Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), is an important herb for your natural anti-stress arsenal.
Motherwort is part of the Lamiacea family in the mint family. You may hear it referred to by other common names like Lion’s ear and Lion’s tail.
Motherwort is both a heart and nervous system tonic. Herbalists have long used motherwort to ease tension and encourage a happy heart.
While it calms the nervous system, motherwort uplifts the heart if you’re feeling sad, angry, or frustrated. The German Commission E approves its use for nervous cardiac conditions.
Motherwort shows success in supporting proper circulation and blood viscosity (blood thickness). In a study of 105 patients, 94.5% of them showed an improvement in viscosity and reduction in clotting with motherwort use.
Today, it’s popular with herbalists to help balance blood pressure, especially if blood pressure elevates with stress.
Do you know someone with Graves disease or hyperthyroidism? Although less common than hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid is overactive.
It’s one of the most difficult imbalances to approach holistically. Yet,motherwort can help relax thyroid storms and racing heart symptoms, especially when combined with bugleweed.
It can also aid sleep and appetite, often diminished in people with high thyroid. However, because motherwort can reduce thyroid activity, it’s not suggested for people with low thyroid (hypothyroidism).
As the name suggests, motherwort is a sacred woman’s herb. It soothes moodiness and irritability for PMS.
Furthermore, as hormone levels change with menopause, women may experience mild heart palpitations and panic attacks as their bodies try to adjust. Motherwort is one of the best Western herbs to calm these symptoms.
Motherwort has pain-reducing activity for menstrual cramps as well as back and neck pain because its alkaloid leonurine has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle. As a mild diuretic, motherwort can decrease bloating symptoms.
However, the tincture can stimulate the uterus, so it’s not suggested for women with heavy cycles or who are pregnant. The tea has a milder effect, and may be used occasionally for anxiety during pregnancy, but only with guidance from a skilled herbalist or midwife.
Motherwort is also a popular herb to ease pain and aid sleep during a long labor, but again should be used with guidance from a skilled herbalist or midwife. After the birth, motherwort helps the uterus return to normal and relaxes stress for new mothers.
Motherwort tastes a little bitter, but you won’t regret trying it if you have a tendency towards nervous reactions or a stressful heart. It’s an excellent choice in Sleep Nightly Tonic for more restful sleep.
I find motherwort is effective if you wake up startled by dreams or mild anxiety. In fact, I keep a bottle of motherwort by my bed for just this purpose.