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Self-Heal Prunella vulgaris Family: Lamiacae (lay-mee-AY-see-ay) The Mint family (from Lamium, the Latin name for dead nettle; used for the Mint family); formerly Labitae. The family is noted for its fragrant oils (lavender, rosemary, mint, horehound, thyme etc). Genus: Prunella (proo-NELL-uh) Linnaeus misspelling of Brunella (German name for Quinsey for which it was used as cure). It is also in reference to making a person stronger. Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) Means common Self-heal is a mint used everywhere on earth for its healing properties. It is also called Selfheal, Heal All, ground-hog plantain, square weed. Self-Heal The stems grow +40cm tall, erect (or rarely creeping), 4- minutely winged angles, glabrous and herbaceous. The leaves are opposite, lance to ovate shaped, +/6cm long and 2cm wide, entire or with small teeth, petiolate (+3cm), long at base of plant, reduced above and winged on upper leaves. Self-Heal The inflorescence occurs in terminal dense 4angled spikes each with 6 flowers(3 flowers per cymule). The whitish purple flowers are 6-7mm long and 5mm broad. The lower lip is 3-lobed. There are four stamens and 2 lobed stigmas. It flowers from May to September. Self-Heal It is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. This plant spreads by underground stems that shoot out in every direction stronger than an ox. Self-Heal In parts of the world the spring growth is collected and made into a tonic or used as a spinach substitute. Historically it has been used to fight infectious diseases, fevers and rheumatism, assist liver function, treat swollen glands and clear the eyes. In addition, in Europe it was used as a headache treatment and to fight infections in the mouth and tongue. The gypsies of Eastern Europe used it as an ingredient in their medicine show tonics which they claimed would cure anything. It is thought to be an immunity booster, an antibiotic. In colonial North America, self-heal was used to heal anything and everything. From sore throats to killing worms, to urinary and liver problems. Its main use was as a tonic. In New Zealand the ground plant is applied to cuts, wounds, bruises, and sores that won’t heal. To harvest self-heal, it must be cut about 3 cm form the ground as it begins to bloom. Research into its effects on the heart, and blood pressure continue. To Return to the Plant List Click on the Trout Lily Below Return to mints. To end this program click on this box.