Motherwort

(Leonurus cardiaca)

Other Names:
Daughterwort

Range:

Family:
Lamiaceae – Mint family

Growth Type:
A perennial herbaceous plant that grows in open meadows alongside Queen Anne's Lace, St. John's Wort, Goldenrod, and Yarrow. It can reach heights of 2 - 3 ft. Like all members of the mint family, Motherwort has a square stem, and opposite leaves. The leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points while the upper leaves are more latticed. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and it blooms between June - August. The flowers are small, pink to lilac in color often with furry lower lips.

Height:
It can reach heights of 2 - 3 ft..

Leaves:
The opposite leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points while the upper leaves are more latticed.

Stem/Trunk:
Like all members of the mint family, Motherwort has a square stem.

Root:
Root Mass

Flower Season:
June - August

Flower Appearance:
Small pink to lilac colored flowers with furry lower lips appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant.

Seed/Fruit:
Not observed

Miscellaneous characteristics:
Not observed

Habitat:
Open fields and meadows, along roadsides, and other disturbed areas, alongside Queen Anne's Lace, St. John's Wort, Goldenrod, and Yarrow.

Parts Used:
Leaves, stems, flowers

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
Young leaves and shoots can be used as a cooked vegetable. Use sparingly as this is a strong tasting member of mint family.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
Motherwort is a very effective cardiac tonic. As a matter of fact the Botanical name Leonurus cardiaca is Latin for Lions Heart, and refers to its benefits to the human heart. I personally use this as a daily tonic to treat hypertension and Atrial Fibrilation. While I am not a physician, and I cannot give medical advice, I can say that I was plagued with, and took medications for both, for years. Since beginning to take Motherwort tincture, I have not had a problem with either, and have been able to stop my medications. I am not telling you that it will work for you. that is a conversation you must have with your physician.

Motherwort has been effectively used in "woman's medicine" for centuries. It is an Emmenagogue, which means it helps stimulate uterine contractions. It has been shown effective at bringing on suppressed menstruation. It has also been shown to quickly alleviate the cramps associated with menstruation. Take about 10 drops every 10 - 15 minutes until pain subsides. Taken as a daily tonic, motherwort will alleviate cramping by helping to strengthen the muscles of the uterus. Motherwort seems to be effective at treating all stages of female medicine. Subsequently it works quite well at easing one into menopause. Motherwort lessens the severity, frequency, and duration of hot flashes. It also levels out the emotional highs and lows which invariably accompany menopause. For centuries Motherwort was used to relax the uterine walls during labor. It should be noted however that because of its Emmenagogue actions Motherwort should not be used during pregnancy except during labor. using Motherwort while pregnant may result in miscarriage.

Motherwort has also been shown to be an effective sleep aid, although there is some concern that a dependence can be developed with prolonged use. I feel this is the case with most things, and everything should be used with moderation. It is a good practice to take sleep aids only when absolutely necessary.

The plant contains the alkaloid leonurine, which acts as a mild vasodilator. It has long been used a general cardiac tonic. It has been used to treat arrhythmias, palpitations, and high blood pressure.

Medicinal Actions:
Analgesic, Antispasmodic, Cardiac Tonic, Carminative, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Nervine, Sedative, Vasodilator

image image image image image image image