Purple Dead Nettle: Uses and Benefits of the Deep Purple Herb

The Purple Dead Nettle, a wild herb with many hats, offers numerous possibilities. This versatile herb is a must-have in your herbal arsenal with its diverse uses and incredible benefits.

January 7, 2024


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Meet the real star of spring that you weren't fully aware of its power: the Purple Dead Nettle. It blooms in bright pink and purple, and some call it weed, especially when it carpets lawns in no time. But secretly, quietly, and mysteriously, this flower is beyond everything we know. Forget the garden norms – why isn't Purple Dead Nettle helping you with everything you need yet? Let's solve this. 

The Purple Dead Nettle, a wild herb with many hats, offers numerous possibilities. Whether you're treating various conditions or simply adding it to your salads, pestos, drinks, or pasta dishes, this versatile herb is a must-have in your herbal arsenal with its diverse uses and incredible benefits.


Purple Dead Nettle goes by many names. While 'Purple Dead Nettle' is the most common, it is also known as Red Dead-Nettle, Purple Archangel, or by its whimsical Hogwarts name: Lamium Purpureum. Originally hailing from Europe and Asia, this herb now carpets much of North America every spring. The beautiful plant grows 5–20 cm tall, featuring a square stem that supports heart-shaped leaves in pairs. Pink or purple flowers bloom at the tips of the plant, and its leaves are adorned with tiny, soft hairs. Despite being considered by some as an invasive bother, the truth about its holistic flowers, medicinal values, and nutritional benefits must come to light. Besides, bees LOVE it too, so who are we not to embrace its presence? 

Is the Purple Dead Nettle Edible? Yes, It Is.  

How edible is the Purple Dead Nettle? The answer is - 100%. The leaves, stems, and flowers are all okay to eat, either raw or cooked. A quick tip: while the leaves and flowers are culinary delights, the stems tend to be on the tough side and are usually left aside. Also, the leaves can be hairy, so if fuzzy salads aren't really your thing, you can cook them with your other cookable greens. If you appreciate a furry addition to your side dish, it's great for mixing things up. This plant is full of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, iron, and fiber, while the oil in its seeds is loaded with powerful antioxidants. So, whether cooked, raw, or added to your lemonade, the purple dead nettle has plenty of uses.

Timing is Crucial

In the realm of Purple Dead Nettle, timing is crucial. It's recommended to harvest before the plant goes to seed to prevent it from becoming tough. Interestingly, unlike its stinging nettle counterparts, Purple Dead Nettle lives up to its name by not delivering any stings. The term 'dead' nettle hints at its painless nature. 

Purple Dead Nettle vs. Stinging Nettle

Navigating Through Stinging Nettle Look-Alikes!

Distinguishing between Purple Dead Nettle and its look-alikes, particularly Stinging Nettle and Ground Ivy, is akin to mastering an art. It's a skill that requires keen observation, and here's a simplified guide to help you navigate the herbal look-alikes and choose wisely between good and evil.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Leaves: Lance-shaped with stinging hairs.

Stem: Round stem with stinging hairs.

Key Difference: Stinging hairs that can cause skin irritation.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

Leaves: Rounded or kidney-shaped with a subtle hairiness.

Stem: Square stems.

Key Difference: Lacks the color transition in leaves and sprawls along the ground.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

Leaves: Round to kidney-shaped, with small hairs.

Stem: Square stems.

Flowers: Pink to purple flowers in clusters in the axils of the upper leaves.

Key Difference: Can grow taller than Purple Dead Nettle, reaching up to 30 cm.

Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis)

Leaves: Coarsely toothed, heart-shaped, and with stinging hairs.

Stem: Covered with stinging hairs.

Key Difference: Stinging hairs that can cause skin irritation.

While all share similarities, paying attention to subtle differences in leaf shapes and flower arrangements can help you become a botanical detective and distinguish between these botanical doppelgangers.

