Wildflowers, Plants and Ferns, Pacific Northwest
The Self Heal Flower grows on all of the BC coast. This plant is known as a heal all plant. Self heal is related to the mint plant and like any of the mints, once you plant it, you never have to plant it again. The plant spreads by underground stems that spread in every direction. It grows like a weed, but its far from being a problem, it is one of natures great plants.
It has a widespread reputation for keeping people well during outbreaks of infectious disease. This is one of those plants you should use on a steady basis. In China, where the plant grows profusely, it is widely used as a tonic. The Chinese collect the plant as it spikes into bloom, take the lower leaves and flower heads from it and make a treatment to treat fevers and rheumatism. They also use the leaves and flower heads as an alterative, which helps the body go from a state of sickness to one of health.
When it is taken in tea, it can help the body stay healthy. It can assist liver function and as such, the self heal flower is used to treat patients suffering liver illness, works wonders on liver disease. It is also used to treat swollen glands. It is an immunity booster and it has an antibiotic effect. Experiments indicate that self heal has broad antimicrobial powers and also kills many pathogenic fungi. It can be used as a treatment for athletes foot.
It was used by native Americans to treat sore throats, stomach cramps, and urinary and liver problems. It was also used to kill worms and to help those who suffered from fits.
The plant gets wide use as a first aid ointment, the ground plant is applied as a poultice to cuts, wounds, bruises, and sores that won’t heal. Wounds heal a lot faster when you apply self heal. You can also use it in tea form to lower high blood pressure, a cup a day will regulate this problem.
It is easy to grow, just stick it in the ground and stand back. To harvest self heal, cut the plant as it breaks into bloom, trimming it off 2.5 cm above the roots. The plant won’t mind and this gives it an incentive to grow more.