* White Oak Bark
* Plaintain Leaf
* Black Walnut Hull
* Chaparral Herb
* Burdock Root
* Marshmallow Root
* Comfrey Root & Leaf
This tea was created as a powerful detoxifier and regenerator of your body. You can drink it, douche with it, use it as a mouthwash, or use it as an enema. Testimonies on this tea include squamous cell carcinoma gone in two weeks.
Alterative, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anthelmintic, aperient, bitter tonic (mild), bactericide, blood purifier, carminative, cellular proliferator, cholagogue, detoxicant, diaphoretic, diuretic, demulcent, depurative, deobstruent, emollient, febrifuge, hepatic, lithotriptic, nutritive, stimulant, tonic, vulnerary.
Internal: 1 to 3 cupfuls, 2 to 4 times a day
Acute: 4 cupfuls per day
Chronic: ½ to 1 cupful, 3 times a day
Douches: 1 cupful, 1 to 2 times a day
Implants (Enemas): 1 cupful, 1 to 2 times a day
Mouthwash: Hold and gargle, one cupful per day
Caution during pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, (first 5 months).
This tea is truly a Heal-All. Use as a douche, enema, (colorectal issues), and as a mouthwash for mouth & throat cancers, abscesses, etc.
Internally a great daily detox tea. Much more powerful than Essiac Tea.
Testimonies include Squamas Cell Carcinoma gone in two weeks.
You may also use this tea as a poultice or fomentation.
FOR ORDERS OUTSIDE THE US: Please call or e-mail us with your address information and we will calculate an accurate shipping rate.
Due to custom restrictions, we cannot ship to the following countries: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Cuba, Germany, Israel, Libya, Denmark, Estonia, Iran, Iraq, Austria, Spain, Mexico, North Korea, Peru, Norway.
- Holistic Herbal Detox For Organ Healing
- Herbal detox to heal my body
- The Self Heal Herb
- The Energetics of the Self Heal Herb
- The Self Heal Herb for Healing Wounds, Burns, Abscesses and Boils
- The Self Heal Herb for Chronic Viral Infections
- The Self Heal Herb for Upper Respiratory Infections
- The Self Heal Herb for Allergies and Inflammation
- The Self Heal Herb to Strengthen the Kidneys and Diuresis
- The Self Heal Herb for Diabetes and Heart Disease
- The Self Heal Herb for Headaches and Painful Eyes
- The Self Heal Herb for Summer Heat, Summer Rashes and Protection from the Sun
- The Self Heal Herb for Swollen Lymph, Cancer and Nodules
- Plant Preparations
- Special Considerations
- Botanically Speaking
- Harvesting the Self Heal Herb
- Research Citations
- Prunella Spike
- Review Prunella Spike Forms and Sizes Below
- Self-Heal Tea Info: How To Make Self-Heal Tea
- Self-Heal Tea Info
- How to Make Self-Heal Tea
Holistic Herbal Detox For Organ Healing
Herbal detox to heal my body
It has now been (I’m not counting) four or five months since I began my devoted journey to Wellville through what we call a Holistic Detox. My diet is still organic and plant based without gluten and sugar and I eat a lot of fruit and raw food. For the time being I am done with fasting and I now enter a more nurturing phase with more cooked food than before and it is time to incorporate herbal detox in my lifestyle.
My goal is still to get all my organs in a healthy shape, to get my overall system to work together and to get my energy levels and QI up. I want to feel healthy, strong, happy and have the energy to stay in a high vibration no matter what happens. The work that I have done so far has been amazing and I feel physically better than I have ever done in my entire life. My Thyroid issues has always been a huge struggle and I have constantly been fighting low energy levels and the difficulty to lose weight. Even if my diet was “good” and my movement was “high” I had to work extremely hard to achieve the “results” I wanted and I was never able to keep them over time.
Instead of fighting my situation I now work WITH my body, and my energy levels are higher than ever, my body weight is at the lowest ever in my adult life and I have reduced my medicine intake. I have also quit all supplements that I was previously taking. After the last round of herbs and tinctures I feel a massive difference and it is now time for another round. This time I will use Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tinctures, Heal All Tea, GI Broom and Tao in a Bottle. And my lifestyle is now designed to support my journey regarding sleep, stress, community, work, love, happiness, spiritual healing, energy work and my daily practice.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a different focus and practice from western allopathic medicine. Focusing more on inner balance, Qi, and herb treatment it is a new approach to health and healing from what many of us are brought up with. We visit our local TMC Doctor about once a week and we receive an individual 5 day tea protocol that compliments the rest of our work perfectly. We use the tea as a way to kickstart the flow of Qi and increase the body’s ability to self heal.
