Common names: white nettle, white archangel, blind nettle, dumb nettle, deaf nettle, bee nettle
The white dead nettle belongs to the order Lamiales and the Lamiaceae family. It is a perennial plant with ramified rhizomes. The rectangular stems are 30-50 cm tall and have alternate leaves. The leaves are broad, triangular, with a rounded base and rare hairs and serrated margins. The flowers are about 2 cm long with a welded calyx and a white or yellow corolla; two of the stamens are shorter than the other two. The flowering period begins in May and, depending on the habitat, it can last until September.
The white dead nettle is a common plant for Europe and Asia. The plant prefers nitrogen-rich soils, growing frequently in forests, shrubby areas, along fences and in fresh weed associations.
The drug is made from the corolla of the white dead nettle flowers (Lamii albi flos) and from its aerial stems and flowers (Lamii albi herba). In the first case, the corollas are removed from calyces along with the stamens and they are separated from the rest of the flower. They are shade-dried in a thin layer or in an artificial dryer. It is important for the flowers to retain their white colour as long as possible. When collected, the stems are cut a few centimeters above the ground. 1 kilogram of dried drug is made from about 6-7 kg flowers or 4-5 kg stems.
One of the main active ingredients is lamalbid, an iridoids glycoside. The plant also contains phenolcarbonic acids and their derivatives (in particular caffeic acid and its esters) and flavonoids.
The therapeutic uses of the white dead nettle are due to its slight diuretic and expectorant effects. In folk medicine, it is often used to treat white discharge and urinary problems in case of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Occasionally, it can be used as a treatment of bronchitis. It can be also used to treat stomach and digestive problems, especially bloating. White dead nettle tea is recommended in case of insomnia. As an external treatment, dried flowering stems are used for rectal or dermatological inflammations and to relieve menstrual cramps.