Self heal, the generic name, Prunella, (Prunella vulgaris; Family Lamiaceae (Labiatae); Perennial ) is a wonderful medicinal flower and herb which as the name suggests has tremendous healing properties. (Also known as common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort and blue curls)
Self-heal, a member of the mint family, looks much like a mint but lacks a minty or other aromatic fragrance. In fact, the plant has virtually no odor.
In traditional Chinese medicine, self-heal has been referred to as a cooling herb, useful against fevers and liver and kidney disorders and as a tonic.
Self-heal is often taken as a tea or a tincture for sore throats, fevers, diarrhea, inflammation, and heart and liver problems. Self-heal contains powerful antioxidant and antibiotic properties which has given it a reputation for being excellent for the immune, cardiovascular, and lymphatic system.
Self-Heal herb can help provide relief from tension headaches, edema, bronchitis, infections, viral conditions, vertigo, sensitivity to light, and high blood pressure.
It also contains detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, hemostatic, and astringent properties.
Self heal has the unique ability to help pull heavy metals out of the body and is particularly beneficial for the liver. Originally called “Heart of the Earth”, Self Heal has been given great reverence for hundreds of years due to its incredibly vast healing abilities.
Self-heal is also excellent as a gargle for sore throats and as a mouthwash for canker sores and bleeding gums. Topically, it can be used as a poultice, salve, or cream to help aid in the healing of cuts, wounds, bee stings, hemorrhoids, conjunctivitis, goiters, lipomas, and varicose veins.
For women, self-heal is especially beneficial for lymphatic issues such as swollen breasts, fibrocystic cysts, and sore nipples, apply nightly for best results.
Self-heal herb, tincture, tea, cream, or salve can be found online or at your local health food store. Self-heal is a small, but powerful herb worthy of a spot in your home medicine cabinet.
Though self-heal is edible, it apparently has few traditional culinary uses. You may soak chopped fresh leaves or powdered dried leaves in cold water to make a somewhat refreshing beverage, but many tastier ones come to mind. The leaves have little flavor at first, but chewing them brings out a slight bitterness. You may serve the young shoots and leaves raw in salads, cooked as potherb, or added to soups and stews.
Self-heal’s square stems arise from a fibrous rootstock and sprawl along the ground 2 feet or more before turning upward.
This habit makes the flower heads appear to be carried on stems only a foot or so high (less in a lawn). The leaves are medium green, opposite, rounded at the base and pointed or blunt at the tip.
Self-heal grows so readily that many gardeners consider it a weed. It is likely to overrun an herb bed unless contained in a bottomless pot and ruthlessly deadheaded. In a meadow or informal landscape, however, self-heal makes a nice ground cover. It is attractive in front of a border of shade-loving shrubs.
Start with seeds or plants and barely cover seeds with soil and prepare to wait: they may take as long as a month or two to germinate at 55° to 65°F.
Established plants self-sow prolifically and also spread by putting down roots at nodes on the stem. Rooted divisions may be taken in spring to increase your planting. Self Heal enjoys the sun or partial sun.
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