Self Heal

Posted by Emily Davis on

Self Heal also known as heal all was used in medieval times as a cure all.  Traditionally used as a wound healer,  the leaves would be placed on a wound topically to support healing.  17th century botanist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that the plant is called self-heal because 'when you are hurt, you may heal yourself'.  Herbalist William Cole noted that Self Heal is an example of the doctrine of signatures with its affinity for the mouth and throat. The doctrine of signatures is an ancient theory that herbs have a connection with and benefit for the part of the body it resembles.

 

Self Heal Monograph

Common Name: Self heal, heal all, all heal, brunella, carpenter's herb, brownwort, hook heal, slough heal, heart of the earth, blue curls, woundwort, sickle wort


Botanical Name: Prunella vulgaris


Family: Lamiaceae


Appearance and Habitat: native to Eurasia and North America, Self heal is a low growing perennial herb that appears as a small “weed” often in lawns. Found in moist soil in woodlands and wastelands.  Square stem of the mint family with purple flowers that appear in an oblong cluster with arranged spikes.  The flower resembles an ear of corn with the seed head that remains after flowering. 


Parts Used: Aerial part


History: Herbalist William Cole noted that Self Heal is an example of doctrine of signatures with its affinity for the mouth and throat. 


Energetics: Bitter, Cool


Key Constituents: Bitter principal, lamiaceae tannins: rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, betulinic acid. Prunelline, triterpenes, flavonoids, phenolics, polysaccharides, saponins.


Properties/Actions: Febrifuge, Astringent, Expectorant, Bitter tonic, Antiseptic, Styptic, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Carminative, Antioxidant, Diuretic, Antibacterial, Photoprotective, Stomachic, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Antipyretic.


Medicinal Use: Mouth and throat ulcers, gingivitis, GI tract imbalance; IBS, diarrhea, colic, hemorrhoids, photoprotective properties make it great for skincare helping to protect against oxidative stress from UVA rays, herpes simplex, sore throat.


Preparation/dosage: Fresh herb tincture; 1.5-5 mL (1:2, 65%) 3-5x/day, Tea infusion; simmer 1 tsp of the dried plant in 150 mL of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, then strain. Gargle; Simmer 1 tsp of the dried plant in 150 mL of boiling water for 9 minutes, then strain. 


Cautions/Contraindications: None known aside from self heal allergies. 


Cultivation: Harvest in early May when it begins to flower.


Products You Can Find It In: Pure Sensitive Skincare Complex, Free-Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser + Makeup Remover, Lavish- Loving Recovery Beta Glucan Mask.  

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