Product: White Dead Nettle Leaves
Latin Name: Lamium album
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Other Names: White Archangel, White Nettle, Archangélique, Bee Nettle, Blind Nettle, Deaf Nettle, Dumb Nettle, Herbe Archangélique, Lamier Blanc, Lamii Albi Flos, Ortie Blanche, Ortie Folle, Ortie Molle, Ortie Morte, Ortiga Blanca, Ortiga Muerta & Stingless Nettle.
Description: White dead nettle is an herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and central and northern Asia which grows up to 60cm in height. Like other members of the Lamiaceae family, the stems are square; the stem is covered in fine hairs and the plant is often mistaken for the common stinging nettle. The leaves are opposite, ovately cordate in shape, mid green in colour, 3-8cm in length, the lower leaves have a long petiole (stalk) the upper short the leaf tip is pointed and the leaf margin is coarsely toothed and hairy. The 2-lipped flowers are white in colour, 1.5-2.5cm in length, and are produced in whorls in the leaf axils on the upper part of the stem.
Brief History: In old herbals such as Gerard’s Herball (16th century) and Culpeper’s Complete Herbal (17th century) you will find white dead nettle listed under its common name of the time of ‘Archangel’ or ‘Archangell’ alongside Yellow and Purple Archangels. The archangels got their name because they were said to flower annually Archangel Michael’s day which was May 8th in the old Julian calendar. Gerard talks only of the flowers being used either by candying them in the way that they candied rose petals or by distilling the flowers in water. The water was then drunk ‘to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to refresh the vital spirits’. Culpeper discusses a similar use for the flowers, but also talks of using the herb as a plaister, decoction and for staunching bleeding.
The leaves can be used to make teas and tisanes and can also be added to soups and stews; they can also be used as a hot compress on aching, tired legs. No other non-medicinal uses are known.
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