Motherwort: The Lion-Hearted Herb
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is an abundant gift from the mint family. It thrives in heavily trafficked areas and makes an accessible backyard medicine for most North Americans.
Motherwort’s Latin name translates to, ‘lion-hearted’, speaking to its ability to open up the heart to ease stressful states. Due to the presence of a vasodilating chemical alkaloid, leonurine, this herb slows heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat to relax the heart. Like a mother’s hug, Motherwort nourishes the emotional heart, helping to melt away anxiety, tension, and stress.
Motherwort’s common name hints at its association with motherhood and female reproductive health. Its anti-spasmodic and calming properties soothe cramping and balance menstrual irregularities. Motherwort is also a wonderful herbal ally for wise women entering into menopause. An incredibly bitter herb, Motherwort fortifies sluggish digestion by stimulating bile and enzyme production.
4 Benefits of Motherwort:
- Stimulates circulation and oxygenates the blood.
- Eases anxiety and stress both physically and emotionally.
- Strengthens female reproductive health.
- Restores robust digestion.
Identifying & Harvesting Motherwort:
Originally native to Europe and Asia, Motherwort has been naturalized in North America. As with most mints, it grows in the wild and has distinctive botanical features. Growing from 2-10 feet tall, this herb has a square stem, opposite leaves, and flowering top with pale, pink flowers. Its leaves are dull green in color and furry. Intensely bitter to taste, an easy way to identify Motherwort is by tasting its leaves.
Motherwort is best harvested after it has flowered. When harvesting, the leaves and flowers boast the most medicinal benefit. Harvesting the uppermost part of the plant ensures that this plant will continue to grow and offer abundant medicine for others.
How to Use Motherwort:
Motherwort’s bitterness is not for the faint of heart! For that reason, we suggest incorporating Motherwort into your daily routine in the form of a tincture.
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