The tinctures I use this time is Kidney & Bladder Tonic II, Lymphatic System Tonic II, Liver & Gallbladder Tonic and Adrenal Gland Tonic. They all come from Dr Morse. A also continue to drink the Heal All Tea, which I didn’t really have a calling for during the last herbal healing round I did. So I have a lot left, which I am very happy about now as I have been drinking it for about one week. After just a couple of days I started to get detox symptoms connected to the lymph starting to move, which is a sore throat. Very happy about that!
The Tao in a Bottle is a stress management formula: defense and offense, relax and adapt. It consists Gynostemma leaf, Duanwood Reishi mushroom, Eleuthero root, Astragalus root, Schizandra fruit, Tibetan Rhodiola root, Ginseng root and Ginkgo biloba leaf.
I’ve had issues with stress for many years and I still struggle with not using it as a power source to get things done and to push through. Instead I focus on only doing heart based tasks and to really pay attention to my adrenals. As soon as I feel the stress coming on I shift my task or decide to do something else completely. Tao in a Bottle and also the adrenal tincture is great for these issues. I also switched from coffee to Yerba Mate, that made a huge difference. The Yerba is a much healthier option and it doesn’t spike as the coffee does, it has a much softer flow still it is very potent. Keeps my energy high all day without the side effects from the coffee. Excellent!
Last but not least we have the GI Broom. GI Broom was designed not only to remove toxic buildup (mucoid plaque) on the intestinal wall, but also to pull through the intestinal wall into the lymphatic system where lymph stagnation causes mal-absorption, GI tract inflammation, cancers, polyps, etc. It also removes sulfur accumulation and other toxic chemicals that have been stored in the GI tract wall.
I started with the GI Broom four days ago and yesterday I had the craziest detox symptoms I’ve experienced so far. I got massive stomach cramps and a fever for about 14 hours, then it calmed down. Today the fever is gone and the pain is much, much better. I am very careful with what I eat today and so far I eat mostly fruits. I drink a lot of herbal teas and juices to keep the stomach calm. I just took another dose of the GI Broom so we will see what happens next. Keep bringing those detox symptoms!
I knew the GI Broom could be a massive experience due to other peoples experiences and I am so happy I decided to do this. I always felt there has been something going on with my stomach and that it was time to address that once and for all. This massive experience did however make me decide to hold back on the tinctures, teas and capsules until I am a bit more settled with the GI Broom, maybe I’ll even wait until I have finished it. I’ll flow with it and see what happens.
As you might realized I am very much into herbs and their healing effects. I am currently studying Iridology and the way we can heal the body from inside and out to stay healthy and to have the energy and life force we want and need. Now that I have experienced it first hand I strongly believe that it is possible and I want to learn more. As soon as I have finished my Iridology Diploma I will study how to grow, store and use herbs for cooking and healing.
That’s it for now, please let me know if you have any questions about all this. Drop me a message, am happy to help <3
You can also read more about how to use Raw Food as a detox tool here.
Heart Work Pays Off!
Prune…….what?? This name might sound so foreign, but wait till I reveal more about this name! This is a name a of plant/ herb and is actually very common in the Chinese community! Chinese usually uses dried Prunella Vulgaris, add water, rock sugar and boil it into herbal tea! This is known as “Har Ku Chou” (in Cantonese), “Xia Ku Chow” (in Mandarin) and “Heh Koh Chow” (in Hokkien)… I hope I get the pronunciations right! Now, I bet if you’re Chinese… you might have drank a cup of this herbal brew! =)When I was growing up, my mom will brew some of this herbal goodness during scorching hot days or whenever we’re ill as Chinese believe that this plant has “cooling” and “healing” elements for fever, sore throat, etc! I love drinking this, not only for it’s medicinal purpose but also for it’s refreshing goodness! Occasionally, I will buy a bag of these and brew some “Heh Koh Chow” for husband and I or buy a glass from Chinese restaurants, etc. It was a slight bitter taste to it but the rock sugar added to it help subdue the bitterness! A bag of this will last you several batches of “Heh Koh Chow” as it will “bloom” once it’s soaked in water and triple in size!! =)
So, being curious I went to google up “Prunella Vulgaris” to find out what more medicinal purpose does it have! It is rather interesting that Wikipedia mentioned that this medicinal plant is known as “Common Self Heal”, “Heal-All”, or “Heart-Of-The-Earth”.
