Accelerated healing is a supernatural ability that vampires, werewolves, hybrids, and certain witches have to fully heal or recover from injuries such as gunshots, broken bones, blood loss, snapped necks, burns, bite wounds, and "psychic witch attacks" (brain aneurysm) in a matter of minutes. Witches possess the ability to rapidly heal both themselves and others with their magic, however, doing so is extremely difficult.
A vampire is a supernatural being that can heal quicker than werewolves. Their wounds are shown to be completely gone within seconds to minutes, depending on the wound and other factors. They can heal from any type of injury which are non-fatal. Vampires cannot heal from decapitation, heart extraction, being set on fire, and of being staked in the heart.
- A vampire who is drinking human blood can heal even faster than a vampire who is drinking animal blood. This has been seen when Damon, who drinks human blood, was stabbed with a knife by Stefan, and seemed unfazed by the pain and healed in seconds; but when Damon stabbed Stefan, who was only drinking animal blood, he showed more response to the pain and it took noticeably longer for his wound to heal.
- They can also heal from burns inflicted by vervain or the sun although it will take a few more seconds then normally.
- If vampires have been starved of blood for a long enough period of time, and have ingested vervain (by injection, inhalation, or eating/drinking it), their wounds will take much longer to heal, as evidenced by Caroline when she was tortured by her dad to suppress her vampiric nature; when Tyler rescued her, she still had burns and gashes on her body that hadn't fully healed. When Frederick kidnapped and tortured Stefan, he also had difficulty healing, and was forced to drink Elena's blood to give him the strength to save them both from death.
Werewolves possess the ability of healing wounds within seconds, minutes, or hours at the most, as it took Tyler all night to heal from a gunshot yet was still heavily bruised. They can heal from broken bones, stab wounds, gunshots and burns on a level a little under a vampire (with the exception of getting their neck snapped, which is fatal).
- Tyler was shot in wolf form and his wound took a good while to fully heal even after reverting to human form.
- Mason is seen healing from a burn inflicted by wolfsbane, though not as complete or as fast as a vampire burned with vervain.
- Contrary to popular lore, these werewolves are not affected by silver, they actually heal from it on a vampire healing level, as seen when Damon stabs Mason with a silver knife and Sarah stabs Tyler with the letter opener; both healed easily.
Hybrids experience the "best" of both worlds in their ability to heal quickly. They are able to heal nearly every injury except decapitation and heart extraction.
- They also heal from silver which is why the White Oak Ash Dagger doesn't work on Klaus.
- Tyler has survived many attacks after being turned into a hybrid; the first time, Connor Jordan shook his hand, wearing vervain-soaked clothes that burned him. When he mistook Tyler (a Hybrid) was a vampire, he shot him in the heart and chest with wooden bullets; Stefan told Tyler that he was lucky, because if he had been a normal vampire, he probably would have died, noting that the bullets had also been steeped in vervain. The second time, Tyler was attacked at the Council Memorial again by Connor, who shot him in the chest (probably through the heart) with a wooden stake out of a stake-launcher while he was speaking in front of the memorial service. He was briefly unconscious until Caroline pulls the stake out of his chest, and Tyler awoke and coughed severely for several seconds until his wound healed. Again, had he been a regular vampire, he would have died.
Witches also possess this ability. However, Damon said that the witch Emily Bennett spent years learning how to do such spells, implying that they are very difficult to master. The only witch shown actually using the healing spell on themself is Bonnie Bennett, who is currently a user of expression. Bonnie was able to recover and retaliate quickly after a Vampire attack.
- Magic: Witches can exploit accelerated healing in most supernatural creature. For example, they can give vampires brain aneurysms over and over again, causing them great pain and incapacitating them. This also seems to affect other supernaturals with accelerated healing, like werewolves and hybrids.
- Severe physical damage/trauma: A vampire or hybrid can not be recovered in great bodily harm, or the removal of a body part. The heart and the spine are two important elements that can not be regenerated, because they are the main elements for the flow of blood and other organs restoration. The brain can be damaged but regenerates after a while.