Sue Sprung is a Medical Herbalist operating in Liverpool and the North West of England. If after browsing this website you are still unsure if Herbal Medicine can help, please call for a no-obligation chat – 0151 281 4648

Caution: Information on these pages is purely for educational purposes and is not intended to be used as treatment.

Self-heal: A little used but potent healer

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)

This tiny plant is popping up all over the place at the moment, in lawns and grass verges. Although little used in modern herbalism, it has been the surprising subject of research studies for its antiviral and anticancer properties. However, its traditional uses are probably more reliable – it’s a great wound healer (when applied to any tissue damage, such as burns, cuts and ulcers); when taken orally as a tea it helps strengthen immune function in colds, sore throats and allergies, as well as helping resolve swollen glands via the lymphatic system. As a mildly bitter herb it also helps liver function and digestion.

 

Lime flowers

Lime flowers or blossom

Lime trees are covered with feathery yellow-green flowers at this time of year and these are the parts commonly used by herbalists. Lime flowers make a a relaxing tea for helping with anxiety and poor sleep, but as with all herbs there’s much more to it than that. As a suitable remedy for stressed, fiery types with high blood pressure, strong pulse and red skin, it relaxes blood vessels and eases blood flow in capillaries, reducing blood pressure and supporting health of the heart and circulation. Another way that it’s used for ‘hot’ conditions is in feverish states, where its relaxing properties help the body to cool by promoting sweating (a ‘diaphoretic’ effect).

Shepherd’s purse

Shepherd’s purse – Capsella bursa-pastoris

Shepherd’s purse is a lesser known weed that is flowering at the moment; it’s easily identified by the ‘purse’ or heart-shaped seed pods on the stem. The entire plant above the ground is used to make a medicine that’s commonly used to reduce unwanted bleeding. It does this by encouraging blood coagulation and also causing blood vessels to widen, therefore diverting blood away from the site of bleeding, including helping circulation to the heart and extremities. It contains the antiinflammatory and tissue strengthening flavonoid called rutin which helps where weak veins and poor uterine muscle tone allows blood to ‘stagnate’ and build up in uterine tissue. It’s therefore a good medicine for heavy menstrual bleeding where blood is dark and clotted.