Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Click To Enlarge
Motherwort Identification: Square stemmed perennial; 3 to 5 feet. Leaves 3-lobed; lobes toothed. Pinkish flowers in whorls in axils; upper lip furry.
Other Names: Motherwort, Lions Tail, Lion’s Ear, Throwwort Motherwort Flowers
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Flowers: May – August.
Habitat: Originally came from central Eurasia, but has now spread to all temperate areas of the world, primarily as a garden plant, but also as an escaped weed.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Constiuents: Iridoids: leonuride and others not yet identified.
Diterpenes of the labdane type, such as leocardin, a mixture of two epimers of 8b-acetoyx-9a, l3a, l5, l6-bisepoxy-l5-hydroyx-7-oxo- labdan-6b, l9-olide.
Flavonoids; rutin, quinqueloside, genkwanin, quercitin, quercetrin, isoquercetrin, hyperoside, and apigenin and kaempferol glucosides.
Caffeic acid 4-rutinoside.
Medicinal Properties: Nervine, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, hepatic, cardiac tonic, hypotensive.
Uses: Motherwort may be best known for its use in conditions affecting women. It is known to contain chemicals that affect the uterus in several ways, including the promotion of menstrual blood flow. It has been used to start delayed periods and, if taken on a continual basis, it may help abnormal menstrual cycles to become more regular. Due to antispasmodic effects, motherwort may also help to restore uterine muscle tone after the birth of a baby. It may also have relaxing effects on the nervous system, making it potentially useful for relieving both the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
Motherwort has also been used to treat irregular heartbeat. Although the exact reasons for this possible effect are not known, it is believed that chemicals in motherwort may cause blood vessels to relax and also may exert a regulating effect on the heartbeat. In laboratory studies, motherwort has reduced blood pressure and slowed heartbeats that are too fast. It may be particularly effective when heart rhythm speeds up due to nervousness.
Combinations: May be freely combined in any prescription, especially with Hawthorn.
Preparations and Dosages: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture [Fresh Plant 1:2, Recent Dry Plant, 1:5, 60% alc.] 30-60 drops, up to 4 times a day.