This is a small, low herb, found growing in fields, woods, and moist places. The stem is erect, the leaves oval-oblong whorls forming a dense spike, with two leaves at the base. It is a perennial plant, and grows from 4 to 10 inches high. The colour of the flower is violet, blooming in July or August.
Medicinal Properties: Astringent, Styptic, Tonic, Vulnerary.
Selfheal is an excellent agent for inward or outward wounds. According to Henry Edmond's work on Structural Botany, there is no plant in this order which is poisonous. If the old Italian proverb, "He that hath Selfheal and Sanicle needs no other physician," be true, then it must surely be a most valuable plant.
Used alone, take 1½-ozs. of the herb, and infuse in one pint of boiling water for 10 or 15 minutes; then strain, and take half a teacupful before meals, as a general strengthener in debility. A grand combination is—
Selfheal ... ½ oz.
Agrimony ... ½ oz.
Wood Betony ... ½ oz.
Infuse in 1½ pints of boiling water; strain when cool, and take one to two wineglassfuls every two hours, or as occasion demands, for general debility, loss of appetite, nervous tremors, &c.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.