Perennial herb found throughout Europe, Asia, Japan and the U. S., (to mention a few) its origin seems to be European though it has been documented in other countries since before any history of travel. Found growing in waste ground, grassland, woodland edges, usually on basic and neutral soils. Cultivation: Heal-All thrives in any damp soil in full sun or in light shade. Plants are apt to become troublesome weeds in turf that is at all damp. Self-Heal is a good plant for growing in the spring meadow. Sow seed in very early spring in a flat outdoors, or give a short cold and moist conditioning treatment before sowing in a warm place.
Growing from 1 to 2 feet high, with creeping, self-rooting,
tough, square, reddish stems branching at leaf axis. The leaves
are lance shaped, serrated and reddish at tip, about an inch long
and 1/2 inch broad, grow on short stalks in opposite pairs down
the square stem. The flowers grow from a clublike, somewhat square,
whirled cluster, immediately below this club are a pair of stalkless
leaves standing out on either side like a collar. Flowers are
two lipped and tubular, the top lip is a purple hood, and the
bottom lip is often white, it has three lobes with the middle
lobe being larger and fringed upwardly. Flowers bloom at different
times depending on climate and other conditions. Mostly from June
to August. Gather whole plant when flowers bloom, dry for later
Leaves and small flowers are edible.
Self-Heal is edible and medicinal, can be used in salads, soups, stews, or boiled as a pot herb. Used as an alternative medicine for centuries on just about every continent in the world, and for just about every ailment known to man, Heal-All is something of a panacea, it does seem to have some medicinal uses that are constant. The plants most useful constituents are Betulinic-acid, D-Camphor, Delphinidin, Hyperoside, Manganese, Oleanolic-acid, Rosmarinic-acid, Rutin, Ursolic-acid, and Tannins. The whole plant is medicinal as alterative, antibacterial, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, stomachic, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary.
A cold water infusion of the freshly chopped or dried and powdered leaves is a very tasty and refreshing beverage, weak infusion of the plant is an excellent medicinal eye wash for sties and pinkeye. It is taken internally as a medicinal tea in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea, sore mouth and throat, internal bleeding, and weaknesses of the liver and heart. Clinical analysis shows it to have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of pseudomonas, Bacillus typhi, E. coli, Mycobacterium tuberculi, which supports its use as an alternative medicine internally and externally as an antibiotic and for hard to heal wounds and diseases. It is showing promise in research for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and many other maladies.
Medicinal tea or infusion: Add 1 oz. dried or fresh herb to a pint of boiling water, steep till cool, take in ½ cup doses, sweetened with honey, as a general strengthener.