Facts about Henbit

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Henbit Quick Facts
Name: Henbit
Scientific Name: Lamium amplexicaule
Origin Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, the Himalaya, Korea, Japan, North America, North Africa, European part of the former USSR, the Caucasus, Crimea, Central Asia, Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia and the Far East
Colors Initially green turning to brown as they matures
Shapes Four-chambered nutlets, each containing a single seed. Nutlets are egg-shaped to oblong, 3-angled, brown with white spots, and 1-2 mm long
Taste Slightly sweet and peppery taste
Health benefits Good for fever, treat joint aches, stress, anxiety, chronic pain, soreness, stiffness, hypertension, scrofula, paralysis, prostate, menorrhagia, uterine hemorrhage, leucorrhea, trauma and fracture
Lamium amplexicaule, commonly known as common henbit, or greater henbit, is a species of Lamium belonging to Lamiaceae Martinov or Mint family. The plant is native to Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, the Himalaya, Korea, Japan, North America, and North Africa, European part of the former USSR, the Caucasus, Crimea, Central Asia, Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia and the Far East. Some of the popular common names of the plants are common henbit, giraffe head, henbit, henbit dead-nettle, common dead-nettle, clasping henbit, dead nettle and greater Henbit. Henbit got its name because it seems to be a particular favorite of hens; however it has been identified as a causative in staggers in horses, sheep and cattle in Australia. (But we’ve never had a case in the US).

The plant propagates freely by seed and is regarded as a minor weed. Sometimes entire fields will be reddish-purple with its flowers before spring ploughing. Where common, is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees, especially honeybees, where it helps start the spring buildup. Henbit Deadnettle is found throughout Europe and Asia. It is an introduced weed in other parts of the world, such as South Africa.

