Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris L.), known as a remedy traditionally used as Chinese medicine, was neglected in modern pharmacy until the 20th century. Although in the Middle Ages it was respected for its wound-healing effect, the usage of this medicinal plant was confined just to the conventional pharmacy. Nowadays, because of the great...dislike of synthetic materials, however, self-heal has become one of the most important target plants again. Owing to its valuable active constituents, besides its wound-healing effect, the plant can also be used as hepato-protective, antioxidant, anti-HIV, anti-cancer remedy, and it is effective against Herpes virus, as well. Its taste — and odourless extracts are applied by the food industry as natural food preservatives. Taking into account the importance of self-heal our aim was to introduce this plant species more detailed with regard to its active agents, effects and cultivation methods.
Growing of native perennial species became more and more popular in the last ten years. In order to obtain more information on their histological structure, investigations were done on Aster linosyris, Inula ensifolia and Prunella grandiflora. The histological features are usually relating to the plants' ecological demands whi...ch is an important aspect in their growing. Differences were found in the structure of the stem of Asteraceae and Lamiaceae members. While separated vessels were formed in the stem of Aster linosyris and Inula ensifolia, continuous vessel-system forms in the stem of Prunella. Alternating segments of collenchyma and chlorenchyma are found in the stem of Aster linosyris, while palisade parenchyma is situated both on the abaxial and adaxial surface of the leaves. Vessel-system of the root is tetrarch. Histological structure of the stem of Inula ensifolia differs from Aster linosyris in the broader cortical parenchyma which is composed of approx. 8-12 cell layers. It contains neither collenchyma nor chlorenchyma. In the stem of Prunella grandiflora a nearly continuous vessel-ring is formed from the four primary vessels. Long, multi-celled hairs were observed in the district of angles of the stem.