Species: Prunella vulgaris
Common names: Prunella, All-Heal, Hook-Heal, Touch and Heal, Brunella, Heart of the Earth, Blue Curls
History/Folklore: Self-heal’s use has been noted in Chinese medicine as early as 206 BC. It has been used quite commonly in Europe for centuries as a remedy for throat ailments and as a treatment for wounds. It was valued as treatment for cuts and wounds and used to stop bleeding and help knit a wound together. It was taken internally as a tea to help with fevers, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. More recently Self-heal has been used to treat herpes and mouth and throat lesions because of its antiviral properties, although John Parkinson had noted its use back in 1640. It has also been found to be effective for hypothyroidism by stimulating an underactive thyroid.
Prunella has erect, many-flowered spikes and associated, overlapping, hairy bracts. The square stem has dense, cylindrical, terminal spikes of purple flowers Grows from 2 inches up to 1 foot in height.
Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers
Collection: Leaves from Spring through Fall, flowers just before blooming or as it is blooming if using fresh, allow spike to brown slightly before picking if drying.
Actions: astringent, bitter tonic, diuretic, styptic, vermifuge, vulnerary, amphoteric, antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Indications: Calms inflammatory and allergic responses, increases appetite and promotes digestion, increases the flow of urine, stops bleeding, effective against many types of bacteria, heals injuries.
Contraindications: none noted
Cultivation: stolons, division or seeds (cold-stratifying helps)
Light: Full sun to Shade
Plant Type: Creeping herbaceous perennial