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Prunella (plant): Wikis


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Prunella vulgaris (Common Self-heal)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Prunella

Seven species, including:
Prunella grandiflora (Large Self-heal)
Prunella laciniata (Cut-leaf Self-heal)
Prunella vulgaris (Common Self-heal)

Prunella is a genus of seven species of herbaceous plants in the family Lamiaceae, also known as self-heals or "allheal" for their use in herbal medicine.



Most are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but Prunella vulgaris (the Common Self-heal) is Holarctic in distribution, occurring in North America as well, and is a common lawn weed. Self-heals are low-growing plants, and thrive in moist wasteland and grass, spreading rapidly to cover the ground. They are members of the mint family and have the square stem common to mints.

Biological descriptions

The common name "self-heal" derives from the use of some species to treat a range of minor disorders. Self-heal can be grown from seed, or divide clumps in spring or autumn.



Medicinal uses

It is reported to have an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, and to be particularly good in cases of food poisoning. In the Pacific Northwest, its juice was used by the Quinault and the Quileute on boils. They also used the whole plant to treat cuts and inflammations. Ointments can be made by fixing the plant with grease.

Dried Prunella
Traditional Chinese 夏枯草
Simplified Chinese 夏枯草

Dried Prunella (Chinese: 夏枯草) is used to make a herbal drink to help restore the body to a natural state after eating too many fried foods. It is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

While most of the traditional uses are of unknown (and clinically untested) efficacy, Prunella vulgaris has been shown to be an antioxidant, immune stimulant, viral replication inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory agent.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Food uses

The mildly bitter leaves are also good as salad greens. Prunella species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Coleophora albitarsella.


  1. ^ Immune modulatory effects of Prunella vulgaris L. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Mar;15(3):491-6.
  2. ^ A polysaccharide fraction from medicinal herb Prunella vulgaris downregulates the expression of herpes simplex virus antigen in Vero cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):63-8.
  3. ^ Phenolics-rich extracts from Silybum marianum and Prunella vulgaris reduce a high-sucrose diet induced oxidative stress in hereditary hypertriglyceridemic rats. Pharmacol Res. 2004 Aug;50(2):123-30.
  4. ^ Biological activities of Prunella vulgaris extract. Phytother Res. 2003 Nov;17(9):1082-7.
  5. ^ Anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory triterpenes from the herb of Prunella vulgaris. Planta Med. 2000 May;66(4):358-60.
  6. ^ Inhibition of immediate-type allergic reactions by Prunella vulgaris in a murine model. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2001 Aug;23(3):423-35.


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