Apparently, Prunella Vulgaris has been shown to be an antioxidant, immune stimulant, viral replication inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory agent. It is also used (in Chinese community) to treat high blood pressure. Now, all these information are gotten of various sites from the internet…. It’s not me making up stuff!
Here are some hopefully informative sites for more readings on Prunella Vulgaris:
The Self Heal Herb
Western herbalists love to love weeds. We hold up our golden dandelions as if they were a golden chalice and we praise the spread of the humble plantain. Comfrey, clover, and wild mustards are all loved by herbalists.
But what about that small purple mint lurking in our lawns with the panacea-like name?
Self heal herb, heal-all, slough heal and woundwort are all common names for Prunella vulgaris. The genus name, Prunella, comes from the German word for quinsy, a severe sore throat caused by a tonsil abscess for which self-heal is said to be a cure. The species name vulgaris, meaning “common,” indicates the plant’s ubiquitous nature.
The self heal herb is so common that it is often overlooked. Many herbals referenced for this article had no entries for self-heal. Some acknowledged its use but limited their descriptions to “this herb is not commonly used in Western herbalism”.
Meanwhile, scientists have been busy exploring this plant’s powerful uses, from anticancer properties to antiviral capabilities. Self-heal likewise has not been forgotten by Chinese herbalists who refer to it as the “summer-dry herb” and use it for signs of heat and liver constraint.
In this article, we’ll look at the many ways this modest plant has been used by herbalists and the findings of scientists who are studying it today. First we’ll look at the energetics and taste.
Self-heal, all-heal, heal-all is good for what ails you. It’s a very nice plant to put into salves, and into teas that are general healing teas. It’s a panacea herb. – Cascade Anderson Geller
The Energetics of the Self Heal Herb
Self-heal is described as a bitter plant. Depending on your source of information you may also see that it can be classified as acrid or slightly pungent.
I recommend taking a nibble of fresh self-heal or making your own cup of self-heal tea. You might notice that there is some sweetness there and perhaps the familiar taste of another mint family plant.
If we were sitting together I would insist on that cup of tea now, but instead I’ll just ruin the surprise. Self-heal tastes just a bit like rosemary. Self-heal is actually very high in rosmarinic acid, one of the well-studied antioxidants famously found in rosemary.
Self-heal, like many mint family plants, is both cooling and diffusive. It also has significant mucilage, making it a nice demulcent.
The Self Heal Herb for Healing Wounds, Burns, Abscesses and Boils
In Western herbalism, self-heal has been commonly used for all sorts of wounds. Some herbalists liken its qualities to plantain’s vulnerary abilities. Both of these plants are somewhat astringent and demulcent, stabilizing tissue and protecting the skin’s moisture at the same time.
Self-heal is used for wounds on the skin, including cuts, scrapes and burns. It’s also used for drawing out infections, such as abscesses and boils.
Internally, self-heal has been used for ulcers, especially those in the mouth and throat.
Numerous herbalists claim that self-heal is a styptic herb that can staunch the flow of bleeding similar to yarrow or shepherd’s purse.
Gerard suggested “there is not a better wounde herb in the world.”
– Robert Dale Rogers
The Self Heal Herb for Chronic Viral Infections
A plethora of studies have shown that self-heal has antiviral properties, especially against the herpes simplex virus, HPV and even HIV. Researchers have shown that it inhibits the binding ability of a virus, making it most effective at preventing and stopping new outbreaks. Because it inhibits the ability of viruses to replicate, it is most effective at stopping recurring localized viral infections such as herpes.
Some interesting in-vitro studies have been done using self-heal against HIV, showing that is has the ability to inhibit viral replication in a petri dish. Researchers on these studies are optimistic about their findings and have encouraged more testing to be done.
The Self Heal Herb for Upper Respiratory Infections
Remember that slightly sweet taste we detected in our cup of self-heal tea? It turns out self-heal has polysaccharides (like astragalus and many mushrooms), which are known to be balancing to the immune system, or immunomodulating. Taken regularly, self-heal may support a healthy immune system and reduce the incidence of upper respiratory infections.
Self-heal was historically used for sore throats, even severe ones like quinsy, which is an abscess of the tonsils. It is a great choice as a hot tea at the beginning stages of a cold with sore throat. In addition to fighting the virus, the demulcent qualities of self-heal will help to soothe and coat a dry, scratchy or irritated throat.
