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Health Benefits and Uses of Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac)

Motherwort is found throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, and while some consider it to be an obnoxious weed, others have come to appreciate the many benefits that motherwort offers. Also known as lion’s ear, lion’s tail, or throw-wort, this perennial plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and concerns. It is fairly unique in that all parts of the plant can be used, from the stem, to the stalk, leaves, and flowers.

Motherwort Benefits

For more information about how motherwort can be used, read on below.

1. Heart Health

Motherwort has been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of conditions associated with the heart. It is believed that the herb can prevent calcification of the arteries, which can then prevent high cholesterol, heart disease, and other conditions. It is also used to treat hypertension and has been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.

Related to this, motherwort is also used to help regulate a rapid heartbeat and to reduce the risk of blood clots in the body. These benefits are not just hearsay either, but are consistently being supported by research. Chinese scientists have shown that the herb and its extracts improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and may even have a positive effect on the central nervous system.

2. Women’s Health

Motherwort has long been utilized by mothers and mothers-to-be to relieve stress and tension during pregnancy. It is also believed to make the uterine contractions more productive. Motherwort has also been shown to treat various menstruation issues, particularly delayed or erratic menstrual cycles. Furthermore, some people believe that the herb can prevent miscarriages and expedite recovery of the uterus after childbirth.

3. A Calming Herb

The herb is also used to calm the nervous system and help treat stress, anxiety, worry, and panic attacks. Some believe that an extractor tincture of motherwort is equally effective in treating anxiety as valerian. Users and scientists alike agree that motherwort is a natural mood-lifter, and can be utilized by anyone feeling depressed or just a little melancholy.

4. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is an over-active thyroid, which can then throw off your metabolism, nervous system, and senses. Motherwort helps deal with many of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as increased heart palpitations, sleeplessness, and decreased appetite.

How to Use Motherwort

As already mentioned, all of the parts of the herb can be consumed in various forms. If you opt for the dried herb, you can an herbal tea by using 2-4 grams of the dried herb. As a capsule, the herb can be used/taken up to three times every day. In addition, motherwort can also be found in tincture form, where 2-6 ml can be taken no more than three times per day.

To prepare a cup of motherwort tea, add one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiling water. Let this steep for 10 minutes and then remove the leaves. If the bitter taste is too much, sweeten the tea by adding honey or lemon. Mix well after adding either of these.

A tincture can be made of the leaves, stems, and flowers. These parts should be roughly chopped to fill a quart jar that has been sterilized, but do not stuff the jar full. Use alcohol (like vodka) and pour enough to fill the jar leaving ¼ inch at the top. Never use rubbing alcohol or other alcohol that can’t be consumed. Apple cider vinegar can be used to make this tincture if consumable alcohol is not an option.

Place a fitted, sterilized lid atop the jar, and store the tincture in a place that is cool and dark. Shake the jar gently once a day. Add more liquid when necessary. After 6 weeks has passed, strain the contents. Throw the plant matter away and store the tincture in a sterilized jar in a cool, dark place.

Caution

Because the herb can expedite labor and increase uterine contractions, it is important that pregnant women only use the herb under the guidance of a medical professional. In addition, those with heavy periods and/or taking heart medications should first consult a physician or herbalist before utilizing the herb.

When used as directed, motherwort can be effective for a variety of treatments, many of which have been discussed above.

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