Henbit Facts

Name Henbit
Scientific Name Lamium amplexicaule
Native Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, the Himalaya, Korea, Japan, North America, North Africa, European part of the former USSR, the Caucasus, Crimea, Central Asia, Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia and the Far East
Common Names Common henbit, giraffe head, henbit, henbit dead-nettle, Common dead-nettle, Clasping henbit, Dead nettle, Greater Henbit
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Henbit, Turksenael, Turknael               
Albanian: Henbit, hithëbuta kërcellpushtuese, hithëbutë            
Amharic: Hīsabi (ሂሳብ)
Arabic: Hilbit (هينبيت), Woudnine el Far, taqayh alghurab (taqiat alghurab), (طاقيه الغراب (طاقية الغُراب)), fam alsumkih (fum alsamakh) (فم السمكه (فُم السَمَكه)), lamiuwn multafi alsaaq (لاميون ملتف الساق)
Armenian: Henbit (հենբիտ)     
Azerbaijani: Henbit
Belarusian: Jasnotka scieblaabdymnaja (Яснотка сцеблаабдымная)
Bengali: Henbit
Bulgarian: Henbit, stŭbloobkhvashtashta mŭrtva kopriva (стъблообхващаща мъртва коприва)
Burmese: Hainnare (ဟင်နရီ)
Catalan: Flor-robí, floruví, ninoi, peu de gall, Galleret, Mataporc, Ninois, Peu de nostre senyor, Tinya negra
Chinese: hen (很), bao gai cao, Bǎo gài cǎo (宝盖草)
Croatian: Kopriva, obuhvatna mrtva kopriva       
Czech: Slepice, Hluchavka objímavá        
Danish: Henbit, Liden tvetand, Stängelfassende Taubnessel       
Dutch: Henbit, Hoenderbeet     
English: Henbit, Henbit Dead-nettle, Common henbit, Giraffehead, Common dead-nettle, Clasping henbit, Dead nettle, Greater Henbit
Esperanto: Henbit          
Estonian: Henbit, hõlmlehine iminõges 
Filipino: Henbit               
Finnish: Henbit, Sepiväpeippi, Sepopeippi
French: Henbit, Lamier amplexicaule, Pain de poule, lamier embrassant, lamier à feuilles embrassantes
Georgian: Henbit’I (ჰენბიტი)
German: Henbit, Stengelumfassende Taubnessel, Stängelumfassende Taubnessel
Greek: Chinbit (χηνbit), dodekánthi (δωδεκάνθι               )
Gujarati: Hēnabīṭa (હેનબીટ)
Hausa: Henbit
Hebrew: Nizmit lofetet, נִזְמִית לוֹפֶתֶת, נזמית לופתת                           
Hindi: Henbit    
Hungarian: Arvacsalán, bársonyos árvacsalán                    
Icelandic: Henbit, varpatvítönn
Indonesian: Henbit        
Irish: Henbit, Caochneantóg chirce         
Italian: Henbit, erba ruota, lamio rotondo, falsa-ortica reniforme
Japanese: Hobitto (ホビット), hotokenoza (ホトケノザ), sangaigusa (サンガイグサ), Kasumisō (カスミソウ), Ho toke no za (ほとけのざ), Sangaisō (三階草), Futsu no za (仏 の座 )
Javanese: Henbit
Kabyle: Ticebbubin n wakli
Kannada: Henbiṭ (ಹೆನ್ಬಿಟ್)
Kazakh: Khenbit (хенбит)           
Korean: Amtalg (암탉), gwangdaenamul (광대나물)
Kurdish: Henbit               
Lao: Henbit
Latin: Henbit     
Latvian: Henbīts, skaujošā panātre
Lithuanian: Henbitas, apskritalapė notrelė          
Macedonian: Hebit (Хебит)
Malagasy: Henbit
Malay: Henbit  
Malayalam: Hen‌biṟṟ (ഹെൻ‌ബിറ്റ്)
Maltese: Henbit              
Marathi: Kōmbaḍī (कोंबडी)
Mongolian: Henbit
Nepali: Hēnabiṭa (हेनबिट)
Netherlands: Hoenderbeet
Northern Sami: Dipmačotteš  
Norwegian: Henbit, Kat-aug, Kattøje, Mjuktvitann, Myktvetann,             
Occitan: Mauvige
Oriya: ହେନବିଟ୍ |
Pashto: مرغۍ
Persian: هیتیت, لامیوم امپلکسیکال
Polish: Henbit, jasnota różowa                 
Portuguese: Henbit, chuchapitos; menta-selvagem, chupapitos, lâmio, lâmio-violeta, urtiga-branca, Urtiga-Fohla-redonda,                
Punjabi: Henbit               
Romanian: Henbit, sugel
Russian: Henbit, yasnotka stebleob”yemlyushchaya (яснотка cтеблеобъемлющая)
Scottish Gaelic: Caoch-dheanntag Chearc
Serbian: Henbit (хенбит), mrtva kopriva (мртва коприва), njivna kopriva (њивна коприва), njivska mrtva kopriva (њивска мртва коприва)                              
Sindhi: Hanib (حنيب)
Sinhala: Henbiṭ (හෙන්බිට්)
Slovak: Hluchavka objímavá                       
Slovenian: Henbit, njivska mrtva kopriva                             
Spanish: Henbit, ortiga muerta de hojas abrazantes, conejitos, gallitos, lamio, morrons dobles, ortiga muerta menor, patica de gallo, zapatitos de la virgin, ortiga mansa, alagüeña, chupones, chupón, flor rubí, gargantilla, manto de la Virgen                         
Sundanese: Henbit        
Swedish: Henbit, Mjukplister, Sepiväpeippi
Tajik: Henbit     
Tamil: Heṉpiṭ (ஹென்பிட்)
Telugu: Henbit 
Thai: Henbit
Turkish: Henbit, baltutan, Büyük ballıbaba
Ukrainian: Khenbit (хенбіт), hlukha kropyva stebloobhortna (глуха кропива стеблообгортна)
UK: Henbit dead-nettle
Upper Sorbian: Mała cycawka
USA: Bee nettle, blind nettle, common dead nettle, dead nettle
Urdu: مرغی        
Uzbek: Henbit  
Vietnamese: Gà mái      
Welsh: Henbit, Marddanadl Coch Deilgrwn, Marddanadlen Goch Gron, Marddanadlen Goch Gylchddail, Marddanhadlen Goch Cylchddail, Marddanhadlen Goch Ddeilgron, Marddanhadlen Goch Groin 
Zulu: I-henbit
Plant Growth Habit Cool season, low-growing, winter annual, herbaceous, broadleaved weed
Growing Climates Inland cliffs, rock pavements, outcrops, waste places such as roadsides, railway yards, building sites, cropland, yards, parks, fallow fields, pastures, in gardens, on lawns, on arable land, forest margins, marshes as well as a weed in agricultural fields
Soil Prefers light, dry soil and cultivated soil
Plant Size 10–25 cm (3.9–9.8 in) tall
Stem Stem spreading then erect, tuft-like branched, glabrous below and downy above, leafless below the flowers
Leaf Leaves are opposite, up to 1 inch long and nearly as wide, hemispheric to nearly round to kidney-shaped, rounded at the tip, straight across to somewhat wedge-shaped at the base, with rounded teeth along the edges and sometimes with a few shallow lobes.
Flowering season April to August
Flower Flowers are in whorls of 4 to 10 at the top of the plant and at leaf axils in the upper half of the stem. Individual flowers are ½ to ¾ inch long, pinkish-purple, irregular with 2 lips at the end of a long, slender tube.  The lower lip is divided into two rounded lobes. Each lobe has a dark purple spot in its center. The upper lip is shaped like a hood.
Fruit Shape & Size Four-chambered nutlets, each containing a single seed. Nutlets are egg-shaped to oblong, 3-angled, brown with white spots, and 1-2 mm long
Fruit Color Initially green turning to brown as they matures
Seed Seeds are light to dark brown.
Taste Slightly sweet and peppery taste
Plant Parts Used Stems, leaves, and flowers
Propagation By seed
Other Facts
  • The plants should be used immediately after harvest for the best quality and flavor and will only keep 1 to 2 days when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Henbit has been foraged from wild plants as a food source, natural medicine, and fodder for animals throughout history.
Precautions
  • While henbit is a fantastic food to forage, overeating the leaves or drinking too much henbit tea could produce a laxative effect.