Christopher Sauer was a Colonial herbalist who described the following use for self-heal in his fascinating herbal:
Mix together three ounces of self heal water and plantain water…a small piece of cloth dipped in self heal water and repeatedly laid warm upon the affected place until it dries will prove exceedingly beneficial
against all inflammations of the privates in both men and women.
Those who do not have the distilled water of self heal, or cannot get it, just use the freshly squeezed juice during the summer, or in the winter boil the dried leaves in water and use this instead.
The Self Heal Herb for Allergies and Inflammation
As part of its immunomodulating action, self-heal reduces an excessive immune system response like what we see with seasonal allergies or chronic inflammation.
Of course, when dealing with chronic inflammation we always want to address the root cause, which is often based on diet or lifestyle. However, regularly drinking self-heal tea may help reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms.
The Self Heal Herb to Strengthen the Kidneys and Diuresis
Herbalist William LeSassier praised self-heal for its kidney-strengthening abilities. In The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood relates that LeSassier specifically thought of self-heal when there was deficient kidney function along with dental decay.
In addition to strengthening the kidneys, self-heal is a mild diuretic that could be helpful for draining dampness, such as edema, or a way to reduce high blood pressure.
The Self Heal Herb for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Self-heal has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, thus preventing or reducing the effects of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Most heart disease in the US is a symptom of this increasingly common metabolic syndrome, a chronic disease that manifests as poor glucose metabolism that creates a systemic inflammatory condition.
Besides increasing insulin sensitivity, self-heal may also have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It is used to lower blood pressure in Chinese medicine and has been shown to have inflammatory-modulating effects on cardiovascular tissues.
The Self Heal Herb for Headaches and Painful Eyes
Chinese medicine specifically uses self-heal for signs of “Liver fire rising” and “Liver constraint.” Headaches and painful eyes that are worse at night are indications for self-heal. Self-heal is recommended for many types of eye complaints, including red eyes, conjunctivitis and eye-tearing.
It is often combined with Chrysanthemum flowers for fever, headaches, hypertension, dizziness, vertigo and hyperactivity in children. – Robert Dale Rogers
The Self Heal Herb for Summer Heat, Summer Rashes and Protection from the Sun
The third edition of the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica (Bensky and Gamble) recommends the dew or hydrosol of self-heal as a tonic for preventing and treating summer heat and summer rashes in both children and adults. Self-heal cools the body and disperses heat. The mild demulcent qualities may help to rehydrate as well.
Self-heal and its constituent rosmarinic acid have been shown to protect skin cells from UVA and UVB radiation. In one study, researchers looked at self-heal as an herbal photo-protectant and concluded that self-heal may offer protection against the sun when used in dermatological products. While we are waiting for in-vivo tests to substantiate these findings, self-heal infused oils would be a nice addition to anyone’s skin regimen.
The Self Heal Herb for Swollen Lymph, Cancer and Nodules
That’s right, this weed commonly found in lawns everywhere has been shown to have anticancer effects, especially against lung cancer and lymphoma. Most of the studies to date are in-vitro so more research is needed, but the sheer volume of positive studies highlights self-heal’s anticancer potential.
In TCM, Xia Ku Cao (Self Heal) is used to soften hardness (lumps, enlarged lymph nodes). It is used for goiters, lipomas, mumps, mastitis, lymphosarcoma and scrofula. – David Winston
Another mechanism that self-heal has been shown to possess is an anti-estrogenic quality. Researchers surmise that it could be used to prevent or stop estrogen-dependent tumors.
Self-heal has also long been used for stagnant lymph nodes and non-serious nodules. It is taken both internally and used externally as a fresh poultice to get lymph moving.
I use it, primarily as a cooling lymphatic. It moves *down,* really good for liver heat & lymphatic stagnation. Also nice in situations where there’s stuck anger, unexpressed anger, anger getting turned inwards to become depression… – Rebecca Altman
Self-heal can be used in a lot of different preparations.
Self-heal tastes slightly bitter and slightly sweet with a hint of rosemary. You can enjoy eating the leaves and flowers in a salad blend or as a trail snack.
It makes a great tea and can also be extracted into alcohol or infused into oil for making a salve.
David Winston recommends the following for dosage:
The Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica recommends self-heal in dosages as high as 180 grams per day (roughly 6 ounces). It’s hard to take too much of self-heal!
Self-heal has also been used externally as a wash or fomentation and has been used as a vaginal douche or suppository.
Self-heal is a mild plant with no known toxicity, making it safe for most people. It has some possibility of interfering with blood thinners. The Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica says that it could harm someone who already has weak digestion if taken in large amounts over time.
