Common Heal-All, Prunella vulgaris

Description


Common Heal-all (also known as Self-Heal, Woundwort or Heart-of-the-Earth), is a herbaceous plant in the genus Prunella, native to Europe. Self-Heal has lance-shaped leaves and two-lipped, tubular purple flowers that sprout from a whirled cluster at the top of the plant between May and August. The plant is reputed to have a range of powerful medicinal uses, and is edible in it's entirety, with the young leaves, flowers and stems commonly used raw in salads, cooked in soups and stews, boiled as a pot herb, or used to make teas, tinctures and infusions. This hardy species prefers grassland, but will grow almost anywhere, from roadsides, verges, lawns and meadows.


Common Heal-All Checklist

Habitat

🐑 Prefers grassland and meadows.
️🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🌳 Decidous Woodland clearings.

Season

🌞 May - August

Leaves

☘️ Small, green, lance-shaped leaves arranged opposite each other on the stem. Can grow up to 5 cm long and 2cm wide.

Flowers

🌷 Two-lipped, tubular purple flowers that sprout from a whirled cluster at the top of the plant.

Stem

🌱 Thin, green and slightly hairy. Between 10 cm - 20 cm in length.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 The flowers form capsules (seed pods), which contain four seeds.

Aroma / Taste

👃 No noticeable scent.
👅 The leaves and flowers contain high levels of antioxidants, but can be a little bitter. Taste improves when cooked.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The flower heads are quite distinct and grow in slowly, usually from the top downwards.

Uses

🥗 Salad - Leaves and flowers are usually eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - The pretty purple flowers can be used as a garnish.
🥬 Green - Leaves and flowers are sometimes cooked as a vegetable.
🌿 Herb - Leaves are sometimes cooked as a pot-herb to add flavour.
☕️ Beverage - Is used to make teas or other drinks.
💊 Herbal Remedy - Is often used medicinally.