Plant Description

Henbit is a cool season, low-growing, winter annual, herbaceous, broadleaved weed that normally grows about 10–25 cm (3.9–9.8 in) tall with soft, finely hairy stems. The plant is found growing in inland cliffs, rock pavements, outcrops, waste places such as roadsides, railway yards, building sites, cropland, yards, parks, fallow fields, pastures, in gardens, on lawns, on arable land, forest margins, marshes as well as a weed in agricultural fields. It prefers light, dry soil and cultivated soil. Seedling stems are square, green to purple, with basally pointing hairs. Mature stems are square, green to purple, nearly hairless, prostrate or curved at the base, with an erect or ascending tip, and typically many-branched near the base.

Leaves

Leaves are opposite, up to 1 inch long and nearly as wide, hemispheric to nearly round to kidney-shaped, rounded at the tip, straight across to somewhat wedge-shaped at the base, with rounded teeth along the edges and sometimes with a few shallow lobes. Surfaces are sparsely hairy; lower leaves are petiolated, rounded to heart-shaped, with rounded teeth. Upper leaves are sessile, deeply lobed, encircling the stem at the base.

Flower

Flowers are in whorls of 4 to 10 at the top of the plant and at leaf axils in the upper half of the stem. Individual flowers are ½ to ¾ inch long, pinkish-purple, irregular with 2 lips at the end of a long, slender tube.  The lower lip is divided into two rounded lobes. Each lobe has a dark purple spot in its center. The upper lip is shaped like a hood. The outside of the corolla is pinkish purple. The inner portion is white with purple spots or lines. Inside the tube are 4 stamens. The calyx surrounding the base of the tube is 5-lobed, densely hairy, and up to about 1/3 inch long. Henbit also produces inconspicuous cleistogamous flowers. These flowers never open and fertilize themselves. This plant flowers very early in the spring even in northern areas, and for most of the winter and the early spring in warmer locations such as the Mediterranean region. At times of year when there are not many pollinating insects, the flowers self-pollinate.

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by four-chambered nutlets, each containing a single seed. Nutlets are egg-shaped to oblong, 3-angled, brown with white spots, and 1-2 mm long. Four nutlets, each with 1 seed, are enclosed within the persistent sepals. Seeds are light to dark brown.

 

Traditional uses and benefits of Henbit

  • It is used medicinally for traumatic injury.
  • According to Natural Medicinal Herbs this edible plant is anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, an excitant, febrifuge, a laxative and a stimulant.
  • Henbit has been used in herbal remedies to reduce fever, induce sweating, and treat joint aches.
  • Some people create henbit green smoothies to aid digestion and boost energy.
  • Henbit herbal tea has stimulant and excitant effects which means it could help relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Plants have been said to be a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract and iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream.
  • Poultice of henbit can treat external bleeding, burns, bruises, stings, and wounds.
  • Tea can be used to treat diarrhea.
  • It relieves chronic pain and discomfort in joints and connective tissue.
  • It is anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory, so it’s great for relieving chronic pain, soreness, and stiffness.
  • It can help with menstrual cramps and excessive bleeding.
  • It is also used for the treatment of hypertension, scrofula, paralysis, prostate, menorrhagia, uterine hemorrhage, leucorrhea, trauma, fracture

Culinary Uses

  • It is added to salads or used as a potherb.
  • Young leaves can be eaten raw, added to salads or used as an herb seasoning, or cooked as leafy greens.
  • You can add it raw to salads, soups, wraps, or green smoothies.
  • The leaves can also be dried and used as a tea.
  • Henbit can be finely chopped and tossed into salads, used as a topping over pizza, or pureed into a pesto.
  • Leaves can also be blended into smoothies, layered into sandwiches, or minced and stirred into herbal dips.
  • Henbit can be included into soups, curries, and stews, cooked into stir-fries, mixed into frittatas and omelets, or stirred into fritter batter.