Prunella vulgaris is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and has the classic characteristics of this family:
1. The purple flowers have a lipped-shape appearance and grow on spikes.
2. The leaves are opposite each other on the stem.
3. The stems are square.
The flowers are purple with a lipped-shape appearance. Herbalists who discuss the Doctrine of Signatures might point out that the flowers look like a mouth and throat pointing towards its use for sore throats.
The plant grows close to the ground, up to one foot in height. It loves damp shady places and often grows in lawns. It will also grow in full sun. It grows all over the globe and readily spreads once established.
Harvesting the Self Heal Herb
Self-heal grows abundantly as a weed and loves to be harvested. Beloved herbalist Cascade Anderson Geller recommends frequently harvesting the flower heads to inspire further blooming.
Researchers have studied the chemical composition of self-heal gathered at different times of the year and concluded that it has a higher biochemical value when harvested earlier in the year. They have also studied how storage time effects dried self-heal and recommend that one should use self-heal within a year of drying for best results.
While not commonly used by many Western herbalists today, self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) has a long history of use for healing wounds, both inside and outside the body, as well as for moving lymph and soothing sore throats.
Numerous studies have been done on self-heal, showing promise for using it against cancer, to support a healthy immune system, to protect the skin from sun damage, and to address inflammation like that associated with diabetes and heart disease.
While more clinical tests are warranted before we make any strong claims about self-heal in practice, don’t hesitate to use this safe food-herb in the meantime. Head out to your lawn and harvest these beautiful weeds. Make a tea, infuse some into oil, extract some in alcohol, and come back here to share your self-heal experiences with us in the comments section below.
Here is a poem from herb faery artist and poet, Cicely Mary Barker:
The Song of the Self Heal Faery
When little Elves have cut themselves,
Or Mouse has hurt her tail,
Or Froggie’s arm has come to harm,
This herb will never fail.
The Faeries’ skill can cure each ill
And soothe the sorest pain;
She’ll bathe and bind, and soon she’ll find, that they are well again.
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. She’s a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and the Education Director for LearningHerbs. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.
Return from the Self Heal Herb to the Main Herbs Page
Return from the Self Heal Herb to HerbalRemediesAdvice.org
Review Prunella Spike Forms and Sizes Below
Common Name: Selfheal Herb, Self Heal, Self-Heal, All-Heal, Blue Curls, Brownwort
Botanical Name: Prunella Vulgaris Spike
Chinese / Pin Yin Name: Xia Ku Cao
Prunella Spike Dosage: Follow your doctor’s instructions for use.
Prunella Spike Precautions: Do not use if nursing or pregnant. Use with caution for those with Spleen and Stomach Deficiency and weakness.
Prunella Spike Benefits & Information
Prunella Spike is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that is known for being a “summer-dry” herb that is used when there’s a sign of heat and liver constraint. Prunella Spike clears heat, drains fire, can support and strengthen the kidneys, and can act as a mild diuretic. Prunella Spike may benefit digestive health, sore throat and promote wound healing. Prunella Spike has antibacterial, antiseptic, and astringent effects.
Prunella Spike Properties: Cold, Acrid, Bitter, and Slightly Pungent
Prunella Spike Channels: Liver, Gallbladder
Prunella Spike Naturally Occurring Components: Prunella vulgaris plant consist of triterpenoid saponins that is based on the aglycone called oleanolic acid. Other components are glycosides substances like rutin and Hyperoside as well as other organic acids like ursolic acid, caffeic acid, free oleanolic acid, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, vitamin K, carotene, tannins, volatile oils, alkaloids, and potassium chloride.
Herbs that Combine With Prunella Spike
Agrimony Scutellaria Baicalensis Japanese Pagoda Tree
Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris, is one of those plants that seems able to do everything. Writing in the 16th century, Gerard said that no herb equals Self Heal for healing wounds, and a whole host of other things. Self Heal is used all over the world – by Native Americans, Europeans, and all across Asia, for things as varied as thyroid problems to conjunctivitis to tuberculosis to arthritis to cancer. Which sounds absurd, or at least exaggerated, right? Except, Self Heal is one of the more widely studied herbs and even in scientific studies, you see these broad lists of conditions where Self Heal has been helpful – as an anti-inflammatory painkiller, for gingivitis, for osteoarthritis, HIV, herpes, diabetes, high blood pressure, even tubuerculosis, liver cancer, and endometriosis! And to top it all off, amnesia and dementia?? What is going on? When even scientific studies come back with such a wide range of seemingly unrelated issues, clearly there’s something amazing about this plant!
