This tasty Winter Green has popped up in abundance in last years Broccoli Bed. I love getting to know my local herbs, and have been curious about it since it began sprouting in early January. I felt like it was a food green, and felt like I wanted to eat those juicy stems and leaves… I tasted before finding out what it was, and it has a very subtle mild flavor, I feel would be delicious in a salad. Much like chickweed, except it has a mellow mushroom/dirt/potato flavor. I was calling it my Winter Green of mystery, but have since been tipped off to it’s name and history 🙂
I’m excited to find out that this abundant free food is a Sister Mint, Sister Nettle- a fellow nourisher and herbal ally 🙂 ((Lamium Purpureum))- Red DeadNettle, Purple Dead Nettle, aka by many other names. Since moving the busy city suburb, I’ve been sad to believe there was no nettle growing around here, as I have walked and walked around the area and barely find any “weeds”…. frikken chemical manicured yards 😦 So finding Stinging Nettle’s Gentle Sister in my own yard is a great blessing 🙂 ♥
Purple dead nettles are significantly anti-inflammatory, according to a study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” by Gazi University in 2008. Researchers tested different varieties of nettles, including purple dead nettle, and found all of them possessed anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. Purple dead nettle works through inhibiting the release of the hormone prostaglandin-2, the principle mediator for inflammation in allergies and chronic inflammatory conditions.
During a study published in the “Hacettepe University Journal of the Faculty of Pharmacy” in 2007, researchers discovered purple dead nettle had a wide range of antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Extracts of purple dead nettle fought many microorganisms, including staphylococcus, enterococcus, e.coli, pseudomonas and candida. Purple dead nettle is a rich source of antibacterial essential oils, such as germacrene D, which explains its action against these organisms. Taking purple dead nettle when you suffer from allergies will help protect against these pathogens and prevent secondary infections of the sinuses, throat and lower respiratory tract.
Purple dead nettle is a natural source of flavonoid chemicals such as quercetin and vitamin C, which can help improve immune system performance, reduce sensitivity to allergens and inhibit inflammation. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the anti-allergy properties of flavonoids like quercetin come from their ability to reduce the release of histamine and other immune chemicals in the body. This makes the quercetin found in purple dead nettle both anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory when its taken internally.
Lamium purpureum L.
Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
|Kingdom||Plantae – Plants|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta – Vascular plants|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta – Seed plants|
|Division||Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants|
|Class||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons|
|Family||Lamiaceae – Mint family|
|Genus||Lamium L. – deadnettle|
|Species||Lamium purpureum L. – purple deadnettle|
I am in love with these delicious little plants! My mouth waters in anticipation for their Earthy mild flavor, almost mushroom-like taste, but with the juiciness of the stems, along with a slightly fuzzy and dry texture of the leaves. These are delicious added to my salad covered in my favorite Italian Dressing. I plan to have another Purple/Red Dead Nettle Salad today! Mmmm! I’ll take some pictures of them when I go out to pick later today, they are abundant and a beautiful green and purple sight 🙂 ♥