(Prunella vulgaris ‘Heal All')
Heal all is a native mat-forming perennial herb that can be commonly found growing in pastures, moist fields, and along woodland edges throughout the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 6-12” and features deep green, lance-shaped, toothed leaves, and terminal spikes that bare 2 lipped tubular purple flowers. This plant grows in a container, attracts bee and butterflies, is horse safe, provides forage to livestock, tolerates drought, makes dye, green manure, shampoo, and lotion, and is both edible and medicinal!
Variety: Heal All
Also Known As: Self-heal , Woundwort, Heart-of-the-earth, Carpenter's herb, Brownwort and Blue curls.
Native to: Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aleutian Is., Algeria, Altay, Amur, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, California, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Finland, Florida, France, Føroyar, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hainan, Hungary, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., Labrador, Lebanon-Syria, Louisiana, Madeira, Maine, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Newfoundland, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Pennsylvania, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Sicilia, Sinai, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tennessee, Texas, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Ukraine, Utah, Uzbekistan, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia.
Introduced into: Amsterdam-St.Paul Is, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Chatham Is., Chile Central, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Falkland Is., Haiti, Jamaica, Juan Fernández Is., New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Norfolk Is., Peru, Tristan da Cunha, Venezuela.
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Perennial
Maturity (Bloom): Summer
Light: Full Sun to Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Medium
Attracts beneficial insects?: Yes. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and is resistant to deer.
Sowing Depth: 1/8"
Produces: deep green, lance-shaped, toothed leaves, and terminal spikes that bare 2 lipped tubular purple flowers.
USDA Grow Zone: 4a-9b
Other Uses: Dye. An olive-green dye is obtained from the flowers and stems.
Leaves: raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, soups, stews etc. Somewhat bitter due to the presence of tannin in the leaves, though this can be removed by washing the leaves. A cold water infusion of the freshly chopped or dried and powdered leaves is used as a refreshing beverage. Very tasty.
The origin of the generic name, Prunella, is in dispute. It might refer to the purple flowers, but herbalists cling to the theory that it is a variant of Brunella (in German, die Bräune—“the browns”), a kind of bad sore throat that sixteenth-century German soldiers contracted while “lying in camp”. Gerard (1633) described the symptoms as including a “ruggednesse, blacknesse, and drinesse of the tongue, with a kind of swelling in the same,” along with “a continuall ague and frensie.” Rugged, too, was the remedy: a decoction of self-heal taken “after blood letting out of the veins of the tongue” and followed by frequent washing of the mouth and tongue with the same decoction, “and sometimes a little vineger [sic] mixed therewith.” No mention is made of the cure rate. Today, the camp doctor would likely prescribe an antibiotic.
The tannins in self-heal that might have relieved a sore throat might also have been effective in healing wounds and sores. Gerard ranked self-heal and bugleweed (Ajuga sp.) as the two best wound herbs; both contain tannins. Taken internally, self-heal was also thought to alleviate eye inflammations and eyestrain. The American pharmacist and herbalist Ben Charles Harris recommended a decoction of self-heal to soothe the digestive tract during or following an attack of diarrhea.
Self-heal has also been traditionally used for headaches. Gerard noted, “Bruised with oile of Roses and Vinegar, and laied to the forepart of the head, [it] swageth and helpeth the paine and aking thereof.” Today, the herb is known to open up peripheral circulation by expanding blood vessels and thus is used occasionally by European herbalists in treatments for mild headache. However, other peripheral vasodilators such as yarrow, hawthorn, linden, and ephedra have largely replaced self-heal.
(Campanula medium ‘Blue’)
Blue Canterbury Bells is a biennial flower native to Italy and France commonly found growing in shady areas of moist woods and meadows and along streams and ditches in the northwestern and northeastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches a height of 3' and features long, loose clusters of long-lasting bell-shaped blue flowers. This plant is perfect for cut flowers, attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, is resistant to deer, makes dyes, and is edible!