All-Heal, Heal-All, Self-Heal and Woundwort are among the common names for the low-growing perennial herb Prunella vulgaris. This low-growing, creeping herb grows in most temperate areas around the world and has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for millennia. The benefits of All-Heal and Prunella vulgaris are legendary, and modern nutritional and medicinal studies indicate that the legends may be scientifically supported.
All-Heal has been used for centuries as an herbal panacea, applied topically for wound treatment and taken internally either by eating the whole herb or drinking tea from the dried flower heads for treatment of fevers and other illnesses, according to traditional herbalists Deb Jackson and Karen Bergeron writing on Alternative Nature Online Herbal. Modern medical researchers have found that All-Heal has powerful antiviral effects, which may account for the herb's traditional reputation. The antiviral impact of Prunella vulgaris arises primarily from a nutritive compound called rosmarinic acid, Chinese medical researchers Chuen-lung Cheng and Hongxi Xu report in the "Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines." Extract of P. vulgaris has been successfully used clinically to control gingivitis and to treat aspects of herpes infections, and laboratory studies indicate its potential effectiveness against HIV viruses, according to the journal's report.
Extract of Prunella vulgaris significantly reduced the rise of blood glucose in laboratory rats that were in an induced diabetic state, according to a report published in the 2007 "Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition." All-Heal extract provided an even greater impact when administered in combination with glibenclamide, a popular anti-diabetic drug. All-Heal extract enhanced the action of the glibenclamide, resulting in a more effective and longer-lasting impact on blood glucose levels than when either All-Heal or glibenclamide was used alone. Although more study is required, Prunella vulgaris shows great promise of benefits for the treatment of diabetes. Traditional medicinal uses of All-Heal indicate that it restores imbalanced health and acts as a general tonic, according to Alternative Nature Online Herbal. A positive impact on blood glucose levels may well account for the traditional reputation of improving a sense of well-being and healthfulness.
A weak solution of Prunella vulgaris has traditionally been used as an eyewash for irritated eyes, as well as for sties and pinkeye, and warm All-Heal tea is reputed to be a beneficial treatment for sore throats, according to Alternative Nature Online Herbal. Recent scientific laboratory research indicates that All-Heal is a powerful tool against allergic responses and has anti-inflammation effects, which may account for these traditional uses. Dr. Ray Sahelian, a practicing physician and medical writer specializing in the use of dietary supplements and natural medicine, reports that at least two laboratory studies reported in peer-review medical journals indicate that Prunella vulgaris inhibits immediate allergic responses and exhibits a strong inhibiting influence on inflammation. These studies indicate the potential for All-Heal to impart health benefits to allergy sufferers as well as to people with inflammatory ailments like arthritis, although more study is needed to determine the precise mechanisms of these impacts.