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.
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.
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.
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 (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
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.