Well, another week has caught me out. I went to bed on Tuesday, and suddenly it's Friday. Where has the week gone?
Flower time again, and I've not really sorted out anything how I'd like to have done; but here's a lovely little flower, that seems to be in full bloom everywhere there's grass at the moment.
Probably better known by it's common name, Self-heal, although I found it to have many other names.
Square stem, Thimble flower, Sickle-heal, Sicklewort, Slough-heal, Hookweed, Panay, Proud carpenter, Herb carpenter, Hercules' all-heal, Hook-heal, Carpenter's herb, Heart of the earth, Brunel, Caravaun bog, Carpenter grass, Blue curls, Brownwort, Heal-all, All-heal, Bumble-bees, Herb, Fly Flowers, Heart of the Earth, Hook-heal, London Bottles, Pick Pocket, Pimpernel, Prince's Feather.
Self-heal is a native perennial found in grassland, lawns, wood clearings, field margins and rough ground. It is abundant in grassy places except the most acid.
It is incredibly vigorous, and spreads by underground stems that shoot out in every direction once the first root is stuck in the ground. Self Heal grows up to 60 cm high, with a thick dark green stem with a few broad leaves and purple-brown, blue-purple flowers, and flowers from May to September.
Selfheal has a wide range of uses in traditional medicine.
Prior to World War II, it was used to staunch bleeding and for treating heart disease. A decoction of the leaves was used to treat sore throats and internal bleeding. It is used as an anti-inflammatory and has anti-allergic activity. In western medicine it is used externally for treating minor injuries, sores, burns, bruises and can also be used as a mouthwash to treat mouth ulcers.
According to the 16th-century herbalist John Gerard, ‘there is not a better wounde herbe in the world’.
The 17th-century botanist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that the plant is called selfheal because ‘when you are hurt, you may heal yourself’.
Enjoy the rest of your day