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self-heal - prunella vulgaris - flower

Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris

A great plant that I often miss in herbal books is self-heal, Prunella vulgaris. Odd, considering that this plant that is also called heal-all. Maybe it is overlooked because it is such a common plant?
Personally, I am a big fan of using plants that you can easily find in the wild and you do not necessarily have to cultivate in a garden. Especially if that plant has been used as a medicinal herb all over the world for centuries. Self-heal is one of those plants.

Medicinal effects of self-heal, Prunella vulgaris

However, I would right away like to note that the practices described in this monograph are not always scientifically proven. They are often substantiated by centuries of effective folk medicine and the experiences of the many wise women in whose footsteps I follow.
They used self-heal internally and externally. The latter, amongst others, because of its astringent and wound healing properties. Internally, self-heal can be used for a wide range of purposes. Some examples are disorders of the digestive system, but also of the respiratory and urinary tract.

Magical properties of this pretty herb

Magically speaking, self-heal is a plant that you can use for anything that aims to offer peace of mind and protection. Think, for example, of protecting your home and yourself in stressful times, but also of maintaining good relationships. In short, self-heal is an inconspicuous plant with a remarkable number of beneficial effects.

Botanical description Self-heal, common, Prunella vulgaris

Self-heal is a creeping plant. The stem is procumbent, branched and square with oblong to ovate leaves, which are arranged decussately. The leaves are somewhat hairy and have a smooth to slightly serrated margin. They are medium green in colour with some red colouration towards the tip.
Towards the end the stem is decumbent. The inflorescence at stem apex grows in the form of a raceme consisting of several false whorls of 2 to 6 flowers. The flowers are purple and have two lips.
Before and after flowering, when no flowers are visible, the inflorescence resembles a beehive. This is the reason self-heal is called little beehive in several languages.

Interesting facts

I wrote earlier that self-heal is unobtrusive and for the most part it is. It is not a plant that immediately catches the eye. As soon as there are more of them growing together, that quickly changes. Bees and other insects love self-heal, which makes a gathering of loads of self-heal a true buzzing party.
Self-heal is one of those plants that has been or is still used in just about every medical tradition. That alone is reason to honour this plant: apparently practically all peoples independently discovered that this is a useful ally to have.

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