ALSO KNOWN AS: all-heal, cure-all, woundwort, sticklewort
common throughout NZ
Culpepper (1616-1654) called it self-heal because ‘when you are hurt, you may heal yourself’. This perennial is found growing in damp lawns, lime-deficient pasture, forest margins and clearings where it makes a colourful ground cover, with delightful purple flowers that stand up above the leaves. USES: healing cuts, bruises, minor burns, as a gargle for sore throats and a mouth wash for bleeding gums or mouth ulcers. Research has also shown that it helps lower high blood pressure. It contains high levels of antioxidants.
I love to use the little leaves and flowers in salads of mixed greens and in my smoothies. They can also be used fresh or dried as a herb tea, either on their own or with other herbs like calendula flowers, mint or lemon verbena.