Move your Lymph!
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Self Heal is lymphatics, and typically I think of lower-body lymphatic movement, because that’s how I usually work with the herb myself. I love Self Heal for supporting varicose veins, both as a lymphatic stimulant and a diruetic. Constitutionally, I run on the damp side, so the astringency in Prunella is great for me – it’s not too much and not too little. Self Heal has a long history of working with edema and kidney issues, not just here but in Asia too. But don’t just leave it in the “lower body lymphatic” box – Self Heal is great any time there are swollen lymph nodes – topically and internally – whether that’s just as a part of a routine cold or flu, or a more serious issue. Self Heal has long been used for lymphatic movement in tonsilitis and tuberculosis, and more recently in lymphedema that happens after mastectomy. For that matter, it’s great with mastitis too – which is not an infection, but an overflow of milk from the milk ducts that causes an immune response in the surrounding tissue. The only way to clear it out is to actually clear it out – to remove the “spilled milk” from the area – which means you’ve got to move the lymph!
There have been a whole pile of studies showing that Self Heal has antiviral properties, especially against the herpes simplex virus, HPV and even HIV. Much like Elderberry, research shows that Prunella inhibits the binding ability of a virus, so that the virus can’t replicate. Which means that Self Heal is DEFINITELY a plant you want to put into your cold-sore salve, and at the first sign of a cold sore or other herpes outbreak, use the salve, or a compress of strong tea, and drink a bunch of the tea as well. Blend it with Lemon Balm and St. Johns Wort (if you’re not taking pharmaceuticals) for a very excellent herpes-fighting formula!
The anti-viral application is MUCH broader than just cold sores – I love Prunella at the first sign of any kind of illness. I don’t bother to wait to figure out if it’s cold, flu, or whatever else – because a plant that can inhibit the replication of viruses, disrupt biofilms, and stimulate the lymphatic system is going to be useful in fighting ANY kind of pathogenic infection! Not only that, but Self Heal doesn’t have any reported pharmaceutical interactions (beyond the standard potential to interact with blood thinners) which means that even if you end up with some bacterial mess and you take some antibiotics, Self Heal can still help! It has its own various antibiotic mechanisms and there have been many studies showing that combining herbs with biofilm disrupting actions with antibiotics makes the antibiotics more effective, but in the case of Self Heal, you also get the bonus lymphatic stimulation – a real weak point in our standard western approaches to illness. Antibiotics will kill off whatever you’ve got (hopefully), but you still need the lymphatic system to get in there and clean up the aftermath. So whether you’re au naturale or going the mainstream medicine route, Self Heal is an important part of your recovery from any pathogenic gunk!
How about Self Heal for allergies? You bet! Self Heal supports kidney health, stimulates lymphatic movement, and has immunomodulating polysaccharides (similar to Astragalus and immune supporting mushrooms) – add all that together and what do you get? Allergy support! You’ve probably heard about Nettle for allergies, but that’s not the only plant that excels in this area. When you’re working with herbs to support your body through allergy season, it’s important to be consistent, and to start early. I really like tea as a medium, not only because it’s a great way to work with herbs, but also because the water preparation gets right to the kidneys, which are so strongly tied to our body’s ability to get through allergy season. I like a good quart of tea daily – you can go with Self Heal all by itself, or blended with Nettle and Goldenrod (and perhaps a little Marshmallow leaf or Linden if you dry out easily). The great thing here is you’re not just reducing or suppressing your allergies, you’re INCREASING the health of your body! And you still get all those other great effects too – so go on! Beat your allergies AND soothe your gut, AND move your lymph, AND…
Wound Care and Gut Health
And of course, the namesake, wound care! Prunella has been found in studies to have biofilm disrupting action, which certainly accounts for some of its amazing wound healing renown. Self Heal can draw out infection, such as in an abcess, and is very beneficial in stimulating the healing of wounds, burns, and ulcers (including internally). Self Heal also has styptic actions, staunching the flow of blood. This means that from washing the wound to preventing infection to growing healthy new skin cells, Prunella is super helpful! And it’s not just on your skin, but your GI tract too: remember, the cells of your GI tract are the same type of cells that your skin is made of. When you have a plant that can help heal wounds and grow healthy skin tissue, that’s also going to apply to your guts. So whether it’s ulcerative colitis, IBS, Crohn’s, or just the aftermath of using NSAIDs, Self Heal will help get your guts back in order!
