The Ability To Heal

Everything old is new again when it comes to self-care.

After being rejected by several recent generations, the plants our ancestors used for healing are being sought out again. It makes some sense. Those plants were tested repeatedly for thousands of years, often by different cultures all over the world. In many cases, specific, positive results were found. But out of all those hundreds and hundreds of medicinal plants, several stood out for being exceptionally good for a variety of maladies. One was even named for its ability to help in just about every situation: Prunella vulgaris, otherwise known as Heal’s All.

One would think this odd little member of the mint family was used for everything because it is a fairly common native plant across both North America and Europe. It’s strange to think a plant that was healing ancient Celtic, Asian and Native American warriors 2,000 years ago is now unknown to people strolling through its East Texas woodlands habitat. It’s a small, unassuming plant easy to ignore. It has the usual mint structural features of a square stem, alternating leaves opposite one another and “dragon’s head” flower. The most distinctive feature, however, is its pyramidal clusters at the ends of short branches that produce flowers and then seeds. Heal’s All hides in shady areas where the springtime rains keep the soil damp.

Hearing all the different uses for this plant makes it sound like some sort of primitive magic and probably too good to be true. However, modern scientific studies of Prunella vulgaris have confirmed it’s an excellent, natural antibiotic and antiviral agent. Besides preventing infections, it has also been found to stimulate the healing process of injured tissues. But if that wasn’t good enough, daily doses of Heal’s All are proven to have anti-cancer effects, greatly reducing the likelihood of several common types of cancer. A search of Prunella vulgaris on pubmed.gov will turn up page after page of medical publications about this amazing plant.

We share the earth with some astounding neighbors. You should take the time to get to know some of them. They are likely just what you need.