White Dead Nettle
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White Dead Nettle
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: White Dead Nettle, blind nettle, dumb nettle, deaf nettle, bee nettle
Botanical name: Lamium album    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

White Deadnettle is a perennial herb found in damp places in Western Himalayas, at altitudes of 1500-3700 m. It grows up to 50-100 cm tall, with green, four-angled stems. Ovate-heart-shaped leaves are 2.5-8 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, with coarsely toothed margin. The leaves appear superficially similar to those of the Stinging nettle Urtica dioica but do not sting, hence the common name "dead nettle". Lower leaves have stalks while the upper ones are stalk-less. The flowers are white, produced in a few whorls, vertically separated, on the upper part of the stem. The flowers whorls arise from the axils of the upper oppositely arranged leaves. The flowers are 1.5-2.5 cm long, 2-lipped, with a curved flower-tube with a swollen base. The upper lip is hooded over the stamens, and is quite hairy, with white hairs forming a fringe on the hood. The lower lip smaller, bilobed. The young leaves are edible, and can be used in salads or cooked as a vegetable. The plant also has a number of uses in herbal medicine. Bees are attracted to the flowers which contain nectar or pollen, hence the plant is sometimes called the Bee Nettle. Flowering: April-July.
Medicinal uses: White dead nettle is an astringent and demulcent herb that is chiefly used as a uterine tonic, to arrest intermenstrual bleeding and to reduce excessive menstrual flow. It is a traditional treatment for abnormal vaginal discharge and is sometimes taken to relieve painful periods

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed at McLeodganj-Triund route, Himachal Pradesh.
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