Self-Heal - Prunella vulgaris Self-Heal - Prunella vulgaris
Foto: botanika.wendys.cz

Herb: Self-Heal


Latin name: Prunella vulgaris


Family: Labiatae



Medicinal use of Self-Heal:

Self heal has a long history of folk use, especially in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, sores etc. It was also taken internally as a tea in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea, sore mouth, internal bleeding etc. In Korea it is used to treat oedema, nephritis, scrofula and goitre. The whole plant is alterative, antibacterial, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, stomachic, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas, Bacillus typhi, E. coli, Mycobacterium tuberculi etc. It can be used fresh or dried, for drying it is best harvested in mid-summer. The plant is experimentally antibiotic and hypotensive.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
15 cm
(6 inches)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground, grassland, woodland edges etc, usually on basic and neutral soils.

Edible parts of Self-Heal:

Leaves - raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, soups, stews etc. Somewhat bitter due to the presence of tannin in the leaves, though this can be removed by washing the leaves. A cold water infusion of the freshly chopped or dried and powdered leaves is used as a refreshing beverage. Very tasty.

Other uses of the herb:

An olive-green dye is obtained from the flowers and stems. The plant is a good ground-cover in sunny positions or light shade.

Propagation of Self-Heal:

Seed - sow in mid spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in mid to late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste ground, grassland, woodland edges etc, usually on basic and neutral soils.

Known hazards of Prunella vulgaris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.