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 Purple Dead Nettle

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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Purple Dead Nettle   Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:36 pm

Pictures here:

http://flowers-macrophotography.blogspot.com/2010/04/purple-deadnet...

Supposed to have anti-oxidants, vitamins, iron

Leaves can staunch wounds, but I have plenty of plantain growing alongside it!

astringent, diuretic, purgative, styptic and tonic

promotes perspiration, acts on kidneys, laxative

I saw one person commenting that it gave them a stomachache.

It tastes like grass. But not really bad. I suppose you could hide it in a bite of salad, or put it in a smoothie!

http://heal-thyself.ning.com/group/wildcrafting/forum/topics/purple-deadnettle
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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: a weed that is good to eat   Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:48 pm

That is Lamium purpureum, a mint family plant known as purple dead nettle. You may wonder: Why eat it? Because it is said to be high in a number of nutrients including antioxidants, those cancer-busting compounds we can all use more of! I have been into putting it in my smoothies ever since I read this piece by a Tennessee homesteader. I blend it because the fuzzy texture and bland, grassy flavor does not make for awesome eating as a whole plant. (That said, with a little creativity, anything is possible.)

You may also wonder: Why is a living plant called dead? Good question! Its called dead nettle because it wont sting you, as opposed to stinging nettle, Urtica, which infamously will. The two plants are not closely related but they do look sort of similar, whatwith the square stems and opposite leaves and so on. Urtica is that formic-acid wielding superfood that zaps you with little stingers when you get too close. Within two weeks, its going to be Urtica harvest time, and Im going to attempt to make some delicious raw stinging nettle pesto. But I digress lets return now to purple dead nettle, whose annual 15 minutes of fame is upon us. Hurry with this one it does not stick around and will be gone before late spring!

You can harvest dead nettle with abandon because it is an invasive weed from Europe that spreads like mad, much to the chagrin of landscapers and gardeners. Some botanists will dispute whether a given plant that appears to be purple dead nettle might actually be henbit, Lamium amplexicaule, but in terms of edibility there is no meaningful distinction, so munch away and call it whatever you like.

http://firstways.com/2011/02/17/purple-dead-nettle-a-weed-good-to-eat/

The entire plant is edible. The flavor is very mild, grassy - you can eat it stem and all, or pluck off the leafy tops. The leaves are covered in a dense hairy down - and this can take away some from the mild flavor. However you get used to it quickly.

Dead-nettle's reported to be highly nutritious, abundant in iron, vitamins, and fiber. The oil in the seeds is high in antioxidants. And the bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts and wounds to stop bleeding and aid in healing.

One great way to eat large quantities of this plant is to blend it into a smoothie. I'm a firm believer after many years of foraging that greens are the most important part of our diet. But instead of grazing and chewing all day (though chewing is important!), we can mimic an indigenous diet by blending up large amounts of greens and edible weeds into smoothies - the miracle tonic called the 'green smoothie'.

The dead-nettle is now in flower and my daughters and I go to gather a few cups of it for our smoothie:


http://eatingmymoccasinsnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/dead-nettle-lamium-purpureum.html
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Astraea

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Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: The Green Smoothie   Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:52 pm

I lay out my ingredients for the smoothie at home; the dead-nettle, a banana, a mango, and 2 cups of water:

I put everything into a new Cuisinart blender I just picked up ($99 - but it puts out 600 watts, over 3/4 horsepower). Water first, then fruit, then greens:

The finished product was rather watery and not too sweet and slightly gritty from imperfectly blended dead-nettle. So I peeled 6 baby bananas and threw them in. This did the trick. Sweet, rich, a smoothie-like consistency, and with all those weeds, unbelievably mineral-dense and nutritious.

Today is my first day of going back onto raw foods and being a 100% raw vegan again. I'm going to use an abundance of wild edible plants and green smoothies in my diet, and document the process here.

The Green Smoothie
The green smoothie is one of the easiest ways to incorporate wild edible plants in your diet, especially greens. They're very high in fiber and nutrients, and blended up, easy to assimilate.

A simple recipe is 2 to 3 bananas, a cup of water, a mango, and 2 cups of wild greens. If you don't have mango, use an extra banana. Blend it all on high a full minute. Not only does it taste great - it's great for you.

If there's no nearby wild greens, use 2 cups of organic greens - organic here is important because the whole point of the smoothie is minerals and chlorophyll ('the elixir of life') - which is much higher in organic greens than conventionally grown. Greens like chard and kale are easy to grow on your own - even in pots.

If you don't have greens, use a tablespoon of green powder, such as barley or wheat grass. If you've got a manual wheatgrass juicer, juice enough grass for a 1-2 ounce shot and throw that in. Most grass is sweet, and even bitter grass like crabgrass can be sweetened with a little more banana.
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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Purple dead nettle's health benefits   Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:04 pm

Purple dead nettle's health benefits

April 5th, 2010 2:09 pm ET

Purple dead nettle
Photo: BerndH/Wikimedia Commons

Another highly-useful herb that has been suddenly blossoming in copious amounts in the Detroit area of late is purple dead nettle. For some reason, along with several other wildflowers and herbs, this member of the mint family--which is normally widespread anyhow--has been coming up in areas where it hasn't been previously seen, and in greater abundance than ever. Possibly the early hot weather of the past week or so is partially responsible. Whatever the reason, it's great to have such a vast supply now of this and other wonderful free herbs for the picking. As always, of course, make sure before helping yourself to these or other plants that the area has not been sprayed or otherwise treated chemically. Aside from that caveat, it's also a good idea to be certain you are not taking them from private property.

