Heal All / Self Heal

With a name like “Heal-all” sometimes known as “self-heal” this little plant has a lot to live up to.  And frankly it doesn’t disappoint.

While it may not be a panacea it certainly packs a punch in terms of its medicinal and culinary usefulness.  And I’m delighted to have masses of it growing in our gardens!


“The flower essence of self-heal is highly regarded for its abilities to help people and animals who face physical, mental or spiritual challenges. It can be used alone, combined with other flower essences, or added to herbal tinctures, massage oils, misters or one’s daily water bottle to stimulate the deeper energy channels of the body to awaken an inner commitment to be well and to affirm the gift of life.

On the physical body it acts as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, mild antiseptic, detoxifier, diuretic, hemostatic and vulnerary (a substance used to help heal external wounds). Its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties help as a gargle for sore throats and as a mouthwash for mouth ulcers and bleeding gums. A tea, diluted tincture or fresh plant poultice is effective topically to stop bleeding from cuts or wounds, reduce swelling from insect bites, and to reduce the swelling from varicose veins, hemorrhoids and eye inflammations (sties, conjunctivitis). Self-heal can be used internally and externally to help dissolve nodules in the neck (such as goiter), lypomas (fatty tumors) or other nodules involving the lymph. In China, self-heal is used to treat cancer because of its antitumor properties.

Self-heal’s cooling properties help clear liver heat that rises to the eyes and causes swollen, red and painful eyes and headaches. It also can ease tension headaches caused by vertigo, over-sensitivity to light and high blood pressure.

Self-heal is an effective lymphatic herb for women who have swollen breasts, painful fibrocystic breast tissue, systemic cysts, mastitis or sore nipples. It can be combined with other lymphatic herbs, such as violet leaf and flower, calendula or red clover, for internal use. Fresh or dry self-heal flowers can be infused in olive oil with violet, calendula, chickweed and red clover blossoms for two weeks at 100 degrees F. to make a healing massage oil for the above breast conditions. This oil can be used topically to help dissolve hardnesses for people who are continuously hit in the same spot, such as martial art practitioners.” source

There has been extensive research on the medicinal effects of Self-heal, albeit mostly using animals as subjects rather than humans but many benefits have been noted such as anti-cancer/tumour qualities, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory.  Useful as a treatment for hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlimpidemia.  It has been shown to be Hepatoprotective (protecting for the liver), and has shown to have multiple effects such as hypnosis, choleretic, antidepressant, anti-renal calculi, improving osteoporosis, and alleviating memory impairment.source

With a list like that it really is fair to have such a name as “heal all” or at least heal much!

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