Here is a little information about nettle hydrosol, and part of the story of how it was made. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I will be happy to chat about it.
You can find a translation I have rendered of an entry in The Garden of Blossoms about nettle here.
Nettle Hydrosol is a lively and vibrant distillate with multiple purposes. It is not strictly an “aromatic”, although it certainly does have a scent. I would describe this as earthy, vibrant and verdant. My husband described it like “being inside a pea pod” which I think is also quite accurate. It is very encompassing, grounding and holding.
If you are unfamiliar with hydrosols, you can find more information here on the site about distillation. They are the water products of hydro/steam distillation, which I practice with a traditional copper alembic. Other famous hydrosols are rose water and orange blossom water, which are the water product of distilling rose petals and orange blossoms respectively. They are useful, healing and beautiful natural products which have a multitude of culinary, medicinal, spiritual and cosmetic purposes.
Here are some of the uses of nettle hydrosol:
“Nettle has a high iron content, vitamin C and chlorophyll, which makes it a great blood builder. This resonance with the blood is important when working on grounding and centring, as the blood is the carrier of our incarnation and materialization. Rudolf Steiner described nettled as being “permeated by the force of iron, linked to man’s rhythmic organization”” – Cathy Skipper
Medicinal: Fortifier, diuretic, anti-allergic, re-mineralizing, digestive stimulant. You can also incorporate into a tea or tincture, e.g. nettle hydrosol + nettle tea, for deep adrenal replenishment (application: spray on the body/face, or into a cup with water/tea to drink)
Cosmetic: Strengthening and balancing for skin and hair, fights dandruff and grease (application: spray in the face/hair, make a mask with clay)
Emotional/Spiritual: Nettle’s high iron content and love of nitrogen offer the hydrosol a deeply grounding and supportive energy. Use when feeling low in energy, anxious, in need of re-adjustment or depleted. (application: spray on the face and body, in the room and on the pillow at night)
“Hydrosols are in my opinion useful plant medicines when wanting to use a plant’s inherent vibrational message: nettle hydrosol carries this deep, earthy, nourishing and rhythmic force.” – Cathy Skipper
I have put a provisional “best before” date on this product as hydrosols are fresh products, and because they contain no additives they can expire. For nettle, we usually say to use this hydrosol within 6-12 months, but you can check your hydrosol is still usable by ensuring that it has not changed in smell, taste or colour. If you see any kind of unusual residue, it should be used immediately. In this case, I would add it to a hair wash or clay face mask!
These hydrosols come in 50ml amber glass bottles with spray tops.
This nettle was sustainably harvested from the wild on a damp day in late spring. I harvested a mixture of very young and moderately mature leaves to give this hydrosol a depth of vibrancy, and they were picked carefully from some isolated hedgerows. It was prepared during the last ten days of Ramadan, which are a particularly holy set of days in the Islamic calendar.
The hydrosol was made with spring water. During the process, I read prayers of protection over the distillate, to ask it to be a blessing to those who use it, that it be useful and beautiful, and that all who make/use it be blessed through it. Since it was Ramadan, I made a particular intention that the blessings of that month be imbued into the distillate.
It was strange that I decided to distill that day, but I felt particularly called to. I wrote this about the experience on the day:
“I haven’t experimented much with the less aromatic distillates yet, mostly because in fes we are so blessed with an abundance of aromatics. But this meeting was special.
Nettle is an energetic and lively plant to distill, and brought back plenty of childhood memories with joy and delight through the distillation journey.
Its scent is vibrant and earthy, and its action is grounding and centring. It was distinctly different to distilling many of the heart medicines I work with, but felt more encompassing, settling and whole than some.
Nettle’s affinity with the blood seemed to speak to my own cycles as it triggered the coming of my own blood. That felt sweet, and somehow funny, because nettle seems to always have a sense of humour. I had a sting on my finger from the morning foraging, which would tingle at intervals to remind me that nettle was still here.”
Strangely enough, it was on the day of my first menstrual cycle the following month that I felt called to bottle these hydrosols up after their maturation period. It was only later I realised that I had distilled on the same day of my previous cycle. Something in this felt very telling to me, and was a particularly strong message from the plant. It was reminding me of its affinity to the blood, its restorative properties, and perhaps also asking me to embrace a more cyclical and rhythmic way of being. I’m sure I’m still learning its lessons.
I have loved using this product throughout the early days of this cycle, and misting the hydrosol on my body has been giving me a deep sense of grounding, encompassing, love and replenishment. I feel its effects emotionally and spiritually in particular, and a few sprays on my hands or face are enough to make me feel much more settled.