Perennial growing to 2 ft (60 cm). Has a square stem, toothed oval leaves, and clusters of white double-lipped flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
White deadnettle is native to and widespread in Europe and central and northern Asia. It thrives in fields and in open areas. It is gathered when in flower in summer.
White deadnettle contains a saponin, flavones, mucilage, and tannins.
History & Folklore
Deadnettle is so called because it resembles true nettle (Urtica dioica), without the stinging hairs. It was also known as archangel, a plant “to make the heart merry, to make a good color in the face, and to refresh the vital spirits” (John Gerard, The Herball, 1597).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
White deadnettle is astringent and demulcent. It is chiefly used as a uterine tonic, to arrest intermenstrual bleeding, and to reduce excessive menstrual flow. It is also a traditional treatment for abnormal vaginal discharge. The herb is sometimes taken to relieve painful periods. Its astringency helps treat diarrhea, and, used externally, it can relieve hemorrhoids and varicose veins.