THE HUMBLE NETTLE / URTICA DIOICA

After an eternity of drought, this year's wild nettle harvest looks heavenly. These days I pick them with gloves (If I can find them), or just pull my jumper sleeves over my hands, and shade-dry them hanging up in old potato sacks or vintage linen cushion covers before extracting them into Demeter biodynamic olive oil with only the warmth of Sunlight over 4-6 months.

This slow and long method of whole pant extraction yields a whole, well-rounded spectrum of this humble plant's healing properties, and preserves heat sensitive Ursulic acid, one of the many skin preserving compounds found in stinging nettle that rejuvenates photo-aged skin, prevents elastin degradation and helps build ceramides, important lipids needed to form and reform the skin’s natural barrier.

The two long leaves at the bottom left are narrow leaf plantain, a natural and ultra effective antidote to nettle stings, which have a lot more ouch in this country for reasons I don't know. By foresight of Nature, plantain often grows alongside nettles – you rub the chewed or squashed plantain leaves into the stings and the severity of the pain subsides almost immediately.

What we don't use in our skincare, we use in teas or cooking – they are a fantastic mineral powerhouse to smuggle into children's food, as they become slightly creamy with cooking, a bit like Okra. The teenager will never know.

Find Nettle leaf, stem and root extract in our reforming night serum ZEN MATCHA CASHMERE. A fresh Taurus New Moon batch is up on our site now.