4 Reasons To Go & Find Purple Dead-Nettle

Garden 10

This common plant is native to Europe and Asia and it is very widespread. You have probably seen it, even if you are not aware. The purple dead-nettle is in the mint family. It forms early ground cover mats with fuzzy spade-shaped leaves and delicate purple-pink flowers which are an amazing addition to spring weed bouquet.

So why should you go out and find it? There are many reasons, including these.

1. Purple dead-nettle is a wild, edible green

It is edible, you can actually eat the whole plant. It tastes mild, a little bit grassy and has a floral flavor. It doesn’t have a minty taste. You can add it to your salads, soups, smoothies or you can make tea out of it. You can use it as any other green, the way you like it. The easiest way to get its benefits is to include it in your smoothie. Making it into a tea will provide you plenty of benefits as well.

2. Purple dead-nettle is highly nutritious

The plant is highly nutritious. It’s abundant in vitamins, particularly vitamin C, along with iron and fiber, while the oil in its seeds is packed with powerful antioxidants.

3. Purple dead-nettle offers a host of medicinal benefits

This plant is considered to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. It is a strong diuretic, an stringent and diaphoretic. Purple dead-nettle is known to reduce allergy symptoms. With its antifungal and antibacterial compounds it can protect allergy suffers from secondary infections of the throat and bronchi.

You can also place the leaves of this plant on wounds or cuts and stop bleeding. Its vitamin C and flavonoids work together to help boost the immune system and fight infections.

4. Purple dead nettle benefits the bees

Bees are attracted to purple dead-nettle. Actually, it is one of the first plants these endangered creatures go to in the spring. Therefore, you should forage it now and use the seeds to plant it in your garden. If you live in a mild climate it might flowers through the winter and provide vital bee forage.

Growing your own:

Have you considered planting it and enjoy its benefits? It is simple to grow it.

You can start by seed found on wild plants. Spread the seeds in fall on the ground. Tamp and cover with mulch. If you can’t find them growing in the wild, there are many specialty seed houses that carry them, including Sand Mountain Herbs.

Purple dead-nettle thrives in full sun, partial shade, and even full shade. If you live in a warm climate make sure the heat doesn’t burn them. They require moist, nutrient-rich soil, especially if its nitrogen-rich.  They prefer netural to slightly alkaline soil. Harvesting is pretty easy too. Pick the upper leaves and stems in the spring and summer.

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