Henbit Noodles with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound henbit leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or peccorino romano cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms or reconstituted from dried (save soaking liquid)
  • 1 cup mushroom stock (or soaking liquid from dried mushrooms) OR vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

Directions

For the Noodles

  1. Simmer the henbit leaves in very little water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately run cold water over them. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  2. Pulse the cooked henbit and the peeled garlic in a food processor (or finely mince with a knife).
  3. Add the egg and puree the ingredients (or mash together with a fork if not using a food processor).
  4. Reserve 1/3 cup of the all-purpose flour. Whisk together the rest of the all-purpose and the semolina flours in a large bowl. Dump the contents of the bowl out onto a clean counter or cutting board. Make a well (indentation) in the center.
  5. Pour the egg-henbit mixture into the well in the center of the flour. Mix the flour into the liquid mixture with a fork.
  6. Knead the mixture by hand for 10 minutes (or in a stand mixer with the bread hook or food processor with the dough blade until the dough comes together into a ball). Kneading by hand is better because you have more control of how much flour ends up in the dough: stop incorporating more as soon as it is possible to knead the dough without it sticking to your fingers.
  7. Cover the dough with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Cut the rested dough into quarters. Roll one of the quarters out with a rolling pin or an old wine bottle until it is as thin as you can get it. Turn the dough over frequently while you roll it out, and dust it with additional flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking to your rolling implement.
  9. Give the rolled out dough one more light sprinkling of flour then roll it up into a loose cigar shape. Cut crosswise so that it forms coils of 1/4 to 1/2 – inch wide noodles. Uncoil the coils and lightly dust them with additional flour.

For the Sauce

  1. If you’re using dried mushrooms, first soak them in boiling hot water for 15 minutes. Drain (reserving the soaking liquid) and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Whether you started with fresh mushrooms or dried, coarsely chop them.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the mushrooms and a little salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give up their liquid and then most of the liquid evaporates.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high.
  4. Add the thyme and the white wine and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the mushroom soaking liquid (if you started with dried mushrooms) and/or the stock a small splash at a time, stirring constantly. Each addition should thicken before you add more liquid. When it is all the consistency of thick gravy, turn off the heat and add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Bring It Together

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fresh henbit noodles and stir gently. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Drain. Return to the pot; add the sauce and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Toss gently to coat the noodles with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve with additional grated cheese and a little minced fresh henbit sprinkled over as a garnish (or parsley).

Henbit Flapjacks

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 T oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup diced Henbit (leaves, flowers and stems if not too woody)
  • Butter for frying

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Add liquid ingredients and mix.
  3. Fold in Henbit.
  4. Fry in butter.
  5. Serve with your choice of topping such as honey, syrup or preserves.

Cannelloni Bean and Henbit Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) Cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Henbit
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in stock pot. Add garlic and onion and fry until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add beans and pasta.  Boil until pasta is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add Henbit and cook several minutes until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Top with Parmesan cheese when serving. Makes about six servings.

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product’s label.

Cultural Control

Intensive agriculture, especially spring and summer tillage that does not allow L. amplexicaule plants to mature will manage populations over time.

Mechanical Control

Although not practical in winter cereals, tillage/cultivation in summer row-crops is effective for control of L. amplexicaule seedlings. The same is true for hoeing in home gardens and similar areas that can be managed by hand.

Biological Control

Although L. amplexicaule is a host to a large number of crop pests, none is known to be specific to this weed or has been researched as a potential biological control agent.

Chemical Control

Numerous herbicides are highly effective in controlling L. amplexicaule; however, selection of an herbicide that is selective to the crop in question must be done carefully.

Integrated Control

In agronomic and horticultural crops, L. amplexicaule can be managed through a combination of cultural, mechanical and chemical measures.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=32539#null

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/lamium_amplexicaule.htm

https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lamium+amplexicaule

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/29728#tosummaryOfInvasiveness

https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W165.pdf

https://www.ediblewildfood.com/henbit.aspx

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The content and the information in this website are for informational and educational purposes only, not as a medical manual. All readers are urged to consult with a physician before beginning or discontinuing use of any prescription drug or under taking any form of self-treatment. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you are under treatment for any health problem, you should check with your doctor before trying any home remedies. If you are following any medication, take any herb, mineral, vitamin or other supplement only after consulting with your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help. The Health Benefits Times writers, publishers, authors, its representatives disclaim liability for any unfavorable effects causing directly or indirectly from articles and materials contained in this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com