Common Name: Heal-All (for its prodigious use as an herbal remedy), Self-Heal

Scientific Name: Prunella vulgaris


A low, ground cover plant that can easily be identified by bright purple clustered flowers arranged in tiers or whorls around a central spike or ear.


Potpourri:  Heal-all is of European origin.  It was introduced to North America to be used as a medicine for a wide variety of ailments.  The genus name Prunella is an Anglicized form of the

German name Brunella from "die bruen," a disorder of the throat common to garrisoned soldiers for which it was considered a certain cure.


It is used by modern herbalists for external and internal remedies. The leaves can be chewed to make a poultice to apply to a wound as first aid to stop the bleeding.  A tea can be prepared from the leaves (1 ounce of leaves to 1 pint water) to use as a gargle for sore throat.  The tea taken internally is reputed to cure diarrhea, slow menstrual bleeding, or to stop bleeding from any other area of the gastro-intestinal tract.


In Chinese medicine, it is used to cool "liver fire" which has rather curious symptoms including quick temper, red eyes, dark yellow urine, and a red tongue with a yellow coat.


Heal-all has many common names, including Touch and Heal, Woundwort and Carpenter's Herb, the latter suggesting its association with the healing powers of Christ.

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