A common plant found in disturbed sites throughout the US. Selfheal has many traditional uses, both culinary and medicinal, from a wide variety of cultures the world over. As a ground cover with beautiful purple to pink blooms, the plant is also a choice aesthetic companion in an herb or native flower garden, complimenting the appearance of other plants.
Selfheal, as the name suggests, has been documented as a medicinal plant in both European and Chinese pharmacopeia, and was known as medicinal to many Native American cultures as well. Ongoing research is being performed on Selfheal, much of which reinforces the ancient wisdom surrounding this plant as a healer.
This plant will actively spread on any moist soil in full sun to part shade, providing quick ground cover for recently disturbed sites. The plant also has several culinary uses – a refreshment using dry or fresh leaves steeped cold water, a potherb, a trailside nibble, and a Chia seed substitute. Although the presence of tannins in the leaves often results in harsh flavors when raw, the dried or cooked leaves are considered among foragers to be quite good. The seeds may be collected and prepared in a manner similar to Chia.
Tolerant of most soil conditions.