The common self-heal is often fought as a lawn weed. But it is a valuable medicinal plant and is well suited as a wild perennial for the natural garden.
Profile of common self-heal:
Scientific name: Prunella vulgaris
Plant family: mint family (Lamiaceae)
Other names: heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort, blue curls
Sowing time: spring
Planting time: spring or autumnn
Flowering period: June to September
Harvest time: May to October
Location: sunny to partially shaded
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use as a medicinal herb: flatulence. high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms. menstrual cramps, skin inflammation, sore throat, weak stomach
Use in: ground cover, roof greening, lawns, overgrowing, greening areas, apothecary garden, cottage garden, roof garden, natural garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 (-37 °C / -35 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of common self-heal
Plant order, origin and occurrence of common self-heal
The common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), also known as heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort or blue curls, is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It occurs mainly in Europe, temperate Asia, North Africa and North America, but has meanwhile become naturalized almost worldwide. The European species thrive mainly on dry grassland, forest clearings and fallow land. Compared to the large self-heal (Prunella grandiflora), the common self-heal has smaller leaves and the top pair of leaves has not moved away from the inflorescence.
Characteristics of common self-heal
The vigorous heal-all is a delicate-looking, but very persistent herb. It becomes about 5 to 20 centimeters (2 to 8 in) high and spreads like a carpet by above-ground runners.
The 4 to 5 centimeters (1.6 to 2 in)long leaves are ovate to lanceolate and slightly serrated on the edge. The top pair of stem leaves is located directly at the base of the inflorescence.
The whorled flowers of the plant appear in compact spikes from June to September. The petals are 1 to 1.5 centimeters (0.4 to 0.6 in) long and usually shine blue-purple. In rare cases, they can also appear reddish or yellowish-white. They attract numerous insects. Bees and bumblebees particularly like to fly to the flower spikes.
Common self-heal – cultivation and care
Common self-heal prefers sunny to partially shady places.
The hardy perennial likes moderately dry to fresh, well-drained soils. It thrives on fertile meadows, poor grasslands as well as on rather nutrient-rich, lime-poor clay and loam soils.
Choose a planting distance of around 25 centimeters (10 in). There is space for up to 16 plants per square meter (10 sq ft).
The undemanding wild flower requires hardly any care and can also tolerate drought quite well.
The common self-heal propagates strongly by self-sowing. If you already have specimens of it in your garden, the following method of propagation is the easiest. Simply dig up new seedlings and put them back in the soil at the desired location. But propagation is also possible by division or cuttings. The cuttings are preferably cut in the spring after budding. Sowing should take place under glass in spring. With older seeds, cool temperatures have a germ-promoting effect.
Diseases and pests
The wild perennial is very robust against diseases and pests.
Common self-heal is hardy down to -37 °C / -35 °F. There are no measures for winter necessary.
Use of common self-heal
In the garden
As a wild perennial, the common self-heal is suitable for wildflower meadows and other natural plantings in which self-sowing does not interfere. It is also suitable for extensive roof gardens. Instead of fighting the “lawn weeds”, you can use it specifically as a joint filler. Whether on the terrace or on garden paths: paving joints can be well decorated with the plant.
There are no varieties of the common self-heal.
Common self-heal as a medicinal herb
In the past, the common self-heal was an important remedy for diphtheria, which was common and feared at the time.
Nowadays diphtheria has become rare and thanks to strong drugs it has lost its horror.
The common self-heal is still a medicinal plant that can be used against sore throats.
To do this, you prepare tea from the herb and drink it in small sips. Gargling with the tea is also helpful for inflammation of the throat.
For the tea, put one or two teaspoons of the herb in a tea strainer in a cup, dash wish with boiling hot water and let the tea steep for ten minutes.
High blood pressure
It also lowers blood pressure, which is another important area of application for this plant. Above all, one that is particularly important in our time because high blood pressure has become a common health hazard.
Thanks to its antispasmodic properties and bitter substances, the herb also helps against problems with the digestive organs.
It relieves gas and stomach cramps.
Since the common self-heal contains estrogen-like substances, it should also help against menstrual cramps and menopause problems. It may be able to promote ovulation thanks to its substance stigmasterol.
Externally in the form of washes, baths or compresses, the plants tea can help against wounds and inflammation of the skin.
Common self-heal can be used for these ailments and diseases
- high blood pressure
- menopausal symptoms
- menstrual cramps
- skin inflammation
- sore throat
- weak stomach
Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Visiting this page can not replace the visit to the doctor. For serious or unclear complaints, consult your doctor.