Purple Dead Nettle
I love this time of year, all the great things are coming up in my yard – including Purple Dead Nettle.
Purple Dead Nettle is a prolific weed that seems to be the bane of gardeners everywhere – except me. I gleefully look forward to this plant coming up each year so I can harvest and use its beneficial properties in teas and salves – and even sneak a few small leaves into a salad.
Purple dead nettle (Lamium Purpureum) is common in west coast, eastern and Southern US – and pretty much everywhere else. Its called a ‘Dead’ Nettle because there are no stinging nettles. It is a memeber of the mint family and if you look at the stems you’ll find they are square.
The are high in itamin C, minerals, flavinoids, iron, fibre, although ingest it sparingly as it can be a mild laxitive. The herb is very beneficial for kidneys and liver function.
I start harvesting and drying them as soon in the spring when they come up for use later in teas and salves, saving the tender petals for salad. Be sure to give them a light rinse and pat dry before hanging – or use a salad spinner for a quick and easy dry off.
Because I have polycystic kidney disease, I consider the use of purple dead nettle as a must in my regimine to keep my kidneys healthy.