Dead Nettles: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Dead Nettles: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

The dead nettle is native to Europe and Asia, and the plant has been naturalized in North America. The medically used material comes from Eastern Europe. In herbal medicine, on the one hand, the quickly dried, flowering, above-ground parts of the plant (deadnettle herb, Lamii albi herba) are used, and on the other hand only the dried flowers of the plant (deadnettle flowers, Lamii albi flos).

Deadnettle: characteristics of the plant

Deadnettle is a perennial, up to 50 cm high, hairy perennial plant with erect shoots and branched rootstocks. The plant’s stalked leaves are opposite, characteristically heart-shaped, and the margin serrated. The approximately 2 cm large, white flowers are arranged in whorls in the leaf axils.

The German trivial name of the plant – Taubnessel – comes from the fact that the non-flowering shoots are often confused with the stinging nettle: the Taubnessel is a non-burning, “deaf” nettle.

Dead nettle: What’s in the drug?

The  herb drug contains  heavily crumpled leaf fragments with a serrated edge. The upper side of the hairy leaves is deep green, the underside is lighter and the fine leaf veins can be seen. There are also four-edged, hollow stem pieces and flowers.

The  flower drug  consists of the yellowish-white, S-shaped curved and wrinkled corollas and the stamens.

smell and taste of deadnettle

The leaves and herb give off a very faint odor. The  taste  of the leaves and herb is bitter, with the leaves being slightly more bitter than the herb.

Stinging nettle – application

Only the leaves of the dead nettle were assessed positively by Commission E (scientific expert commission for herbal medicinal products of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices). Therapeutic use is not recommended for dead nettle herb, as its effectiveness has not yet been proven. The herb is therefore used more in folk medicine.

Application of dead-nettle leaves

Deadnettle leaves are used locally for mild inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and to treat inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract (respiratory tract catarrh).

Another area of ​​application is a non-specific, whitish discharge from the vagina ( fluor  albus). Applied externally, dead nettle leaves are able to heal minor, superficial skin infections.

folk medicinal use

In folk medicine, dead nettle preparations are also used to loosen mucus in respiratory problems, more rarely in complaints of the gastrointestinal tract and menopausal symptoms. External use in the form of poultices is said to be beneficial for swellings, bumps, pituitary glands and  varicose veins  .

Both drugs are also considered diuretic and blood purifiers. It is also conceivable that the plant has a positive effect on dandruff and itchy  scalp  .

Stinging nettle in homeopathy

In homeopathy, the fresh, flowering shoots without stems are used to treat diseases of the female genital organs, the kidneys and the urinary tract. The dried flower crowns together with the attached stamens are used in anthroposophic therapy.

Ingredients of dead nettle

The most important ingredients in the plant parts that determine the effectiveness are iridide glycosides such as alboside A and B, mucilage, triterpene saponins, phenolic carboxylic acids and  flavonoids . The plant also contains a relatively high proportion of tannins.

Stinging nettle: Indication

Possible areas of application for dead nettle leaves are:

  • Inflammation of the mouth and throat mucosa
  • respiratory catarrh
  • Fluor albus
  • skin inflammation

Dead Nettle – Dosage

In particular, the herbal drug is contained in some tea blends in the group of nervous and bronchial teas. Otherwise, the drug can be taken in the form of infusions made from the leaves and herb, or used for douching.

For external use, infusions or oil extracts are suitable, which can be used for sitz baths, moist compresses, as lotions and shampoos.

Deadnettle: what dose?

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose is 3 g of the herb or leaves. For external use as a sitz bath, 5 g of the drug can be used.

Deadnettle – Prepared as a tea

To prepare a dead nettle tea, 1 g of the finely chopped drug (leaves or herb, 1 teaspoon corresponds to about 0.5 g) is poured over with boiling water and strained after about 5 minutes. A cup of  tea  sweetened  with honey should be  drunk several times a day.

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Pigeon Nettle – Synonyms

German plant name: pigeon nettle
German synonyms of the plant: White dead nettle, flower nettle, cuckoo nettle, dead nettle, honey flower, suction flower, bee suction
Latin plant name: White lips L.
Latin synonyms of the plant: Lamium capitatum, Lamium vulgarum
German drug name: (White) dead-nettle flowers
(White) dead-nettle herb
German synonyms of the drug: Dead-nettle flowers: (white) bee suction flowers, hay bees, white nettle flowers (flowers)
Latin drug name: Lamii albi flos
Lamii albi herba
Latin synonyms of the drug: White Lami flowers, Dead Nettle Flowers, White Lami
English name: White dead nettle, Archangel, Lamium album (Pflanze); White dead nettle flower (Droge)
Plant family Latin: Lamiaceae
Plant family German: mints


Deadnettle – effect

The tannins found in dead nettles combine with various proteins in the mucous membranes, forming a protective film on them. The anti-inflammatory effect is probably due to the iridoids it contains, which inhibit the production of various inflammatory mediators.

Stinging nettle: side effects

There are currently no known side effects, interactions with other agents or contraindications for the use of dead nettle preparations.

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