Motherwort can be found all over the globe today. However, it is native to Asia and southeastern Europe (aka Eurasia) and was brought to North America due to its medicinal properties particularly for ailments of the heart and nervous system. In 1652, respected English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper wrote that there was, “no better herb to take melancholy vapors from the heart and to strengthen it.”
Motherwort is used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety. Look at the species name. ‘CARDIACA’ literally means ‘for the heart’.
- strengthens heart
- high in organic calcium
- helps with symptoms of menopause
- helps regulate heartbeat when thyroid is involved
- used for swelling of thyroid whIch can cause headaches
Motherwort is especially valuable in female weakness and disorders (hence the name). Motherwort also has been used for gynecological afflictions (such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopausal anxiety, or postpartum depression) and for the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (flatulence), and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism). The Chinese name for motherwort is yi mu cao, meaning “benefit mother herb.” The leaves and flowers of this mint family plant are used as medicine. In Chinese herbal medicine, the seeds are also employed.
Compounds belonging to the group of monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, nitrogen- containing compounds, phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids, as well as volatile oils, sterols and tannins, have been identified in motherwort.
Taking Motherwort during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE and should be avoided. Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage.
Motherwort might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking Motherwort along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. AS ALWAYS…..These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements may enhance or weaken prescribed medications that you are currently taking. As such, you should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program — especially if you are pregnant, attempting to become pregnant, or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.
CAN I GROW THIS? Hardy to Zones 3 to 8
Motherwort is happy to grow almost anywhere. It is a perennial plant which means when you plant it once, it will come back every year. While I do not fully understand how something that can be so beneficial can be called a weed, it IS considered by many to be invasive and like most plants in the mint family, it spreads very quickly so be sure to pull any plant that is growing where you don’t want it to grow and make sure to remove the root system. Roots are tenacious and can be hard to eradicate once established.
Sow in the fall or early spring. 60 days to harvest. Flowering occurs July through September. Gather the aerial parts of Leonurus cardiaca during the flowering period.
Motherwort can be found in growing in the wild by disturbed woodlands, areas along woodland paths, woodland borders and thickets, edges of degraded wetlands, edges of yards underneath trees, and partially shaded fence rows.
- The genus name ‘Leonurus’ means ‘lion’s tail’. Leo is the Latin ‘lion’ ‘Oura’ is Greek for ‘tail’
This came about because of the plant and its ragged-edged leaves were thought to resemble the tip of a lion’s tail.
- The species name ‘cardiaca’ means ‘for the heart’ and refers to its early medicinal use for heart ailments.
Motherwort can be found in these products that we offer:
Put them together and you have the scientific name for Motherwort: Leonurus cardiaca
OTHER NAMES AND ALTERNATE SPELLINGS:
Agripalma, Cardiaque, Lion’s Ear, Lion’s Tail, Common Wort
The Chinese name for motherwort is yi mu cao, meaning “benefit mother herb.”