Purple Deadnettle (Lamium Purpureum)
Not long ago while strolling our property, I came across these pretty ‘weeds’. The leaves are reminiscent of mint. I soon discovered they are in fact in the mint family; and are known as Purple Deadnettle (Lamium Purpureum). Unlike stinging nettle, it won’t sting if you pluck some.
Lamium Purpureum grows along roadsides and in turned soil. It is an invasive plant, so feel free to pick an abundance of it.
There is a sizeable little field of this lovely wild edible in my yard.
The purple and red leaves along the top, along with tiny purple flowers make attractive early forage for pollinators.
Purple Deadnettle is high in flavonoids, antioxidants, iron, vitamins and fiber. The entire plant is safe to eat and many foragers use it in salads, smoothies, or dried for tea, although most don’t relish the taste much, it is most attractive for its’ health benefits. It has a musty, grassy odor when fresh, but loses this less than sought after odor once dried.
Purple Deadnettle is also taken medicinally; it helps to control allergies and chronic inflammation, and has anti-microbial/fungal, diuretic, astringent, purgative, and styptic properties.
Purple dead nettles’ season is short, about 6 – 10 weeks until it finally fades during the heat of summer. The chance to forage for this little beauty is ending soon, now is the time to collect while you can. Happy hunting.:)