Prunella (plant)

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

Prunella vulgaris - harilik käbihein
Prunella vulgaris (Common Self-heal)
Scientific classification

  • Brunella Mill.
  • Prunellopsis Kudô


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. Prunellas 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.[1][2][3]

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 by dividing clumps in spring or autumn.

  1. Prunella albanica Pénzes - Albania
  2. Prunella × bicolor Beck - parts of Europe (P. grandiflora × P. laciniata)
  3. Prunella × codinae Sennen - Spain (P. hyssopifolia × P. laciniata)
  4. Prunella cretensis Gand. - Crete
  5. Prunella × gentianifolia Pau - Spain (P. hyssopifolia × P. vulgaris)
  6. Prunella grandiflora (L.) Scholler - central + southern Europe from Caucasus to Russia; Caucasus
  7. Prunella hyssopifolia L. - Spain, France, Italy, Morocco
  8. Prunella × intermedia Link - central + southwestern Europe (P. laciniata × P. vulgaris)
  9. Prunella laciniata (L.) L - central + southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East
  10. Prunella orientalis Bornm. - Turkey, Syria
  11. Prunella prunelliformis (Maxim.) Makino - Japan
  12. Prunella × surrecta Dumort. - central + southwestern Europe (P. grandiflora × P. vulgaris)
  13. Prunella vulgaris L. - widespread in Europe, North Africa, Asia, North America; naturalized in New Zealand parts of South America

Subspecies are[4]

  • Prunella vulgaris ssp. aleutica (Fernald) Hultén – Aleutian selfheal
  • Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata (W. Bartram) Hultén – lance selfheal
  • Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (L.) – common selfheal


Traditional medicine

Dried Prunella
Traditional Chinese夏枯草
Simplified Chinese夏枯草

In the Pacific Northwest, its juice was used by the Quinault and the Quileute on boils.[5] They also used the whole plant to treat cuts and inflammations.[6] Ointments can be made by fixing the plant with grease. Dried Prunella (Chinese: 夏枯草) is used to make a herbal drink.

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.

As a health supplement

Prunella vulgaris is used as an ingredient in some bodybuilding supplements.


  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Flora of China Vol. 17 Page 134 夏枯草 xia ku cao Prunella vulgaris Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 600. 1753.
  3. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Prunella includes photos plus range maps for Europe + North America
  4. ^ "Prunella vulgaris L." ITIS. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  5. ^ Plant Fact Sheet
  6. ^ Prunella spike History...

Prunella may refer to:

Prunella (bird), also known as accentors or dunnocks

Prunella (plant), also known as self-heal

Prunella (grape), French wine grape also known as Cinsaut

"Prunella" (fairy tale), an Italian fairy tale

Prunella (1918 film), 1918 silent film starring Marguerite Clark

Prunella (given name)

Prunella (horse), a Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare

Bargnolino (or sometimes prunella), Italian sloe gin, from Prunus spinosa (blackthorn, or sloe)

Prunella grandiflora

Prunella grandiflora, the large-flowered selfheal, is an ornamental plant in the Lamiaceae family.

Prunella laciniata

Prunella laciniata, the cutleaf selfheal, is a plant in the Lamiaceae family.

Prunella vulgaris

Prunella vulgaris (known as common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter's herb, brownwort and blue curls) is a herbaceous plant in the genus Prunella.

Self-heal is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant in whole can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyinxia4 ku1 cao3
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanizationhah5 fu1 chou2
Jyutpinghaa5 fu1 cou2


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