As a cardiovascular tonic, Motherwort is hard to beat. Due to the presence of the chemical alkaloid leonurine, a mild vasodilator, this herb acts as an anti-spasmodic to relax smooth muscles, one of those muscles being the heart. Its calming nature has also been shown to slow heart palpitations and a rapid heartbeat, making it an excellent remedy for cardiac anxiety.
Motherwort helps regulate tachicardia (uneven heart beats), especially when due to stress and anxiety; this happens very quickly after dosage and can be a powerful ally for someone who feels their heart beat frequently due to tension and anxiety and especially for someone whose fear of having anxiety can turn into panic.
Other important compounds found in this plant include iridoid glycosides, which in conjunction with the plant alkaloids can help to decrease cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent blood clots and blood platelet aggregation, slow down heart rate and decrease blood pressure and improve heart circulation. Motherwort is considered more effective in lowering blood pressure than valerian (Valeriana officinalis), and the plant’s high content of vitamins A and C also add to its beneficial effect.
The herb has diuretic properties and may inhibit artery calcification formation. It is also used as a remedy for milder forms of Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid) and for hypertension.
Sometimes called “Mother’s hug in a bottle”, motherwort helps to nourish the emotional heart too. Indicated for grief, anger and upset, this plant is said to give the heart of a lion – calm yet strong.
Motherwort is thought to have a calming effect on the nervous system and could be an useful remedy for stress, insomnia, panic attacks and anxiety. The herb has many of the same health properties as valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and an alcoholic extract or tincture of motherwort is considered to be more effective than preparations made from valerian.
If you are constantly stressed or anxious, a few drops at night can soothe your nerves and reduce levels of stress hormones, helping you get a full night’s sleep and a clear head in the morning.
Most famous for its effects on reproductive health, this tincture can soothe symptoms of menopause, while also optimizing the hormonal health of women of reproductive age.
Though it is not to be used until labour, motherwort can ease early labour pains if they begin prematurely. It can also alleviate the restlessness, anxiety, tension and insomnia some women experience during labour. Post natally, it is given to help the uterus relax and return to normal.
As an emmenogogue, motherwort acts as a uterine tonic which helps to regulate menstruation, bring on delayed periods and can reduce smooth muscle cramping – particularly menstrual cramps.
Motherwort can also help relieve premenstrual tension and discomfort. Most menstrual cramps are partially due to inadequate circulation in the pelvis. Motherwort may help calm menstrual pain by both reducing spasms in the uterus and improving blood flow to the pelvis.
Motherwort is also a good anti-inflammatory agent and works well for swollen tonsils, joints, and arthritis.
Motherwort also works well for treating eczema, psoriasis, and the irritation of shingles.
Motherwort helps with edema and water retention as a mild diuretic. This means that its also helpful to flush out your kidneys and bladder from any sand, stones or infection, as well as help your joints or arthritis by getting rid of the uric acid that causes inflammation and pain.
All bitter agents like motherwort help to soothe away digestive problems so have a cup of this amazing tea before a meal to help your digestive system function properly.
The Motherwort herb is especially aligned with the healing of women – hence the name! However, that’s not to say it cannot be an extremely beneficial herb for men too.
Its Latin name “Leonurus Cardiaca” means “Lion’s Heart”, with cardiaca referencing the heart – the organ this plant has a strong affinity with.
It was used by the Ancient Greeks to soothe anxiety in pregnant women, and for what we now know as post natal depression. It was introduced to North America by the colonists, where it was used by the Cherokee Indians as a sedative for nervous afflictions, whilst the 19th century Eclectics recommended Motherwort as an emmenogogue (to promote menstruation), and an aid in the expulsion of afterbirth.
17th centaury herbalist the famous Culpepper wrote, "There is no better herb to take melancholy vapors from the heart... and make a merry, cheerful soul." As well as viewing this herb as an anti-depressant, he also saw it to be good for heart palpitations, fainting, swooning, for settling women's wombs, to help with childbirth and bring on delayed or suppressed menstruation.
Motherwort is found throughout northern Europe. The species is also common in Asia and has been introduced and naturalized in North America, where in many places it is now considered a bothersome weed.
Common Names : throw-wort, lion's ear, and lion's tail.
Preparation: Put a teaspoon of motherwort into a 200ml cup of boiled water. Cover it and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink a cup three times per day.
Precautions: Not recommended for people taking anticoagulants - blood thinners, aspirin, garlic, willow bark, vitamin E in supplement form, or people with clotting disorders. Women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding should not use this herb. Since the herb is known as a heart stimulant it should only be used under a doctor’s supervision, especially for people taking synthetic heart medicine.
Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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