Lamium purpureum, Purple Deadnettle, Purple Dead Nettle.
Lamium purpureum, Lamium rubrum, Purple Deadnettle, Purple Dead Nettle, Red Archangel, Red Dead Nettle, and Dee Nettle, among other names. Very common annual throughout much of Europe, Asia, and weedy in North America, blooming in early spring. Barton and Castle in volume 1 of British Flora Medica (1838) rightly state, "The plant diffuses a heavy and disagreeable odour, especially when bruised, and a nauseous, herbaceous, sub-astringent taste. Water extracts the whole of its sensible qualities." In the early eighteenth century, Linnaeus wrote that the peasantry of Sweden boiled the herb as a pot herb. However, in Great Britain of 1792, Thomas Martyn in Flora Rustica, observed "it is a common weed in kitchen gardens and corn-fields, flowering very early. . . As a medical plant it is disused; nor it is ever, as we believe, eaten among us as a pot-herb, whatever they may do in Upland, a province of Sweden. Dried leaves in infusion used to stop bleeding, also fresh leaves topically. Historically used as an emmenagogue and a diuretic. Used to treat nephritis. Topically for foul ulcers, wounds, burns, scalds, and swellings. Decoction of plant used for dysentery, pleurisy, and kidney inflammations. The genus name "Lamium" comes from a Greek word meaning "the throat" referring to the constricted flower tubes."
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