Scientific Name(s): Prunella vulgaris
How: raw, tea, cooked
Where: borders, woods, fields, wastelands, full sun, light shade
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: medicinal compounds
Bed of heal's all plants while flowering.
Heal's all bed before flowering.
Individual heal's all stalk.
Heal's all plant.
Close-up of heal's all flower stalk before flowering.
Close-up of heal's all flower.
Note the "beard" on the flower's lower lip petal.
Heal's All seedlings in January in Houston, before producing a stem or flowers.
Heal's All in the summer after going to seed.
Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Usually found in somewhat moist, woody areas, Heal's All is a rather unassuming plant for most of it's life. Appearing in late winter, it's first call to attention occurs with the appearance of its unmistakable, pyramidal flower stalk in mid-spring. It isn't a solitary plant and so much prefers being surrounded by many of its fellow Heal's All plants.
Heal's all is often considered to be the best all-around medicinal plant. Other names for it include selfheal, heart-of-the-earth, and woundwort. According to legend and also Peterson's Guide to Medicinal Plants heal's all will take care of problems with lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, joints, cancers, ulcers, tumors, swellings, and back trouble. The usual method of ingestion is as a leaf tea or alcohol extraction. I also like chopping the leaves up and adding them to any rice I am cooking.
The plant can be air-dried for later use. as tea, but the alcohol extraction is best done with fresh leaves. The dried leaves & flowers can also be smoked as part of an herbal "tobacco" mixture.