Benefits Of Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) For Health

Benefits Of Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) For Health


Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris)


Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) is known as other names: All Heal, Blue Curls, Brownwort, Brunelle, Brunelle Commune, Brunelle Vulgaire, Brunette, Carpenter's Herb, Carpenter's Weed, Charbonni√®re, Heal-All, Heart of the Earth, Herbe au Charpentier, Hercules Woundwort, Xu Ku Cao, Prunella, Panay, Hock-Heal, Petite Consoude...

Self-heal is an extremely valued herb for curing wounds and is extensively used to impede bleeding. Basically native to Europe, self-heal became popular and gained importance when military doctors used the herb not only to cure wounds, but also treat infectious fevers that plagued the royal German army during the period between 1547 and 1566.

The self-heal leaves, oblong in form and blunt, about an inch long and 1/2 inch broad, grow on short stalks in pairs down the square stem, from which they stand out boldly, and are often roughish on the top, with scattered, close hairs, their mid-rib at the back also carrying hairs and their margins fringed with tiny hairs.

Benefits Of Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) For Health
Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) Picture

Each flower consists of a two-lipped calyx, the upper lip very wide and flat, edged with three blunt teeth, the lower lip much narrower and with two long, pointed teeth. Bothlips have red margins and carry hairs. The two-lipped corolla is of a deep purple hue, the upper lip strongly arched, on the top of the arch many hairs standing on end, and the lower lip of much the same length, spreading out into three holes. Under the roofing upper lip are two pairs of stamens, one pair longer than the other, their filaments ending in two little branches, one of which carries an anther, the other remaining a little spike. Through the centre of the two pairs of stamens the long style runs, curving so as to fit under the lip, its lower end set between four nutlets. Honey lies at the bottom of the corolla tube, protected from tiny insects by a thick hedge of hairs placed just above self-heal.

In the ancient times, herbalists recommended self-heal as an astringent owing to the bitterness of the herb. Seventeenth century herbalist and physician Nicholas Culpepper had observed that when applied on open wounds, self-heal not only impedes the flow of the blood from the wounds, but also repairs the affected area by fusing up the lips of the wounds. In addition, the herb was frequently recommended as a gargle to treat sore throats. Today, self-heal is used for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), diarrhea, colic, and stomach upset and irritation (gastroenteritis). It is also used for mouth and throat ulcers, sore throat, and internal bleeding. Some people use self-heal for HIV/AIDS, fever, headache, dizziness, liver disease, and spasm. Self-Heal is also used to kill germs (as an antiseptic), loosen phlegm (as an expectorant), and tighten and dry skin (as an astringent).

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Benefits Of Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) For Health




Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) may be mentioned here that John Gerard, a 16th century herbalist who was also the chief secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth I, praised the self-heal highly for its therapeutic properties. According to Gerard, there was no better medication for wounds than self-heal in the world and suggested that when the herb is combined with water and wine, self-heal is highly effective in treating all kinds of wounds whether internal or external. Following the Doctrine of Signatures whereby the plant's flowers resembled the mouth, the herb was extensively used to treat sore throats and other infections of the mouth. In addition, the herb was prescribed for treating diarrhea and boils. 

Some recent researched conducted on self-heal is said to have shown signs of remedies prepared from the herb's extract to slow down the cell division in HIV. Chinese herbal medicine practitioners use self-heal to lower the blood pressure as well as an antibiotic.

Benefits Of Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) For Health
Self-Heal (Prunella Vulgaris) Picture

Self-heal is used for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), diarrhea, colic, and stomach upset and gastroenteritis. It is also used for mouth and throat ulcers, sore throat, and internal bleeding.

Self-heal is applied directly to the skin for vaginal discharges and other disorders of women’s reproductive systems, as well as for wounds and bruises.

Herbalists in China recommend taking self-heal on its own or combined with ju hua better known as the Chinese chrysanthemum to treat fevers, headaches, dizziness as well as vertigo. In addition, the herb is also used to soothe the swollen and sore eyes. The Chinese herbalists also use self-heal to calm the ‘liver fire' that occurs owing to weakness of the liver. The herb is also recommended for use to treat all infected and enlarged glands, mainly the lymph nodes or organ filtering nodes of the neck.