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.jpg
Prunella vulgaris (Common Self-heal)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Prunella
  • 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 descriptionsEdit

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 medicineEdit

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[clarification needed] the plant with grease. Dried Prunella (Chinese: 夏枯草) is used to make a herbal drink.[7] Prunella is also used for halitosis, especially when combined with other herbs (e.g. perilla, field mint, etc.). Herbal tea for treating ozostomia caused by oral local lesion

Food usesEdit

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.[citation needed]

As a health supplementEdit

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


  1. ^ a b c "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew".
  2. ^ "Prunella vulgaris in Flora of China @".
  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. ^ "USDA Plants Database" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Prunella spike History..." Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  7. ^ "StackPath".