Spring Red Dead Nettles
Purple Archangel AKA Lamium Purpureum
This low growing annual comes from the mint family and can be found and harvested right now! April - End of Season...This kind of nettle does not sting, this is why some call it Dead Nettles. It is very pretty and has many benefits.
leaves, flowers and stems
Possible Mix-Ups with Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Henbit is not harmful or toxic while the tops are purple and flowering...so it is safe to forage if you are a beginner and there are no other "twins" that could be harmful, all are edible and safe to touch and consume.
*Look for Nettles that have flowers in order to avoid mix up. Sweet and tasty too.
*Purple Nettles have hairy leaves that turn purple towards the tips of the plant.
*The main difference between Henbit and Purple Nettles are in the leaves. Henbit has leaves that surround the stem, while purple dead nettle have triangle shaped leaves.
Can be enjoyed raw in a salad, as a pesto, thrown into your smoothies, cooked in a stir fry or made into an infusion
BENEFITS of Nettles
Source of Iron, Fibre, Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Medicinal Actions and Uses
Astringent, Diuretic, Diaphoretic and Purgative. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
The quickest way to obtain the benefits is by picking them, washing them and eating them in your salad without letting them sit too long, as they wilt quickly.
Purple Dead Nettle Tea
I love to make tea so I harvested them and put them into the dehydrator for 12 hours as soon as they were picked on lowest temperature. WaLa! Fresh herbal tea. Use one heaping tablespoon per one cup of boiling water. Allow to steep and enjoy!
Purple Dead Nettle Broth/Soup
Dehydrate the leaves, flowers and stems the same way as tea. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and steep 1/2 cup of the dried nettles in it. Add salt to taste. Pour in a cup and enjoy. So soothing for sore throats, sniffles and chills.
For soup, follow above directions but then add your favourite root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots or cabbage. Let simmer till veggies are soft. Enjoy. Also great for losing weight without losing flavour.
There you have it. An introduction to Red Nettles, the common backyard "weed" and nutritious, delicious herb.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me through my email firstname.lastname@example.org and if I don't know the answer, I know several trusted Herbalists with many years experience! I will find the answer!