Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a native of Europe and Asia and some parts of North Africa and the common Self Heal (this plant) is found in North America as well. They are all low-growing plants, and thrive in moist wasteland and grass, spreading rapidly to cover the ground. They are members of the mint family.
They go by a multitude of alternative names some of which are Western Isles Wildflowers, Square stem, Thimble flower, Sickle-heal, Sicklewort, Slough-heal, Hookweed, Panay, Proud carpenter, Herb carpenter, Hercules’ all-heal, Hook-heal, Carpenter’s herb, Heart of the earth, Brunel, Caravaun bog, Carpenter grass, Blue curls, Brownwort, Heal-all, All-heal, Bumble-bees, Herb, Fly Flowers, Heart of the Earth, London Bottles, Pick Pocket, Pimpernel, Prince’s Feather.
Traditional Uses for Self Heal:-
The self Heal plant is known as the heal-all and cure-all plant as it is thought to have all manner of properties that can be of assistance in healing in general. Self-heal has a reputation for keeping people well during an outbreak of infectious diseases. It is said to have an antibiotic effect. The plant is widely used in China and South America. In New Zealand it is used in ointments to heal stubborn cuts and bruises that will not heal on their own. In Ireland it is thought to be useful to treat heart complaints.
The young mildly bitter leaves can be used as a salad green.
Of course all this is traditional and historical usage and there is no evidence that the plant contains any constituents that would support the historical and traditional claims made buts thats just the point for many people – If a plant has been used for centuries for any number of reasons by thousands of people in many different cultures then maybe there is something to it – and after all thats why the plant bears its common name of Self Heal!