– Prunella vulgaris (known as common self-heal or heal-all) is an herbaceous plant in the genus Prunella.
– Heal-all is a perennial herb found throughout Europe, Asia and North America, as well as most temperate climates. Its origin seems to be European, though it has been documented in other countries since before any history of travel.
– In the Republic of Ireland it is currently abundant in the west in the counties Galway and Clare, the southwest in Kerry, the south coast, and is also found around the central basin of Ireland
Prunella vulgaris(chin. : 夏姑草)
– Prunella is usually harvested in the summer and the main medicinal part is the half-dry ear or the whole plant.
– Because it withers once June solstice comes, it is called Xia Ku Cao, which literally means “summer withered grass.”
– its medicinal parts include stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, and ears.
– Actually this herb has long been documented in Chinese medicine classics
grows 5 to 30 cm high (2-12inches), with creeping, self-rooting, tough, square, reddish stems branching at leaf axis.
– The leaves are lance shaped, serrated, and reddish at tip, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long and 1.5 cm (half an inch) broad, and growing in opposite pairs down the square stem.
– Each leaf has 3-7 veins that shoot off of the middle vein to the margin.
– The stalks of the leaves are generally short, but can be up to 5 cm (2 inches) long.
– 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
– It is often found growing in moist areas, waste ground, grassland, woodland edges, and usually in basic and neutral soils.
– Self-heal is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant in whole can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage
– All-Heal has been used for centuries as an herbal panacea, applied topically for wound treatment and taken internally either by eating the whole herb or drinking tea from the dried flower heads for treatment of fevers and other illnesses,
– researchers have found that All-Heal has powerful antiviral effects, which may account for the herb’s traditional reputation. The antiviral impact of Prunella vulgaris arises primarily from a nutritive compound called rosmarinic acid,
– Extract of P. vulgaris has been successfully used clinically to control gingivitis and to treat aspects of herpes infections,
– and laboratory studies indicate its potential effectiveness against HIV viruses, according to the journal’s report.
– Extract of Prunella vulgaris significantly reduced the rise of blood glucose in laboratory rats that were in an induced diabetic state, according to a report published in the 2007 “Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”
– All-Heal extract provided an even greater impact when administered in combination with glibenclamide, a popular anti-diabetic drug. All-Heal extract enhanced the action of the glibenclamide, resulting in a more effective and longer-lasting impact on blood glucose levels than when either All-Heal or glibenclamide was used alone.
– A weak solution of Prunella vulgaris has traditionally been used as an eyewash for irritated eyes, as well as for sties and pinkeye,
– All-Heal tea is reputed to be a beneficial treatment for sore throats, according to Alternative Nature Online Herbal.
– Recent scientific laboratory research indicates that All-Heal is a powerful tool against allergic responses and has anti-inflammation effects, which may account for these traditional uses.
– These studies indicate the potential for All-Heal to impart health benefits to allergy sufferers as well as to people with inflammatory ailments like arthritis, although more study is needed to determine the precise mechanisms of these impacts.
– As an ointment it has been used as an herbal remedy for bleeding hemorrhoids or swollen anal veins and vaginal pain and inflammation.
– An eyewash made from self heal has been used to relive tired, swollen eyes, and is reportedly effective as a treatment for conjunctivitis.
– As a mouth and throat wash, it is used to soothe sore throats, and to reduce swelling of the mouth, throat, and lymph nodes.
– A tea made from self heal is used as a folk remedy to treat anxiety, depression and mood swings.
– Additionally it has been used as a treatment of problems associated with the liver, kidneys and gall bladder. No scientific studies are available at the moment to confirm the effectiveness of this herb for those ailments.
– Ointments made from the plant have been used to ease the discomfort associated with eczema and psoriasis.
– For open cuts or wounds, a poultice can be applied directly as it is thought to reduce or prevent infection.
– Its decoction, water extract, ethanol and water extract, and ethanol extract can significantly reduce blood pressure in experimental animals. All stem, leaf, ear, and whole plant are antihypertensive, but ears’ efficacy apparently is better;