Small but Mighty
One of my favorite things about Prunella is that it’s packed with all this potency, and yet, it’s so small and pretty. There are lots of BIG MACHO HERBS out there that are BIG AND STRONG!!!, and can fight infections and beat back biofilms and help heal wounds – and there’s not one single thing wrong with working with them. (although often there’s a limit to how long you can work with them before you stress out the liver, etc.) But I just love these small, beautiful plants that do no harm – very few people are allergic to Self Heal, there’s no need to limit use, and there is little potential for drug interactions – and yet have such potent healing powers. It reminds me daily that we can’t judge anyone by their outside presentation!
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Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) is a common plant in the mint family that grows wild in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It has a long history of medicinal use throughout the world. Selfheal is widely used in China as a tonic, and most of the scientific studies on its medicinal properties and uses come from Asia. However, all told, I could only find 123 studies on selfheal in the medical literature, some of which indicate that the herb has antibiotic, antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, none of these studies was done in humans. Most were laboratory studies involving cell cultures; some were done in mice.
I asked Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements and women’s health, and an expert on botanical medicine, for her views on selfheal. She said that she likes it and regards it as a “nice little medicinal plant.” She has used it as an addition to her salves for wounds, insect bites, and oral herpes. However, she agrees with me that it is not a major medicinal plant, but over the years it has worked its way into the medicine chests of many herbalists.
As for the use of selfheal to treat high blood pressure, I find no scientific studies demonstrating that the herb has any effect. If you have high blood pressure, you may be able to reduce it through lifestyle measures including limiting the salt in your diet, losing weight if you’re overweight and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. If not, you should use medication. Learn more about my recommendations for dealing with high blood pressure and herpes.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Botanical Name: Prunella vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Common Names: Self Heal, All Heal, Sicklewort, Hook Heal, Carpenter’s Herb, Pickpocket, Poverty Pink, Heart o’ the Earth
Identification: A sparsely downy perennial herb with creeping runners and erect flower stems to 20cm tall. Not aromatic. Leaves are decussate, stalked, oval, widest at the base. Infloresence in a dense oblong head, with hairy and purplish bracts. Purple flowers with sepals fused into one tube with only the tips separate – like two lips. 3 short teeth above and 2 longer ones below. Upper lip very concave. Flowers June to October.
Parts Used: Aerial Parts
Edibility & Nutrition: Self Heal is edible and its leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked.
Growing & Harvesting: Very common in the British Isles in grasslands, woodlands & wastelands. Research has shown it to be more potent when harvested earlier in its season i.e. in summer rather than autumn.
Qualities: Cooling, Diffusive
Medicinal Actions: Astringent, Demulcent, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Lymphatic, Anti Viral, Diaphoretic, Immunomodulator, Anti Oxidant, Hypotensive
- It can be used as an astringent gargle for sore throats and a mouthwash for ulcers and bleeding gums
- Externally, Self Heal can be used as a wound healer to stop bleeding from cuts, and reduce swellings of bites & stings
- It has an affinity for the lymphatic system and can be taken for swollen glands, mumps, glandular fever, mastistis, nodules, cancer or other lingering infections
- Recent studies have found Self Heal to be an excellent anti viral effective against Herpes & Human Papilloma Virus, and also a broad range anti bacterial
- It has a normalising action on the thyroid, stimulating an underactive thyroid and reducing an overactive one
- As an immunomodulator Self Heal can improve seasonal allergies and chronic inflammatory conditions
History & Folklore:
- The Latin name ‘Prunella’ came from the German Brunella meaning ‘quinsy’ – or a tonsular abscess which Self Heal was considered a specific treatment for this
- According to the Doctrine of Signatures Self Heal’s flowers resemble mouths with swollen throat glands, and from the side they appear to be a hooked tool – these ‘signatures’ gave the herb its use as a wound healer and for throat complaints.
- Its country names of Pickpocket or Poverty Pink were references to the fact that it can be an indicator of poor soil – it can tolerate very nutrient poor conditions
Preparations: Self Heal leaves & flowers can be added to salads and eaten raw. It can be made into an infused oil for use topically in creams and ointments, or prepared as a tea or tincture for internal use.
Tea: 1-2 tsp of the dried herb per cup of hot water Steep 1 hour. Take two to three cups per day.
Tincture: 1:2 fresh extract, 30% alcohol, 40-60 drops, (2-3 ml), 3 times per day
Active Constituents: Bitters, Rosmarinic Acid, Volatile Oils, Alkaloids, Mucilage, Polysaccharides
Cautions: Self Heal is generally very safe and well tolerated. Concurrent use at therapeutic doses alongside blood thinning medications is not recommended without supervision of a medical practitioner.
