קראָפּעווע (kropeve) or
בריִעכץ (briekhts - related to scalding)
Has anyone else noticed the plants where they live seem larger than usual? This year, so many plants in our garden have grown leaves much more robust than I remember from years past. Nettle is one of these.
When we were researching our book, I had a conversation with an older Jewish man who was a survivor of the second World War from Riga, Latvia. He laughed when he confirmed for me that when he lived in eastern Europe, people there still applied stinging nettles to areas of the body that were afflicted with arthritis. This is an ancient practice that has given relief from discomfort and pain for millenia and it was thrilling to hear that Ashkenazim were still partaking of this medicinal herbal remedy well into the twentieth century. And you may be surprised to learn that nettles was only one of hundreds of plants herbal healers relied on in the former Pale of Settlement.
We're currently working on a follow up to Ashkenazi Herbalism that continues the story of our first book, broadening the scope and adding many new plants to the 26 we list in our first book. We hope you'll continue this journey with us and please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments in the meantime!