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Self Heal

Self Heal

prunella vulgaris

Self heal plant has been used for centuries to attenuate infections and various other ailments. It helps in reducing the inflammations of various origins, especially the inflammation associated with bowel, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Heal All, Brunella, Carpenter's Herb
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers & Leaves
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About Self Heal

Prunella vulgaris is an erect herbaceous perennial that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. It is marked by numerous club-like, clustered, true purple flowers and lance-shaped leaves that are a bit reddish at the tips. The key feature of the self heal plant is its tough, square-shaped, self-rooted stem.

Like most medicinal herbs, self heal plant has been used for centuries to attenuate infections and various other ailments. It helps in reducing the inflammations of various origins, especially the inflammation associated with bowel, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Self heal is also known to perform a stellar job at catering to gastrointestinal tract disorders, including diarrhea, gastroenteritis, colic, and upset stomach.

Self heal can also help in the management of oxidative stress and disorders associated with it such as diabetes. It is considered to guard against the onset of cancer, atherosclerosis, and herpes.

The leaves and young shoots of self heal are marketed in fresh and dry form. They are used because they are high in nutrients such as Vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin K, and tannins.

Prunella vulgaris can be a useful addition to a garden as its tremendously vibrant flowers call for pollinating insects which results to be fruitful for the pollination of other plants too.

Growing

Prunella vulgaris is an easy-growing plant that can be started outdoors during spring. For indoor plantation, the seeds are sown 10 weeks before the spring planting dates.

Prunella requires partial shade and cold to moderate temperature for growth. Also, it prefers rich organic soil and a medium water supply. The seeds are supposed to be broadcasted superficially as they require light to germinate.

Prunella spreads quite quickly so bottomless containers can be used for outdoor plants to contain its spreading. Otherwise, indoor containerized pots seem to be the finest option for confining its invasiveness.

The self heal plant portrays a highly irregular germination pattern. Its seeds could take weeks or months to sprout. The seeds then produce radicals that turn into roots and shoots that in turn become a good mature plant in no time.

Self heal plant enters the blooming phase in May and continues with the process responsibly until September arrives. During this time, the purple blooms work wonders at bringing various pollinating insects to execute pollination.

The fertilization leads to the formation of dry fruits that bear seeds. These seeds either perform the ritual of self-sowing or are collected to be sown by hand to begin a new lifecycle.

Harvesting

The aerial parts of the self heal plant can be harvested from June till September.

The aerial parts, including leaves, stems, and flowers are harvested with sharp gardening shears.

The aerial parts of the self heal flowers are dried in small bunches until they feel crispy. The dried plant material is then subjected to airtight containers to retain their essence.

Usage

Self heal, a flowering plant, is used since the 16th century. The primitive herbalists held the self heal plant with respect due to its amazing medicinal benefits.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped self heal flowers and stems in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried aerial parts of the self heal plant are chopped and soaked in hot boiling water to form self heal tea.
  • Decoction - Dried aerial parts are boiled in water for 4 to 5 hours and strained to form self heal decoction.
  • Salve - Self heal infused oil is merged with melted beeswax to form self heal salve.
  • Syrup - Dried self heal flower tops and leaves can be simmered in a sugar solution to form self heal syrup.
  • Infused oil - Self heal dried herbs are infused in sunflower oil for 3 weeks to form self heal infused oil.