White Dead Nettle (Lamium album) is often mistaken for the stinging nettle but is in fact a member of the mint family. This family have hollow square stems and are usually very aromatic – think Rosemary, lavender and lemon balm. All of them are beloved by bees and White Dead Nettle is no exception. This plant is regarded as an Ancient Woodland Indicator, meaning that the area it grows on has had continuous woodland cover since 1600 AD, and the species of plants that grow here are generally slow to spread. However, fortunately Dead Nettle can also be found growing freely on wasteland and roadside verges.
The herb is very drying and has a styptic effect, (it stops bleeding). It also appears to have a hormonal and sedative action and is primarily used to treat reproductive issues in women. However it is also a good bladder and prostate tonic and can be used for respiratory complaints where there is a lot of catarrh. The flowers contain sweet nectar and make a lovely tea. Infuse for five minutes in boiling water, strain and sweeten with local honey if desired or try adding raw young leaves to salads.