27.3.17

Der Daabnessel

Do not sell me short!



I am Purple Deadnettle, also known as Archangel, known in Deitsch as Daabnessel (which in modern Deitsch literally means "deaf nettle" but "daab" carries a second meaning of "barren" or "dead"; therefore, dead nettle, with the reference being to the lack of the sting), and by the taxonomic name of Lamium purpureum.

Although my name says "nettle," I am not related to the amazing plant, Urtica dioica or other "true" nettles. Instead, my squarish stem will serve as a clue about which family I am truly in. I am a mint. I may not smell as pleasant as Spearmint or Peppermint, but I have some of the same medicinal properties as they do.


I am an astringent, a diuretic, and a purgative. I carry within me antioxidants, Vitamin C, and flavonoids such as quercetin. I have been shown to have some effectiveness against e. coli (see your doctor if you suspect this!), and my essential oil contains Germacrene D, which gives me antimicrobial properties.

I may be a little tough to eat in a salad, though people do make use of my generous self. More commonly, though, I am consumed as a tea, often alongside other early spring greens.

I flower early in the year, thus providing a food source for mammals and insects. Despite the fact that Germacrene D also has insecticidal properties, other aspects of my being attract some insects as well. I am one of those plants whose seeds have elaiosomes, which ants love to eat. They take my seeds and help to scatter them, thus reminding us of the Zusaagpflicht or sacred duty that exists among plants, animals, and humans.

I have some traditional (and not necessarily happy!) lore associated with me among the Deitsch (Pennsylvania Germans or Pennsylvania Dutch).

A strong stand of Purple Deadnettle appearing in the Fall is said to divine a mild winter.


Also, if someone is very ill, then the urine of that person is to be collected at night and poured onto Purple Deadnettles. If the Deadnettles were yellow or dying the next morning, then the ailing person should be expected to die from the current ailment. If the Purple Deadnettles were still green, then the person would be expected to overcome the ailment.

In this day and age, chemical companies tell you that I am nothing but a blight on your lawns and encourage you to poison me. By doing so, you are also poisoning the insects and animals that feed off me and dumping the poison into your soil and your water supply. I know I am persistent and I go to seed before most people even start to mow their grass, but turning the soil will usually cause me to look elsewhere for a home. If the lawn is something that you enjoy, thick turf will often discourage me from moving in to begin with.

Crossposted from the Deitsch Herbalism website, 

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Disclaimer: This information is for educational and discussion purposes only. Nothing in these posts is intended to constitute, or should be considered, medical advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider. As always, your health is your responsibility. Consult with a doctor before using any herbal remedy or preventative.

15.3.17

Heesses Wasser Uffschtand

Fries' Rebellion is the last significant Deitsch uprising. It is named after John Fries, who was a hero of the Whiskey Rebellion but who was also considered a traitor as a result of the rebellion that bears his name in English. The Deitsch name, Heesses Wasser Uffschtand (Hot Water Uprising), relates to the Deitsch women who chased away the tax collectors using boiling water as a weapon.

Had Fries' Rebellion been successful, life in the Deitscherei might be very different today. This was a watershed event in Deitsch history, and a presentation at Goschenhoppen tomorrow affords us with a great opportunity to learn about the causes of the rebellion.

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Goschenhoppen
Red Men's Hall
216 Gravel Pike
Green Lane, PA 



20.11.16

Yuletide Sock Drive

Socks are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters, but they are also one of the least-donated items.

From December 17, 2016 (Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Parade of Spirits) through January 1, 2016, Distelfink Sippschaft will be collecting new, unworn socks for folks in need. We need all sizes, from baby to adult male. Practical socks, fun socks, fuzzy socks, holiday socks, argyle socks are all needed!

Stock up stacks of socks and stockings and help to bring warmth to the feet of those in need this Yuletide!

Contact Robert L. Schreiwer (schreiwer@urglaawe.org) for collection sites. The first location will be at Parade of Spirits/Krampuslauf in Liberty Lands Park (December 17, 2016 at 3:30 PM, Liberty Lands Park, Philadelphia, PA).

Donations will be directed to homeless shelters in the Delaware Valley.

8.8.16

Still Adding to the Lexicon

Lest folks think that this site is inactive, please visit the listings of words that are missing from the dictionaries. We are still adding to them!

15.12.15

Photos from Krampuslauf Philadelphia 2015: Parade of Spirits

Most of our photos came from the preparation period because it was difficult to take photos while marching, but there were other people taking photographs of the parade along the marching route. Hopefully we will be able to share more in the future. Featured in our photos are Mike Hicks in his debut in the role of Belsnickel. Robert L. Schreiwer reprised his 2013 role as Gedreier Eckhart, the leader of the Wild Hunt from Deitsch lore. Andria Carpentier marched as a spirit in the Hunt and assisted others with makeup. Corrine Johnson delighted the crowd with her stunning handmade Yule Cat (from Icelandic lore) costume. Joe Barrett and other folks formed a group of Yule Lads. 


Channel 17 has some great pics posted, particularly from the fire performers!


Once again, Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Parade of Spirits has exceeded our expectations. This wondrous, grassroots, community- and participant-driven event continues to grow and to flourish in the City of Brotherly Love.

4.12.15

Old Deitsch Units of Measure

Occasionally, we come across old units of measure that are not commonly known anymore. These units appear most in Braucherei and Blanzeheilkunscht (herbalism) contexts, but they can also turn up in other segments of the Deitsch culture, too. Some, particularly Loth, Blech, and Zoll, still turn up as live units in some charms and recipes, though the content of each as a unit is not always consistent in different areas.

These units are complicated by very few stated conversions historically. The list is further complicated by similar names in obsolete German units of measurement, many of which range widely from one region to another. There are some references to the English equivalents of some of the Deitsch measurements. For example, one may find a description of the Fuus and Baufuus measurements in the Autumn 1969 issue of Pennsylvania Folklife.

An ongoing list of the old Deitsch measurement units appears on the Maaseenheide page of the Blanzeheilkunscht site.

6.10.15

Deitschdaag


On this date in 1683, the first permanent settlers arrived to Philadelphia, marking the beginning of the great migration from the German-speaking lands.

Hail to those who made the voyage and laid the foundation!