Self-heal is a fibrous-rooted perennial with several erect, spreading, or prostrate stems from 10-50 cm long. The few leaves are usually found on the square (in cross-section) stems, although a cluster of basal leaves may be present. The stem leaves are opposite. All leaves are petiolate with lanceolate, elliptic, or broadly ovate blades measuring from 2-9 cm long and 0.7-4 cm wide. The lower leaves tend to be wider and have more rounded bases than the upper leaves.
The inflorescence is a short, dense spike of flowers at the terminus of the stems. The inflorescence ranges from 2-5 cm long and measures from 1.5-2 cm thick. The calyx is green or purple and from 7-10 mm long. The corolla is usually a blue-violet color, but may also be pink or white. The corolla tube is roughly the same length as the calyx, or sometimes slightly longer. The two lips are short.
Self-heal is found from sea level to moderate elevation in the mountains. It may be found in moist places, and occasionally as a "weedy" species in disturbed areas such as fields, roadsides, gardens, and lawns.
Self-heal is found across much of North America, where it is native. However, it may also be found in Europe.
Self-heal may be found in the Columbia River Gorge between the banks of the Columbia River and 3100' in elevation, and from Troutdale, OR. east to The Dalles, OR..