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Purple Deadnettle-Lamium purpureum

Nettles are my favorite medicinal herbs.
Purple Dead-nettle, or Purple Archangel (Lamium purpureum) is a member of the mint family.
Its bright red-purple flowers are a prominent source of pollen for bees in March-April, when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest.
Humble-bee on a purple dead-nettle
The entire plant is edible,very nutritious, high in iron, vitamins and fiber. The top leaves of young plants are good in salads and if finely chopped it can also be used in sauces.

Purple dead-nettle flower

Medicinal uses:

Purple Dead-nettle is used as an astringent, diuretic, purgative and tonic. Lab tests show that Lamium purpureum seed oil possess high antioxidant activities.

Purple dead-nettle-Lamium purpureum
The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.

The leaves are also useful to staunch wounds, when bruised and outwardly applied.

Purple dead-nettle flower plant
Purple Dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum) is often confused with its sister, the Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule).
Their flowers are similar pink-purple but their leaves are more distinctive; Lamium purpureum leaves are more triangular shaped and youngest leaves are purple and have petioles while Lamium amplexicaule leaves are round shaped with rounded teeth along their edge.
Lamium purpureum
Lamium+amplexicaule-Henbit

RECIPES:

Medicinal tea: Add 2 tbsp. fresh or dried herb to 1 cup water steep for 10 min. strain and drink in 1/2 cup doses, for laxative, and general tonic.

Pot Herb: Boil flowers and young leaves in water for 25 to 30 min. drain, season to taste. It can be cooked the same way as spinach. It has an astringent taste.

Lamium amplexicaule

5 comments:

SquirrelQueen said...

Such a beautiful plant and useful as well. I prefer natural medicines and always enjoy hearing more about plants like this one.

Your macro shots are beautiful, great capture of the bee.

Kathy said...

I've never seen a nettle this pretty! The nettles where I grew up grew in cow pasture and had stickery things are over them!

Naturedigital said...

Beautiful photographs. Great Colors.
Costas

leavesnbloom said...

Just this week I was taking photos of our wild lamium album that is just out in flower. I am about to make a purchase this weekend of a new lamium for my garden - not sure what the colour of flower is but it has silvery leaves with blotches of deep pink.

The other type of nettles I keep well clear of but I suppose they would have lovely flowers if a photo was taken in macro.

Kilauea Poetry said...

Fantastic..you even have directions for the tea besides including the beneficial medicinal info!! The bee is delighful on the irrisitable purple! Thanks Maia..hope your enjoying your weekend,
Regina-

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