Botanical Name: Galeopsis tetrahit
Species: G. tetrahit
Common Names:: Common hemp-nettle, Brittlestem hempnettle,
Habitat : Common hemp-nettle is native to Europe and northwestern Asia. Its typical habitat is rough ground, arable land, logging clearances and waste places. It spreads readily as its sharp calyces adhere to clothing and animal pelts
Galeopsis tetrahit is a herbaceous annual plant growing to 1 m tall; it is a pioneer species and thrives on disturbed sites or roadsides. The plant looks like mint but is taller. The stems have reflexed hairs and swollen nodes. In cross section, the stem is square. The leaves are rhombic to elliptic, with coarsely to bluntly serrate edges. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile.
The flowers are multicoloured, with purple, pink, or white areas; diminutive, bilateral and snapdragon-like, and are mostly visited by bumblebees.
The stem branches occasionally and is squarish and hairy, with glandular hairs on the upper part of the plant. The nodes are swollen and widely spaced and the pale green, stalked leaves are in opposite pairs. The leaf blades are hairy and are ovate with a long tapered tip and with regular large teeth on the margin. The inflorescence forms a terminal spike and is composed of whorls of pinkish flowers with dark markings on the lower lip. The calyx has five sharp-pointed lobes and the corolla forms a two-lipped flower about 15 to 20 mm (0.6 to 0.8 in) long with a fused tube. The upper lip of each flower is convex with dense, glandular hairs and the lower lip is three-lobed, the central lobe being the largest, squarish with a flat or rounded edge. There are four stamens, two long and two short, the gynoecium has two fused carpels and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp. The plant has a slightly unpleasant smell.
Grows in most soils, disliking heavy shade. This plant is sometimes grown in the wild garden. An aggregate species. It is a natural hybrid, G. speciosa x G. pubescens.
Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination usually takes place within a month.
The plant is antispasmodic, detergent, expectorant and resolvent. It is used in the treatment of tissue-wasting complaints. An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of pulmonary complaints.
A drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is used as a polish for leather. A fibre is obtained from the stems, it is used for making cord.
Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, causing paralysis.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.