Barker, Julian (2001) The Medicinal Flora of Britain & Northwest Europe, Winter Press
Mrs Grieve’s Modern Herbal Online http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/selfhe40.html
Rose, Frances (2006) The Wild Flower Key (2nd Edition)
De La Floret, Rosalee – Herbal Remedies Advice Online http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/self-heal-herb.html
Self-Heal Tea Info: How To Make Self-Heal Tea
Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is commonly known by a variety of descriptive names, including wound root, woundwort, blue curls, hook-heal, dragonhead, Hercules, and several others. The dried leaves of self-heal plants are often used to make herbal tea. Read on to learn more about the possible health benefits of tea made from self-heal plants.
Self-Heal Tea Info
Is self-heal tea good for you? Self-heal tea is relatively unfamiliar to most modern North American herbalists, but scientists are studying the plant’s antibiotic and antioxidant properties, as well as its potential to lower high blood pressure and treat tumors.
Tonics and teas made from self-heal plants have been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, used primarily to treat minor ailments, disorders of the kidneys and liver, and as an anti-cancer drug. Indians of the Pacific Northwest used self-heal plants to treat boils, inflammation and cuts. European herbalists used tea from self-heal plants to heal wounds and stop bleeding.
Self-heal teas have also been used to treat sore throats, fevers, minor injuries, bruises, insect bites, allergies, viral and respiratory infections, flatulence, diarrhea, headaches, inflammations, diabetes and heart ailments.
How to Make Self-Heal Tea
For those growing self-heal plants in the garden that wish to make their own tea, here is the basic recipe:
- Place 1 to 2 spoonfuls of dried self-heal leaves into a cup of hot water.
- Steep the tea for an hour.
- Drink two or three cups of self-heal tea per day.
Note: Although tea from self-heal plants is thought to be relatively safe, it may cause weakness, dizziness and constipation, and in some cases, may result in various allergic reactions, including itching, skin rash, nausea and vomiting. It’s a good idea to consult a health care practitioner before drinking self-heal tea, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking any medications.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.
In This Issue
Selfheal is a forgotten healer that has made a recent comeback as a modern-day heal-all with promising potential for use in food and medicine.
The flowers appear on purple, sometimes pinkish, cylindrical spikes and distinguish the plant from others in the mint family by their tight, sausage-shaped whorl.
The stalked leaves are long, wide and ovalish. The four-sided, weak stems cause the plant to grow sideways before reaching up to the sky. The fruit is an oblong, purplish (when ripe) drupe.
Habitat and Distribution
The plant prefers grassy places but will grow almost anywhere from lawns, roadsides, meadows and pastures.
Parts Used For Food
Leaves and flowers.
This perennial blooms from May to August. The young shoots and leaves are often collected in June before flowering.
Food Uses of Selfheal
The whole plant has been used as a wild edible, either raw or cooked. The younger plants are most tender. The flavour is similar to romaine lettuce.1
The leaves and young shoots of this wild edible are versatile greens that can be eaten raw in salads, added to soups and stews, or used as a potherb.
The leaves – freshly chopped, dried or powdered – can be soaked in cold water to make a refreshing beverage.2
Nutritional Profile of Selfheal
Selfheal contains vitamins A, B, C, K, flavonoids, and rutin. The plant’s high content of antioxidants has been the subject of much recent research.3
Herbal Medicine Uses of Selfheal
In early medicine, selfheal had a reputation as a wound herb. John Gerard (1545–1612) wrote: “It serveth for the same that Bugle doth, and in the world there are not two better wound herbes as hath been often prooved.”4
Modern herbalism records selfheal as a topical emollient, astringent and vulnerary herb.1
The leaves and stems are said to be antibacterial, astringent, diuretic, hypotensive (reduces blood pressure), haematuria (blood in urine) antitumour and a powerful antioxidant.
The flower spikes are also supposed to restore the liver. New research suggests that the plant does indeed possess hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) properties.5
The herb is also meant to be a tonic for the gallbladder in that it stimulates and promotes healing.
The cylindrical spiked flowers make attractive additions to flower arrangements fresh or dried.
Allergic reactions to selfheal have been reported by some.6
Seek medical advice before using during pregnancy, when breastfeeding or if you are an allergic individual.
About The Author
Robin Harford is a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical researcher, and wild food educator. He is the author of Plantopedia: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants.
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