Did You Know…that a member of the mint family is one of nature’s most powerful healers?
Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a scentless, low-growing perennial variety of mint—but don’t let its lack of aroma mislead you. This humble creeping herb is one of the world’s greatest healing botanicals. That’s because the leaves and flowers of the self-heal plant contain more antioxidants than any other plant tested, according to renowned herbal healer Susun Weed. And antioxidants are proven to prevent cancer and heart disease, along with many other health benefits.
Also known as all-heal, heal-all, and woundwort, self-heal grows easily in most temperate areas of the world and has been used medicinally for centuries with legendary benefits. Now, scientific studies show that those legends have some evidence behind them.
Fights Viruses Internally and Topically
For centuries, self-heal has been used to fight viruses and to treat fevers, sore throats, and other illnesses, according to traditional herbalists Deb Jackson and Karen Bergeron. The herb can be:
- Applied to the skin to treat surface wounds
- Consumed fresh and whole
- Made into a tea made from the dried flower heads
Now, modern medical studies have shown that self-heal has powerful antiviral effects. Those effects are likely due to a compound called rosmarinic acid, according to medical researchers Chuen-lung Cheng and Hongxi Xu’s report in the Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines.
Extracts of self-heal have been clinically effective in controlling gingivitis in treating herpes infections. Some laboratory studies even suggest it may be effective against HIV.
Helps Keep Blood Sugar in Check
One exciting study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that extracts of self-heal significantly reduced blood glucose in laboratory rats. For the study, the rats were put into a diabetic state and then treated with self-heal.
Interestingly, self-heal extract was even more effective when combined with glibenclamide, a popular anti-diabetic drug. In fact, the self-heal and glibenclamide combination produced a stronger and longer-lasting benefit for reducing blood glucose levels than either substance used alone.
The researchers said that although more research is needed, self-heal shows tremendous potential for use in the treatment of diabetes.
Traditionally, a diluted solution made with self-heal and water has been used to soothe irritated eyes, sties, and even conjunctivitis (pink eye). Now, research shows that self-heal is a very strong anti-inflammatory. Likely, these anti-inflammatory effects account for the plant’s traditional uses and reputation.At least two studies published in peer-review medical journals show that self-heal inhibits immediate allergic responses and quells inflammation. Therefore, self-heal may offer important health benefits that go beyond allergies. Like other well-known anti-inflammatory plants including curcumin, self-heal may help those suffering from other inflammation-related conditions, including arthritis.