Dehradun, Sept. 23 -- "Kandali" (Urtica dioica), commonly known as stinging nettle, is a green, leafy, dense, hardy and herbaceous plant, that often grows to about 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height.

It is a naturally prevalent perennial shrub in Chamoli of Garhwal Himalayas, and grows from an extensive labyrinth of rhizomes, that reproduces by vegetative propagation.

The moist and shady conditions are conducive for it to thrive in abundance, which is from sea-level to sub-alpine (11,500 feet). I have clear images in my mind, of my first brush with "Kandali/Bichhu Booti" during our summer break visits with Mummy, Papa and my brother Akshaya, to our paternal grandparents living in Kimni, a beautiful

hamlet in Tharali, district Chamoli. My in...