Dead-Nettle (lamium purpureum)
Purple dead nettle is a short lived annual in the mint family (Lamiaceae ). Usually growing no larger than 1ft in height, it has squared stems (characteristic of mint family) and soft fuzzy leaves with a opposite leaf arrangement. Leaves also have a bit of purple in them. Flowers are pink/purple and very small.
The leaves, stem, and flowers are all edible. Purple dead nettle is very nutritious being high in iron, vitamins, and fiber. It can be eaten raw as a salad green or cooked. Try boiling in water for 20-30 minutes, drain, and season to taste. Collect when in flower for fresh eating or for storage by drying.
The entire plant is an astringent, styptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and purgative. A decoction can be made to help with hemorrhaging and the freshly bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts. Make a tea to use as a laxative or tonic by adding 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried herb to 1 cup hot water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink in 1/2 cup doses.