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Lamium / Dead-Nettle - Classification, Medicinal Uses And Dosage

Description

Lamium is a herbaceous annual or perennial, within the family Lamiaceae. Genus Lamium comprises around 40 different species, which are found in temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Africa and Asia. Lamium is commonly known as "dead nettle" because of its similarity to the stinging nettles, but they do not release toxic chemicals. It is being used traditionally in folk medicines as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, astringent, antispasmodic, regulates sebaceous glands and also helpful in constipation, hypertension, paralysis, rheumatism, leucorrhea, uterine hemorrhage and trauma.

Lamium, Dead-Nettle, Classification, Ayurvedic Properties, Dosage, Vernacular Names, Taxonomical Classification, Habitat, Chemical Composition, Ancient Verse

Systematic Classification

  • Botanical Name - Lamium
  • Order - Lamiales
  • Family - Lamiaceae
  • Subfamily - Lamioideae

Other Names

  • Spotted dead nettle
  • Chequers
  • Shell pink
  • Purple dragon
  • White nancy

Chemical Composition

  • Iridoids - Iridoid glucosides (lamiol and lamioside), Deacetylasperulosidic acid, 6-O-syringyl-8-O-acetyl shanzhiside methyl ester, lamiide, 8-O-acetylharpagide.
  • Secoiridoids - Albosides
  • Phenylpropanoids - Phenylethanoid glycosides (acteoside, lamalboside, lamiuside), monomeric and dimeric phenylpropanoids - salidroside, liriodendrin
  • Flavonoids
    • Flavonol glycosides - kaempferol O-glucoside, rutoside, 3'-O-methyl quercetin 3-rutinoside, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, trans-tiliroside, cis-tiliroside, quercitroside.
    • Flavonol - 3,7-dimethoxy quercetin
  • Anthocyanins - A total of eight anthocyanins were identified from the flowers of Lamium.
  • Steroids - Phytoecdysteroids, sterols (β-sitosterol, daucosterol and stigmasterol)
  • Hemiterpenes - Hemiterpene glucoside, hemialboside
  • Nitrogen-containing Compounds - Benzoxazinoids, betaines
  • Essential Oils - Lamium belonging to the subfamily Lamioideae contain a small amount of essential oils vary between 0.01-0.31% and contains high content of germacrene D, other constituents are 1-octen-3-ol, hexen-1-ol, phenethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, phenol, o-, m- and p-cresols, guaiacol, eugenol, and fatty acids.
  • Miscellaneous Structured Compounds - Allantoin and uridine

Habitat

Asia, Africa, and Europe's temperate and subtropical zones are the native habitats of Lamium. It is a weedy plant and now widespread to almost all temperate regions of the world. It can be found in India between 1500 and 3700 m up in the moist areas of Western Himalayas. Lamium cannot thrive in direct sunlight; instead, it prefers full or partial shade on wet, well-drained soil that is rich in humus. This plant can swiftly cover enormous areas and is usually utilized as a groundcover in shaded locations. It grows best in damp conditions, but it can tolerate drought and dry shade. Compacted or poorly drained soils are not good for its growth.

Morphology

Lamium is a spreading herbaceous annual or perennial, grows to an average height of 6-9 inches. It has a quadrangular stem, ascending erect in position. Leaves are simple and opposite, The opposite leaves are toothed, pointed oval, triangular to heart-shaped. Thin and soft hairy leaves with a white or silver stripe down the midvein are green in color and have an unpleasant scent when crushed. The flowers are bisexual and each inflorescence has 2-8 widely placed purple to pink, or sometimes white in color, two-lipped flowers. The corolla is 4-5 lobes and sympathetic.

Ancient Texts

In ancient herbal text such as "The Herball" by John Gerard in 1597, he wrote a phrase which means that "To make the heart merry, to make a good color in the face, and to refresh the vital spirits" is how the plant is known for enhancing mood and vigor. Nicholas Culpeper in the 17th century wrote that this herb lifts the emotions, chases away depression, and makes the head happy, so, it makes people happy in both the head and the heart. Lamium is classified by Culpeper as hot and dry.

Practical Uses And Benefits

  • External Uses
    • In Chinese folk medicine Lamium plant is used in the treatment of fracture.
    • Fresh leaves of Lamium are crushed, a paste formed applied topically to swell joints, useful for warts, dandruff, hair loss and Rheumatism.
  • Internal Uses
    • Lamium has been used in Europe, China, and Japan during times of famine since long ago.
    • Aerial parts of this plant are edible and traditionally used as raw or cooked food in many dishes of some countries.
    • Non-stinging nettle of Lamium is considered a base component for some vegetarian dishes and salads, for example for making of traditional rice porridge in japan also called "seven spring herb".
    • Lamium, when added to food supplements, can prevent musculoskeletal and menstrual disorders and improves fat metabolism.
    • It is used for treating hypertension, leucorrhoea, paralysis, trauma and some gynecological diseases like menorrhagia, uterine hemorrhage, vaginal and cervical inflammation, lochia and believed to be a contraceptive.
    • According to ethnobotanical research, aerial and flowering parts are used to treat a variety of renal issues, including kidney stones.
    • Leaves decoction and infusion helps in respiratory tract problems.
    • Aerial parts decoction is traditionally used for fever, constipation, hemorrhage and depression.

Part Used

Flowers, leaves

Dosage

  • For Internal Use
    • Decoction : 5-10 ml
    • Extract : 6- 12 ml
    • Powder : 20-40 mg
  • For External Use
    • Powder - 5g

Other Alternative Herbs

The Lamiaceae family is distributed worldwide and known for its flavour, fragrant and medicinal properties. About 236 medicinal genera are present in this family and out of them some european and ayurvedic herbs show more or less functionally similarity with lamium thus can be used as substituted herb.

1. Identical European Herbs

  1. Thymus vulgaris (garden thyme or common thyme): Cure chest congestion, sore throats, fight acne and balance blood pressure. Reduce stomach pain, joint pain, detoxify liver also useful in dysmenorrhea.
  2. Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary): Cure headaches, increase menstrual flow and can cause misscarriage. Good for renal health and clear respiratory pathways also useful in indigestion.

2. Identical Indian Herbs

  1. Ocimum sanctum (Basil, Tulsi)
    • Uses and Benefits: Helps to relieve fever, rich source of vitamin K, have anti-ageing properties, helpful in rheumatoid arthritis, treat kidney stones, hypertension, hair fall and good for menstrual health. Useful in skin problems and wound infections.
    • Effect on Doshas: Balances vata and kapha doshas.
  2. Mentha (Mint, Pudina)
    • Uses and Benefits: Useful in fever, respiratory congestion, indigestion, helpful in stress, depression and weight loss. Good for skin and menstrual health.
    • Effect on Doshas: Pacify all doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) but chiefly manage the pitta dosha.
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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

MD (ALT. MEDICINE)

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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