As opposed to stinging nettle, which is capable of delivering a mighty zap to the unfortunate person handling it, purple dead nettle (aka purple archangel, red dead nettle, and red henbit), has no such attack mode, hence the "dead" reference. The flowers and leaves, whether used fresh, crushed, or in a decoction, have a history of being used to stop minor bleeding incidents. As well, the plant is known as a good astringent, applied externally as in the previous case.

For internal use, purple dead nettle can be made into an infusion or (with sweetener of your choice, preferably honey) a tea, and taken orally to induce sweating or as a diuretic. It has a reputation, historically, as being valuable in flushing out the kidneys and spleen of toxins. For women's health issues (ie., menstrual problems) it also can be of help taken internally. According to Culpeper, a famous old herbalist, when crushed and used as a poultice applied to the back of the neck, purple dead nettle can stop a nose-bleed. Other purposes for poultices made from the herb are for sciatica, gout, and various muscular and joint pains.

Being rather high in its content of fiber and iron, purple dead nettle also is beneficial to the diet in general, and can be added as a green to salads, or in soups and stews.

For more information on purple dead nettle and other nettle varieties, see:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html#pur
http://www.complete-herbal.com/culpepper/completeherbalindex.htm
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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: PLANTFILES from Dave's Garden   Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:19 pm

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1442/

PlantFiles: Red Dead Nettle, Purple Dead Nettle
Lamium purpureum
Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lamium (LAY-mee-um) (Info)
Species: purpureum (pur-PUR-ee-um) (Info)

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Perennials

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Herbaceous
Variegated
Silver/Gray
Aromatic

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Huntsville, Alabama
Cleveland, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Oakwood, Georgia
Warren, Indiana
Benton, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Erie, Michigan
Scotts, Michigan
Marietta, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Dallas, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
Kinsman, Ohio
South Point, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Saluda, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Johnson City, Tennessee
Clarksville, Texas
Floyd, Virginia
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Poquoson, Virginia
Richlands, Virginia
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Kirkland, Washington
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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Gardner's Notes   Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:26 pm

gardnet's notes wrote:
Positive: On May 5, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Easy to germinate. It spreads by seed, but then dies to the ground. I don't see how it is a problem, being that it is an annual, and it is a very small plant. I grow this plant on purpose, and then enjoy the blooms for a short time, and when it dies, different species are already emerging to take its place. If you time your garden correctly, you can have a wide selection of plants living in the same spot all year, each taking turns before bowing out to the next one in line.

Positive: On Nov 28, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have to say I like this plant. It might grow profusely in the spring, but it never seems to choke anything out and as summer progresses, it dies away. I like seeing the cheery purple fields of it in the spring as a reminder that spring is finally here.

Negative: On Apr 21, 2007, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bad plant. We seem to have it very bad this year. It's all over in every bed and everywhere in the lawn too.

Negative: On Mar 21, 2007, centralva from Richmond, VA wrote:

This plant is invasive.You will pull the plants up and herbicide.
Thinking that the problem is solved you will be dismayed to discover them somewhere else in your yard and or garden.
It flourishes all over the south east and is considered a weed.
Please Do Not Plant this if youve just moved here.You would only be adding to the problem as well as wasting your money.If you absolutely must have this plant just ask your neighbor if you can get some plants from there yard.I assure you most of us would only be too happy to oblige.The less there are of them ,the less we have to weed.


Neutral: On Mar 19, 2007, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the weediest plants I know of in garden areas. But on the other hand it has some of the best early spring color of any plant I have seen. I got rid of it growing in the garden beds by letting oak leaves set all winter and into spring and then just dug them into the soil at planting time. Oak leaves tend to inhibit seed germination.


Negative: On Mar 16, 2007, altavista from Floyd, VA wrote:

This plant drives me nuts! It is taking over my garden. The root system is so large that you have to dig it out rather than pull. Clearing it in the late fall or early spring seems to be the easiest.

Negative: On Mar 14, 2007, gessieviolet from Saluda, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This weed takes over areas of my garden in early spring!! It is impossible to pull and grows best for me in areas where I have spent a previous season attempting to bring the area under control for other uses. I can't imagine why anyone would want to grow it!!! It definitely falls into the catagory "one man's weed, is another man's wildflower".


Positive: On Apr 18, 2005, Fancee1945 from Scotts, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I am in SW Michigan and this plant grows all by itself in my garden areas. Not sure where it came from but I really like it. I have tried to find detailed information on it. Finally this weekend I have dug out every plant in my garden areas, I sure didn't want to because it is a beautiful plant. So I guess I can say it POSITIVELY grows wild here on its own.

Neutral: On Apr 5, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've been spectacularly successful at killing this supposedly invasive plant. As in I've tried to grow it, and it's died each and every time.


Negative: On Apr 4, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Invasive isn't a good word for this plant...it flows in purple waves all along the roadsides and in everyone's yards...strangling everything in it's path.

The purple flowers are a welcome sight in early Spring, but even I get fed up with them after a bit. I have a yard instead of a lawn, and they get the better of me.

Negative: On Feb 19, 2005, GardenGuyKin from Willamette Valley, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

Simply put, it's invasive here.


Neutral: On Oct 16, 2002, ohmysweetpjs from Brookeville, MD wrote:

Cute little plant. Not invasive like some and though you have to look very closely to see in detail, the flowers are very pretty though quite small. I'm almost certain it's also a butterfly host plant.


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