Wildcrafting Purple Dead Nettle

Wildcrafting Purple Dead Nettle

Purple Dead Nettle Tea
Let's keep studying our local weeds and understand how they might bring both beauty and wellness into our lives!

Here we go with another episode of the Foraging for #RealLife series!  If you missed the kick-off and introduction to the basics, catch it here. 


“Wildcrafting (also known as foraging) is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or 'wild' habitat, primarily for food or medicinal purposes." Source Wikipedia.

Let's bring back this knowledge into our lives and share it with those around us.  Wildcrafting is an excellent way to sustainably and respectfully take the fruit, flowers, or other pieces of the plant while the living plant is left.  Care should always be taken to only remove what is needed and ensure lots are left to maintain the plants.  

So what are we going to wildcraft today?  Purple Dead Nettle, you might have it in your yard or garden growing wild! 

Purple Dead Nettle

I feel like Purple Dead Nettle is a flower that I have known all my life growing up in Oregon, but I never really knew what it was called.  It can be easily identified with a square stem (similar to all mint family plants, did you know that? so cool right?!), purple tops, small pink flowers, and fuzzy leaves.
The bees love these beautiful little flowers and they seem to be an important species for these endangered creatures.  When you forage these responsibly, please also be sure to collect the seeds and replant for early flowers in the spring for the bees and your spring tea!

NOTE: While I didn't fully dry/dehydrate mine, I did rinse and let them sit overnight until the seeds were released so I could plant them, then I made tea after all of the loose seeds were shaken free.

Purple Dead Nettle has been studied for a variety of wonderful health benefits, a quick online search may wow you with how much these tiny little plants may support our bodies!

Keep reading to the end for the easy recipe for this wonderful tea to use for seasonal support!

Purple Dead Nettle Tea

Now grab your rubber ducky floating tea baskets and let's do this thing! Okay not required, just fun to play with :) The tea couldn't be easier to make, but I must warn you at the start that it is astringent tasting.  Fear not, add lots of your raw, local honey, and then its an even stronger tool to combat seasonal discomforts!  This will work well at about four Purple Dead Nettle heads per cup of water, adjust accordingly, and enjoy.

  • Rinse the heads 
  • Pour boiling water over them
  • Let steep for five minutes, strain, and serve!
If you get a chance to try this healthy brew let me know what you thought in the comments below.
Did you enjoy this info?   You'll LOVE my series on Sustainability for #RealLife, it can be easier than you might think to live well, focus on health, and show some love for the plant along the way!  Check it out right HERE. 

Information courtesy of Echo Alexzander