Lamium album

Botanical Name: Lamium album
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:     Lamium
Species: L. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms: Archangel. White Dead Nettle. Blind Nettle. Dumb Nettle. Deaf Nettle. Bee Nettle

Common Names : White nettle or White dead-nettle

Habitat :  Lamium album is native to throughout Europe and Western Asia, growing in a variety of habitats from open grassland to woodland, generally on moist, fertile soils.It was introduced to North America, where it is widely naturalised.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 50-100 cm tall, with green, four-angled stems. The leaves are 3-8 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, triangular with a rounded base, softly hairy, and with a serrated margin and a petiole up to 5 cm long; like many other members of the Lamiaceae, they appear superficially similar to those of the Stinging nettle Urtica dioica but do not sting, hence the common name “deadnettle”. The flowers are white, produced in whorls (‘verticillasters’) on the upper part of the stem, the individual flowers 1.5-2.5 cm long.
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Cultivation:      
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and conditions. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a sunny position, though it also does well in partial shade. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. The white dead nettle is too weedy to be grown in the flower garden, but it does well in the wild garden and self-sows when well sited. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A good bee plant and a good companion plant, helping any vegetables growing nearby. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Invasive, Suitable for cut flowers.

Propagation:    
Seed – this species usually self sows freely and should not require human intervention. When required it can be sown in situ as soon as it is ripe. Division in spring. Division succeeds at almost any time in the growing season. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

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Edible Uses:Young leaves are eaten  raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or mixed with other leaves and cooked as a potherb. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves are a good source of vitamin A. A pleasant herb tea is made from the flowers

Medicinal Uses:
Chemical constituents:
Two phenylpropanoid glycosides, lamalboside (2R-galactosylacteoside) and acteoside, the flavonol p-coumaroylglucoside, tiliroside, 5-caffeoylquinic acid (chlorogenic acid), along with rutoside and quercetin and kaempferol 3-O-glucosides can be isolated from the flowers of L. album. The plant also contains the iridoid glycosides lamalbid, alboside A and B, and caryoptoside as well as the hemiterpene glucoside hemialboside

Lamium album is an astringent and demulcent herb that is chiefly used as a uterine tonic, to arrest inter-menstrual bleeding and to reduce excessive menstrual flow. It is a traditional treatment for abnormal vaginal discharge and is sometimes taken to relieve painful periods. The flowering tops are antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, hypnotic, pectoral, resolvent, sedative, styptic, tonic, vasoconstrictor and vulnerary. An infusion is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints, diarrhoea, menstrual problems, bleeding after childbirth, vaginal discharges and prostatitis. Externally, the plant is made into compresses and applied to piles, varicose veins and vaginal discharges. A distilled water from the flowers and leaves makes an excellent and effective eye lotion to relieve ophthalmic conditions. The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of bladder and kidney disorders and amenorrhoea.

Other Uses: Bees, especially bumble bees are attracted to the flowers which are a good source of early nectar and pollen, hence the plant is sometimes called the Bee Nettle.

A distillation of the flowers is reputed “to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to make the vital spirits more fresh and lively.”

The plant has a creeping rootstock and makes a good groundcover plant for woodland edges.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamium_album
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Lamium+album
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html#whi
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/lamium-album-white-dead-nettle

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