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Cut-leaved Selfheal

Prunella laciniata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, roadsides, wetland, woodland.

White, 2 petals
Creamy-white 2-lipped flowers, measuring up to 2cm in size.
A 4-parted nutlet containing a single seed.
A perennial plant with hairy, deeply lobed leaves. The leaves are in opposite pairs up the stem. Usually found on lime.
Other Names:
White Selfheal, White-flowered Self-heal.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Prunella laciniata, also known as Cut-leaved Self-heal, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is commonly found in moist meadows, forest clearings, and along roadsides. The plant has opposite leaves which are deeply lobed and fringed and small, two-lipped, purple-blue flowers that grow in spikes. It is known for its medicinal properties, particularly for its ability to heal wounds and soothe sore throats. The leaves and stems of the plant can be made into a tea or tincture, and the dried leaves can also be used to make a poultice. It is considered as a common species in many areas, however, it is considered of conservation concern in some regions.


Cut-leaved Selfheal, scientifically known as Prunella laciniata, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the mint family Lamiaceae. This plant is native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced to North America and other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. Cut-leaved Selfheal is a popular medicinal plant used to treat various ailments, and it has a long history of use in traditional medicine.

Description and Characteristics

Cut-leaved Selfheal is a perennial herb that can grow up to 80 cm in height. It has a creeping root system, and the stem is erect, square-shaped, and hairy. The leaves are lance-shaped, deeply cut and lobed, and arranged opposite each other on the stem. The flowers are borne on spikes that emerge from the leaf axils, and they are usually purple or blue in color.

Medicinal Properties

Cut-leaved Selfheal has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. The plant is rich in flavonoids, tannins, and other active compounds that are responsible for its medicinal properties. Some of the health benefits of Cut-leaved Selfheal include:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Cut-leaved Selfheal has potent anti-inflammatory properties, and it is used to treat various inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, gastritis, and bronchitis.

  2. Antioxidant Properties: The plant contains high levels of antioxidants, which help to neutralize free radicals in the body and protect cells from damage. This makes it useful in the prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases.

  3. Wound Healing Properties: Cut-leaved Selfheal has been traditionally used to treat wounds and cuts. Its astringent and antimicrobial properties help to stop bleeding, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing.

  4. Digestive Health: The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat digestive issues, including indigestion, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It is believed to have a calming effect on the digestive system, reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

  5. Respiratory Health: Cut-leaved Selfheal has been used to treat respiratory infections, including bronchitis and asthma. It is believed to have an expectorant effect, helping to loosen mucus and clear the airways.

Preparation and Dosage

Cut-leaved Selfheal is usually prepared as an infusion or decoction. To make an infusion, add one teaspoon of dried Cut-leaved Selfheal leaves to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. For a decoction, simmer the leaves in water for 15-20 minutes, then strain and drink. The recommended dosage is 2-3 cups per day.


Cut-leaved Selfheal is a versatile and potent medicinal plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties make it useful in the treatment of various ailments. While Cut-leaved Selfheal is generally safe to use, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using it, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications.

More Information about Cut-leaved Selfheal

In addition to its medicinal properties, Cut-leaved Selfheal has other uses as well. The plant is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping due to its attractive spikes of purple or blue flowers. It is also a popular food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any garden or landscape that aims to support local biodiversity.

Cut-leaved Selfheal has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is still used today by practitioners of herbal medicine. It is available in various forms, including dried leaves, capsules, and tinctures, and can be found in many health food stores and online retailers.

Despite its numerous health benefits, Cut-leaved Selfheal is not without its risks. Like many medicinal herbs, it can interact with certain medications, and it may cause side effects in some people. Some possible side effects include allergic reactions, gastrointestinal distress, and liver toxicity. For this reason, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using Cut-leaved Selfheal, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications.

Cut-leaved Selfheal is a versatile and valuable plant that has numerous medicinal and ecological benefits. While it should be used with caution, particularly in high doses, it can be a safe and effective herbal remedy for many common ailments.

Cut-leaved Selfheal is just one of many species of Prunella, which is a large and diverse genus of plants in the mint family. Other species in this genus have similar medicinal properties and are also used in traditional medicine around the world.

One of the most well-known species is Prunella vulgaris, which is commonly known as Selfheal or Heal-All. This species is found in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. Like Cut-leaved Selfheal, it has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties.

Another species of Prunella is Prunella grandiflora, which is commonly known as Large Selfheal or Large-flowered Selfheal. This species is native to China and is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a wide range of conditions, including fever, sore throat, and digestive issues.

Overall, the genus Prunella is a rich source of medicinal compounds and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. While more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of these plants, they offer a promising avenue for the development of new natural remedies for many common health conditions.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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