettle tincture is used for acute care, and the infusion for restorative and healing care.”
Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise p175
“The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind”
BKS Iyengar author of Light on Yoga
Part 3: Nettles
Nettles, Urtica dioca is the primary herb for inflamed sinuses I would recommend from 35 years of medical herbalism. According to Susun Weed “Old wive’s stories circulate of people who cured themselves of severe lung diseases with daily use of Nettle. Try a half cup serving of Nettle greens several times a week for up to three months repeated for several years or drink up to two cups of Nettle infusion daily for the same amount of time.”
Sister Nettle is the first herb I recommend for building the strength of upward moving air (Udhana Vayu). Upward moving air allows us to speak, sing, shout, and stated simply, to express fully our thought, emotions and spirit. How important is that? Nettles, Dandelion and Lemon Balm are the first herbs greening in the spring around here and Nettles is the strongest for building the breath and protecting our respiration. Dandelion helps heal the liver and makes water flow, Lemon Balm soothes the digestive system from start to finish, but sister Nettles is the choice of the first herbs up in the Spring for keeping the sinuses free. Each year in the spring no matter how much we order we always seem to run out of Nettles. Nettle leaves can be purchased by the ounce dried in cut and sifted form, capsules or in liquid tincture. Nettle tea made from the dried leaves can be enjoyed as a full bodied herbal beverage, or used in a neti pot to tone the mucus membranes in the nose and throat. Nettle capsules are an easy way to get more physical volume of the leaves Nettles in your bloodstream. Nettle tincture is the European herbal traditions way of preserving herbs and is very convenient to measure and to use on a daily basis.
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Nettles also remain green late into the season but one must remember that she has another name, which is Stinging Nettle. So handle this sister carefully especially when fresh and remember as she says in a poem I wrote: “I am she who heals if understood, yet burns if handled without care, knower of the element of wood (Udhana)”. This sister can be one of your best herbal Friends and she loves to help you clear you upward moving air so you can be yourself and speak your Truth fully without blockage. She will attend tenderly to your noble nose.
In short (as the poem continues) “Nettles is one tough lady who grows behind fences. Yet healer sublime when you can get beyond her defenses”
In conclusion your nose is too big to fail. Breath connects us to our energy and emotions, and inspiration means both the first primary breath (Prana Vayu) and spirit within. Our nose is our connection to the air outside us that becomes part of the spirit within us. So I say unto you the nose is too big in importance to allow to fail.
In Good Health,