This plant was selectively bred for centuries by settlers. It is sometimes also called "healer's hand" by tribespeople - a nickname it owes to its five major medicinal virtues. Planted in the growing zone or hydroponics basins and yields herbal medicine.
Each healroot plant yields 1 herbal medicine when fully grown. Harvesting it early results in a chance of failing to receive anything from the harvest even though it is not marked as failed.
It may be worth walling off your healroot, as wildlife is more than inclined to consume it, hindering your overall herbal medicine production. A herd of Thrumbos (or even a single for that matter) will be destructive to your Healroot farm if left unprotected.
In Alpha 17 there is a variety that can be found growing in the wild in some biomes, known as Wild healroot. It is statistically identical except it can't be cultivated manually.