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Heal-All aka Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris)

    Prunella vulgaris self healf heal all

    Family: Lamiaceae, mint family

    Grow zone: 3-9

    Heal-All, also known as Self-heal or Prunella vulgaris, is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is a perennial plant with purple flowers that is native to Europe and Asia but can now be found worldwide. Heal-All has a variety of potential health benefits and can be used in different forms for medicinal purposes. Here is some information about using Heal-All as medicine:

    1. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties: Heal-All contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These properties help reduce inflammation in the body and protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
    2. Wound Healing: Heal-All has been traditionally used to support wound healing. It may help promote tissue regeneration, reduce the risk of infection, and alleviate inflammation. Topical application of Heal-All ointments, creams, or poultices can aid in the healing process.
    3. Respiratory Health: Heal-All has expectorant properties, which means it can help loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory tract. It has been used to relieve symptoms of coughs, colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. Consuming Heal-All tea or using it as a steam inhalation can provide respiratory support.
    4. Digestive Aid: Heal-All has been used to support digestive health. It may help soothe gastrointestinal inflammation, alleviate stomach discomfort, and promote digestion. Drinking Heal-All tea or using it in tincture form can aid in digestive function.
    5. Immune System Support: Heal-All has immune-enhancing properties and has been used to support immune system function. It may help strengthen the body’s defenses against infections and promote overall immune health. Consuming Heal-All tea or tincture may provide immune system support.
    6. Oral Health: Heal-All has been used to promote oral health. It may help alleviate mouth sores, gum inflammation, and throat infections. Heal-All mouthwashes or gargles can be used to support oral hygiene and soothe oral irritations.
    7. Antimicrobial Effects: Heal-All possesses antimicrobial properties that can help fight against certain bacteria and viruses. It has been used topically or internally to support the body’s natural defenses against infections.

    Heal-All can be prepared and used in various forms, including teas, tinctures, ointments, creams, and poultices.

    Medicinal Effects:

    Anti-catarrhal (Cough & Cold - Reduce Mucus):
    Anti-inflammatory: Alleviate inflammation throughout the body
    Anti-microbial: Antimicrobial herbs possess natural properties that help combat harmful microorganisms and promote a healthy immune system
    Antioxidant: A substance such as vitamin C or E that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.
    Antitussive (Cough & Cold - Coughing Relief):
    Cough And Cold (Decongestant; Demulcent; Anti-catarrhal; Antitussive):
    Decongestant (Cough & Cold - Congestion):
    Demulcent (Cough & Cold - Soothe inflamed tissues/mucous membranes):
    Digestive health - General: Supports digestive health by promoting healthy gut bacteria and reducing symptoms of digestive disorders. When taken in various forms, such as in teas or extracts, may help soothe gastrointestinal issues like indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. For example: may help alleviate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and improve overall gut function.
    Immune System - Adjust (Immuno-modulator): Immuno-modulator herbs have the ability to regulate and balance the immune system, enhancing its response to infections, allergies, and autoimmune conditions.
    Immune System - Boost (Immune-stimulator):
    Oral Health:
    Respiratory Health:
    Stomachic (appetite - increase; digestion - aid):
    Vulnerary (Wounds - Healing; Healing - Wounds;): Vulnerary herbs possess healing properties that promote tissue repair, aid in wound healing, and soothe skin irritations and injuries.

    Here are the steps to grow and harvest Heal-All:

    1. Planting:
      • Choose a location that receives partial to full sunlight.
      • Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller.
      • Heal-All can tolerate a variety of soil types but prefers well-draining soil.
      • Sow the Heal-All seeds directly into the prepared soil, scattering them evenly. Alternatively, you can start with nursery-grown seedlings.
      • Gently press the seeds or seedlings into the soil but do not bury them too deep, as they require light to germinate.
      • Water the area thoroughly after planting.
    2. Watering and Care:
      • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the germination and early growth stages.
      • Once established, Heal-All is somewhat drought-tolerant and requires less frequent watering. However, it’s still important to provide regular moisture during dry periods.
      • Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
      • Weed the area regularly to prevent competition for nutrients.
    3. Maintenance:
      • Heal-All is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It has a spreading habit and can become invasive, so you may need to control its growth by trimming or dividing the plants as necessary.
      • Prune the plants after flowering to promote bushier growth and prevent them from becoming too leggy.
      • Fertilization is generally not required for Heal-All, as it can obtain sufficient nutrients from the soil. However, if your soil is poor, you can add organic compost or a balanced fertilizer.
    4. Harvesting:
      • Heal-All can be harvested once the plant reaches maturity and starts producing flowers.
      • Select individual leaves or flower spikes as needed.
      • You can harvest the leaves and flowers by snipping them off close to the stem.
      • If you want to dry Heal-All for later use, gather the leaves and flowers in small bundles and hang them upside down in a cool, dry location. Once dry, store them in an airtight container away from sunlight.

    Heal-All can reseed itself readily, so be mindful of its growth and spread in your garden.

    How to use as medicine:

    Heal-All, or Prunella vulgaris, can be used as medicine in various forms depending on the desired effect and condition being treated. Here are some common methods of using Heal-All:

    1. Heal-All Tea: One of the most common ways to use Heal-All is by making a tea. To prepare Heal-All tea, follow these steps:
      • Boil water and pour it over 1-2 teaspoons of dried Heal-All leaves or flowers.
      • Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
      • Strain the tea and drink it while warm.
      • You can sweeten the tea with honey if desired.
    2. Heal-All Tincture: A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract of the herb. Tinctures are typically made using alcohol or glycerin as a solvent. Heal-All tincture can be found in health food stores or made at home. Follow the instructions on the tincture bottle or consult a qualified herbalist for proper dosage and usage.
    3. Topical Applications: Heal-All can be used topically to address skin conditions or promote wound healing. Here are a couple of methods:
      • Ointment or Cream: Commercial Heal-All ointments or creams can be applied directly to the affected area as directed on the product label.
      • Poultice: Crush fresh Heal-All leaves or flowers and apply them directly to the skin. Secure them in place with a clean cloth or bandage. Leave it on for a specified time, typically 20-30 minutes.
    4. Mouthwash or Gargle: Heal-All can be used for oral health by making a mouthwash or gargle. Here’s how:
      • Prepare a strong Heal-All tea by steeping the leaves or flowers in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
      • Let the tea cool and use it as a mouthwash or gargle, swishing it around the mouth or gargling for 30 seconds to a minute.
      • Spit out the tea after use. Do not swallow it.