Heal All (Prunella vulgaris)

Heal all, also known as self-heal or woundwort, is a perennial that can grow nearly anywhere but thrives in growing zones 3-9. They require moist but well-drained soil under full sun to partial shade. Seeds can be sown in the fall in colder climates, and during the spring in warmer climates.

Heal all has been used medicinally throughout the world for centuries. It is said to be antibacterial, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, and more. It is rich in antioxidants and has multiple beneficial compounds including tannin, flavonoid, thiamine, and vitamins C and K. This plant is used to treat almost any minor ailment, such as allergies, headache, sore throat, styes, aches, cold sores, etc. It can also be beneficial to the immune and digestive system, as well as wound healing and skin health.

Heal all is often applied topically as a balm or salve, or consumed as a pill, tea, or extract. It’s also an excellent addition to salads if added raw, and can be cooked and added to soups and stews. 

To consume as a tea, bring your kettle to a light boil as you prepare your herb. You may use fresh or dried herb for this recipe; I recommend using 3-4 whole plants but you can adjust as needed. Finely break apart the plant and steep in the water for 5-10 minutes, depending on the potency you’d like. Once finished, remove the plant matter and adjust to your liking. Enjoy warm or change the recipe by infusing with cold water and other herbs for a cool, refreshing drink. Although this is a tea recipe, you can use it as a wound wash as well!

Zero Waste Tip: The excess plant material can be applied on small wounds to clean, disinfect, and promote healing to the area. It can also be applied on the skin as a mask ingredient for an antioxidant and vitamin boost.

How do you like to use heal all? Let us know in the comments below! Just in time for sowing, seeds for this plant can be found on our website, Etsy, or at the downtown Veneta Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, 10-2pm. 

Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor or herbalist before use, as everyone can have different reactions and benefits from this plant.

 

Sources:

  1. Jassbi AR, Miri R, Asadollahi M, Javanmardi N, Firuzi O. Cytotoxic, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of nine species of woundwort (Stachys) plants. Pharm Biol. 2014;52(1):62-7. doi:10.3109/13880209.2013.810650
  2. Rasool R, Ganai BA. Prunella vulgaris L.: A Literature Review on its Therapeutic Potentials. June 2013Pharmacologia 4(6):441-448. DOI: 10.5567/pharmacologia.2013.441.448
  3. Chen Y, Zhu Z, Guo Q, Zhang L, Zhang X. Variation in concentrations of major bioactive compounds in Prunella vulgaris L. related to plant parts and phenological stages. Biol Res. 2012;45(2):171-175. doi:10.4067/S0716-97602012000200009
  4. The Earthwise Herbal: Old World Plants by Matthew Wood
  5. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015 Jan 13;75C:298-305. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.01.010. [Epub ahead of print] Characterization, antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities of polysaccharides from Prunella vulgaris Linn. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25596012

 

 

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