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.