Tiny Self-heal, which can be found growing on many lawns and in meadows and pastures throughout North America, is a perennial in the mint family. Also called all-heal, prunella vulgaris prefers full to part sun, and propagates by seed or creeping stems. The purple flowers can be seen in bloom from June to August, and attract friendly insects such as moths and butterflies. There are two sub-species that have been identified: var. lanceolata and var. vulgaris. The latter vulgaris variety is said to be non-native to North America.
Self-heal Energetics: bitter, spicy cold
Self-heal Parts Used: flowering top (aerial part)
Self-heal (flower and leaf) can be eaten raw in salads or added to soups and stews. Because of its hairiness, not all will find the texture agreeable raw.
Self-heal has a long history of use and is so-called as it is an alterative herb, meaning it heals all bodily systems. This gentle and tonifying herb has quite the list of herbal actions and medicinal uses:
How to Use Self-heal
Personal Tidbit. My herbal teacher used to refer to self-heal as prunella, which means to cure. She said that the flowers contain the most medicine. The leaves also contain the most medicine, according to Susun Weed. The spikes, which are sold in Asian markets, do not contain flowers or leaves.
Counterindications. Prunella vulgaris is considered a safe herb by most, similar to chamomile or mint tea. As with any herb, work with a health practitioner who can best guide you.
Prunella Vulgaris- L. Plants For A Future.
Weed, S. (2003, September 3). Herbal medicine chest...in your backyard. Weed Wanderings with Susun Weed.
Julia (2015, January 25). Heal thyself with self heal. Julia's Edible Weeds.
Tierra, Michael (1988). Planetary Herbology. Lotus Press.
To healthy prunella days ahead,
Article Written in 2021.
Photos: Stock Images.
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