Purple Dead Nettle – Lamium purpureum

Purple Dead Nettle
Purple Dead Nettle

I seek you in whispers of the wind

and hues of the rainbow till you show up with the Spring

to remind me of your very presence within me.

–  Unknown

This winter annual is one of the first flowers in spring to bloom in my lawn. It was originally a native of Eurasia. Evidence of deadnettle has been found in Bronze Age deposits. It was believed in the old days to be a plague brought onto the fields by the unrighteous. An old name for this plant is ‘Archangels’ and is believed to refer to the Clusters of hooded flowers that surround the top of the plant like a choir of robed people.

The entire plant is astringent, and a decoction of the plant is useful for stopping 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, being useful in cases of chill.

The fresh leaves can be eaten raw or cooked as a potherb. Being high in iron, vitamins and fiber it is very nutritious.

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