Sunday, May 8, 2011
Purple Dead Nettle
Description:Purple Dead Nettle is a member of the mint family it has a square stem, no basal leaves and the lower leaves are dark green and have short petioles, all leaves are hairy, and are circular in outline with 'scalloped' margins, becoming more purple-red and smaller in the upper leaves. The flowers grow in whorls of 3-6 in the upper leaves. Purple-red in color the flowers are tubular blooming year round. Purple Dead Nettle is a favorite for bees and butterflies, who find abundance of honey in its blossoms. When poulitced it smells like freshly husked corn.
An annual herb believed to be a native of Europe, now found world-wide and growing in most any situation or soil, mainly in the temperate regions.
Medicinal/Edible:The leaves and flowers can be cooked or added raw to salads & smoothies. The plant is very nutritious, high in iron, vitamins and fiber. The whole plant is medicinal, used as an astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, and tonic.
The entire plant is astringent, and a decoction of the plant is useful for stopping & checking of any type of hemorrage. The fresh bruised leaves can be poulticed to any external cut or wound. The dried plant, made into a tea with honey, encourages perspiration & acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.