Motherwort is an invasive, herbaceous, and perennial plant that belongs to the mint (Lamiaceae) family. Its scientific name is Leonurus cardiac. Leonurus cardiac has several common names.
- It is called lion’s tail (Leon=lion, and ouros=tail) because the plant’s leaves resembled the tip of a lion’s tail.
- It is called Motherwort because is has been prescribed to ease the anxiety in mothers and several other issues of women for centuries.
- Cardiaca in Leonurus cardiaca refers to the plant’s reputation for centuries as an effective medicine to treat heart-related issues.
- It is also known as throw-wort, lion’s ear
Some of its other common names are Chinese Motherwort, Cheneuse, Cardiaire, Cardiaque, Yi Mu Cao, Oreille de Lion, Mother’s Wort, Leonuri cardiacae herba, Queue de Lion etc.
Where does Motherwort grow?
Motherwort is most commonly found all over the US, Europe (especially northern part), and in Asia. Motherwort grows pretty much anywhere in the world as the plant flourishes best in bright sunny places with humus-rich soil. It can be grown from seeds in the spring or early summer or be propagated from the roots in autumn or late spring. Therefore, respective of its medicinal value (or may be unaware of its benefits), in many places it is now considered a bothersome weed.
Which part of the plant Motherwort is useful?
Motherwort has an unpleasant odor (to some extent) and pretty bitter taste. All parts of this plant, from the stem to the stalk, and leaves to the flowers are used for making herbal powders, extracts, tinctures, and capsules. The dried parts are also used to make herbal tea.
What gives the therapeutic properties to Motherwort?
Motherwort is a vasodilator. Motherwort is also known for its hypotensive (lowering the blood pressure), sedative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and antimicrobial activity. Motherwort is an excellent source of alkaloids and flavonoids. Other key ingredients that give the therapeutic properties to motherwort are malic acid, citric acid, iridoids, oleic acid, tannins, leonurine, terpenoids, carbohydrates, choline, and fenolglykosid. It also has some bitter substances.
How to use Motherwort?
- Fresh or dried flowers are used to enhance the soups also, to prepare tea, which is extremely useful in sidestepping stress and nervousness.
- You can cook the delicate shoots of Motherwort as you like.
Dosage of Motherwort
- Powder: 2-4 gms three times a day
- Tincture: 2 -6 ml three times a day
- Preparation: ½ teaspoon of powdered motherwort in a cup of water and bring to boil. Simmer it for 10 min.
- Dosage: Three times a day
- Liquid extract: 4ml three times a day
Side effects of Motherwort – Are there any safety concerns or risk factors associated with Motherwort?
- It is better to stay away from Motherwort during pregnancy, irrespective of its ability to cure the anxiety and stress during the pregnancy. It contains an alkaloid stachydrine, which may set off the uterine contraction.
- A person who is experiencing blood clotting disorder and cardiac issues should avoid using Motherwort as it is a vasodilator and heart stimulant, which adversely affect their condition.
- Persons who are very sensitive can contract contact dermatitis through Motherwort.
- Women with heavy menstrual bleeding should avoid using Motherwort.
- Persons who are prone to gastric allergies should not consume Motherwort without consultation with a doctor.
Top 10 health benefit of Motherwort
1. Motherwort calms the nervous system
Motherwort has a soothing impact on the nervous system.
- The tincture of motherwort is effective in treating uneasiness of the mind and fits of anxiety.
- It unwinds the nervous system and raises one’s mood and therefore it could be an effective solution for the stress.
- Motherwort provides relief from various annoying symptoms of nervous debility like bipolar disorder.
- Helps to alleviate muscle spasms.
- The tincture of the motherwort has a sedative property. Therefore, one who uses substantial doses of motherwort gets a better sleep, whereas one who uses small of motherwort attains an excellent energy balance (as it fights off stress and strains) if used during the day.
2. Helps to regulate the blood pressure
Motherwort is mildly diuretic (increased production of urine). Diuretics help your body get rid of extra water and salt, thereby, inhibiting the kidney’s capability to reabsorb sodium, which helps to relax the blood vessel walls, by this means, lowering the blood pressure. However, motherwort works better when the high blood pressure is caused due to excess stress and anxiety rather than other due to other issues.
3. Helps to regulate rapid heartbeat and maintaining the health of heart
- The antispasmodic property of Motherwort makes it used for ages to regulate a rapid and irregular heartbeat chiefly caused by anxiety or stress, hypoglycemia, and hyperthyroidism.
- Motherwort prevents calcification of the artery. It cuts down the odds of clotting of blood as it improves the blood flow.
- The improved blood flow also prevents health risks such as heart attacks and stroke.
- Motherwort helps to bring down the level of LDL or bad cholesterol thereby, reduces the chances of heart attack.
4. It helps to alleviate the pain during menstruation
Motherwort has a certain positive impact on the uterus. It has been used for ages to tune the uterus and regulate painful and delayed menstrual cycle. The consumption of motherwort, which is an emmenagogue prompts better menstrual flow. It is used to get rid of menstrual pain and for treating the symptoms of PMS.
5. It helps during pregnancy and delivery
Motherwort has a unique effect on pregnancy. Being an emmenagogue (stimulate the menstrual bleeding), motherwort can put the pregnancy in danger of termination. However, the alkaloid that prompts its emmenagogue property are alcohol soluble and not water soluble. Therefore,
- One can safely use the tea brewed with motherwort during pregnancy to alleviate anxiety.
- Diuretic property of motherwort helps to bring down the chances of oedema and water retention during pregnancy.
- This herb brings down the cramping and anxiety during the birth process.
- It is used to aid the birthing of the placenta. Retaining of placenta after childbirth can lead to complications. Motherwort helps to expel the placenta.
- It contributes to healing the uterus and bringing the uterus back to normal after childbirth
- It is used to bring down the chances of postpartum depression.
Another point that needs some explanation at this point is the herb’s ability both to initiate birth and menstruation and to bring down the cramping and anxiety during the birth process. (Both by encouraging and inhibiting the uterine contractions) This opposite effect is mainly due to the key ingredient of motherwort – leonurine, an alkaloid. Low concentrations of this alkaloid, encourage the uterine contractions, thereby facilitating the menstruation. On the other hand, the high concentrations of the same compound inhibit the contractions, bring the uterus back to normal after delivery.
6. Helps to boost the immunity
Motherwort contains plenty of antioxidants that help to increase the immunity noticeably and thereby help to prevent infections.
7. Helps to deal with the symptoms of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is an over-active thyroid, which would then be able to detract the metabolism, nervous system, and senses of a person. Motherwort, by lower the thyroid function, helps to manage several ill effects of hyperthyroidism, such as increased heart palpitations, sleeplessness, and decreased appetite.
8. Motherwort helps with the menopause
Menopause, much the same as pregnancy and delivery, is another transitional point for ladies. Motherwort, when blend with other plants like bugleweed, kava kava, and black cohosh, is very effective to ease the anxiety and hot flashes that is associated with menopause.
9. Helps to soothe lung issues
Motherwort, which is a mild vasodilator, helps to open up the lungs and, thereby, helps to relieve lung issues like asthma and bronchitis.
10. Motherwort is used to treat skin issues
Motherwort can be effectively used to treat dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and the uncomfortable symptoms of shingles.Some people apply motherwort directly to the affected part of the skin.