Purple Dead Nettle: A Marvelous Medicinal Herb

Purple Dead Nettle: A Marvelous Medicinal Herb

  1. Spring Vegetable: Purple dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) may appear like a weed, but it’s a powerful medicinal plant and a delightful addition to spring recipes. Its leaves taste a bit like spinach with a slightly bitter, spicier flavor reminiscent of arugula. You can use it in frittatas, soups, or even create a wildflower pesto. Cooking or blending the leaves is recommended, as uncooked leaves can be too fuzzy to eat alone. 
  2. Earthy Herb: Want that purple dead nettle flavor year-round? Dry your nettle! Lay out fresh purple dead nettle to air-dry for about a week or use a dehydrator for faster results. Once dried, grind it up and use it as a sprinkling herb. While milder than traditional herbs like basil or oregano, it adds an earthy spice to salads, soups, and even bread.
  3. Antioxidant Tea: Purple dead nettle, like other mint family members, boasts powerful antioxidant properties. Steep fresh or dried nettle in hot water for a few minutes (or cold water for several hours) to create a great-tasting medicinal tea. Enhance the mixture with honey, mint, or other herbs for added potency and flavor.
  4. Oil Infusion: Create a fragrant infusion by steeping purple dead nettle in oil. This versatile oil can be used therapeutically, medicinally, or in cooking. Use it as a base for more complex creations like salves and skin-care products.
  5. Wound Poultice: Purple dead nettle is an astringent and antimicrobial agent with impressive antibacterial, antibiotic, and antifungal effects. In the field, crush the leaves to release their juices and apply them to open wounds to stop bleeding and prevent infection.
  6. Antibiotic Salve: Even after leaving the field, purple dead nettle remains useful. Its antibacterial properties make it a potent bush medicine. Use it to create an antibiotic salve for various purposes.

Remember, while purple dead nettle is a valuable herb, always consult with a healthcare professional or do research about its side effects before using it for any specific health concerns. Enjoy the benefits of this deep purple herb! 🌿🍃


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