The Holistic Approach of the Purple Dead Nettle Benefits

How to Use Purple Dead Nettle for Allergies, Anti-inflammatory, and Other Wellness Wonders?

The Purple Dead Nettle emerges as a superhero in the plant world, wielding antioxidant prowess, fortifying your body's defenses, and soothing inflammation. Whether soaked in your cup of tea or crafted into a tincture, Purple Dead Nettle offers relief from allergies, alleviates joint concerns, manages heavy periods, promotes heart health, and fends off infections. Packed with nutrients, this herb is believed to bring astringent, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, diaphoretic, and purgative qualities. Purple Dead Nettle transforms into a healing wizard in poultices and salves, performing wonders on cuts, scrapes, rashes, and bothersome skin issues. Recent studies corroborate what herbalists have known all along—this herb acts as a shield for your immune system. Laden with potent compounds, it fortifies your strength and nods to your gut.

More about SKIN!

Immerse the goodness of Purple Dead Nettle into your skincare routine by incorporating its infused oil into lotions and creams, which are especially beneficial for those wrestling with irritated or itchy skin conditions. Beyond its herbal charm, this infusion boasts free radical scavenging properties, making it an alluring addition to daily skincare or anti-pollution products.

Consider substituting plain oil with Purple Dead Nettle-infused oil in any lotion or cream recipe. This addition not only moisturizes and harmonizes various skin types but may also provide relief for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or damaged skin. 

What Else Can You Do With It? 

From Purple Dead Nettle Recipes and Tinctures to Medicinal Uses

Purple Dead Nettle Tea

Harvest the leaves and flowers. Infuse them in hot water for a soothing and flavorful tea. Sit down and enjoy life. Optionally, add honey, brown sugar, or lemon for added taste. 

Purple Dead Nettle Salad

Harvest fresh Purple Dead Nettle leaves. Toss them into your favorite salad mix for added nutrition. The mild, earthy flavor can complement a variety of salad ingredients, and everybody will think you are sophisticated and classy, while all you did is ensure that everyone stays healthy.

Purple Dead Nettle Infused Oil

Place the flowers in a jar and cover with a carrier oil (such as olive oil).

Let it infuse for a few weeks, then strain. Use the infused oil for any culinary or skincare purposes.

Purple Dead Nettle Salve

Combine Purple Dead Nettle-infused oil with beeswax to create a soothing salve with versatile applications. Take it anywhere and apply the salve topically to soothe skin irritations, cuts, or minor wounds, exploring the plant's medicinal uses.

Purple Dead Nettle Artisanal Soap

Inject some herbal charm into your daily routine by infusing Purple Dead Nettle leaves and flowers into a soap base. Craft your handmade soap with the herb's beneficial properties for a refreshing and natural cleansing experience. It can also work as a great gift for your loved ones, too.

Purple Dead Nettle Cough Drops
You can blend purple dead nettle with other herbs to create delightful herbal cough drops for soothing your throat! 

All you need is: 

Drying Dead Nettle: A Simple Guide

To preserve nettle leaves, lay them flat on a dehydrator sheet and let them dehydrate for 6-8 hours on a low setting. Alternatively, use a low oven, maintaining a temperature of 175 degrees or less, and dry them for 8-10 hours. When ready to use, incorporate 3 tablespoons of the dried leaves for every 8 ounces of boiling water. Enjoy the benefits of your dried dead nettle in various herbal concoctions!


When life blesses you with herbs, why not invoke a little magic? Good things happen when we dive into the secrets of nature and explore ancient, powerful remedies. Herbalists have demonstrated their intelligence for centuries, offering healing properties and botanical wisdom. Learn herbal medicine online provided by us to unlock the enchanting realm of herbalism, granting access to ancient knowledge for a holistic approach to well-being. It also serves as a wonderful reason to savor your garden just as it is. Nature knows best; sometimes, we only need to listen to its secrets and learn to use them. 🌿✨


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