Eat Your Weeds- Purple Dead Nettle

Today's post is a perfect example of "Yard to Table".
It all started this morning when I went out to check on my baby strawberry plants like the Impatient Farmgirl that I am.  I noticed these beautiful yellow flowers and ran to look them up to see what they were.  I have always had a fascination with Herb Lore and Herbalism, and for some reason, today was the day I actually did a little bit of it!  I found out the pretty yellow flowers were Lesser Celandine, which is an edible herb but not that popular.  While I was googling I figured I would look up the pretty purple plant that was hangin' out with my Lesser Celandine.
This plant turned out to be Purple Dead Nettle.  
Now Purple Dead Nettle was pretty much all over my yard, and I was thrilled to find out that it too, was edible and had medicinal value as well!
Here's what I found out thanks to  
Purple dead nettle is a medicinal plant used in folk medicine in Europe and North America as a complementary treatment option for controlling and reducing allergies. Also known as Lamium Purpureum, purple dead nettle is a nonstinging species of nettle that can be eaten, or dried and made into a tea or percolated into a tincture. 


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.

This was exciting info for me as I have been in a lot of pain with Plantar facciitis and carpal tunnel since last May and really hate taking meds.  


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.

How cool is all of that??
I promptly went back outside and picked a bunch of it.
I brought it inside and plopped it in the sink to wash and de-dirt it so I could prepare a tincture, a few bundles for drying, and a green Dead Nettle Smoothie, which tasted better than it sounds.

Step 1:  Wash your herbs

Step 2:  Lay out on paper towels to dry 

Step 3: To Make a Tincture:
 Put herbs in blender with high proof Vodka and make a vodka smoothie-
But don't drink this- this is your tincture that will be strained in a few weeks!

 Step 4:  Tie a few bundles with twine to hang and dry for winter use.

Step 5:  Make a smoothie to drink right now!
 Purple Dead Nettle Smoothie Recipe
In a high speed blender, mix 
1 1/2 cups filtered water, cold
large handful Dead Nettle tops
1 ripe banana
2 or 3 slices of fresh Ginger root
2 scoops of chocolate Organic Protein Powder

When all ingredients are beautifully smooth- pour into a beautiful vintage glass and enjoy!!  I plan on using DN in my smoothies every morning with kale now.

What a fab way of using your weeds.  Just make sure when you are gathering, that you do so from a non sprayed, non fertilized area, away from car exhaust... so don't gather from the side of the road or if you use weed killer on your lawn!!!

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did making it and sharing it with you!!

xoxo Tobi :)

 This is Chickweed- I can't wait for more of it to grow- it is supposed to burn fat!!!  YAY!!
I will write about it soon :)

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