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Motherwort, (Leonurus cardiaca) Cut and Sifted Bulk
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
The genus name Leonurus, is derived from the Latin leo, "lion," and the Greek oura, "tail," in reference to shape of the leaf, which resembles a shaggy tail. The species name cardiaca is from the Greek kardiaca, "heart." The wort part of the common name is from the Old English wyrt, "plant"; the mother part of the common name refers to the use of the plant to ease women's problems from all stages of life, from menstruation to menopause.
Range of Appearance
Motherwort, native to Europe and western Asia but naturalized elsewhere, is a perennial than can grow from 2 to 5 feet in height. The stems are distinctly square, and the leaves are opposite with three to five pointed lobes. The flowers are small and white-pink to purple-red in color, and they grow in clusters along the stem. The seeds are in a three-angled case. The plant prefers partial shade to full sun and moist, light, sandy soil, but it will tolerate even poor soil conditions.
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, bitter, cardiotonic, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, hemostatic, hypotensive, immune stimulant, laxative, nervine, parturient, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine tonic, vasodilator
Motherwort slows a rapid heartbeat, improves circulation, prevents blood platelet aggregation, regulates the menstrual cycle, and calms anxiety and stress that may contribute to heart problems. It is especially beneficial to women's health. It can help relieve pain during childbirth and, when used for several days after birthing, can help prevent uterine infection. It is said to make mothers more joyful and also helps women who tend to "over mother" to let go. Motherwort is used in the treatment of amenorrhea, angina, anxiety, arrhythmia, asthma, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, breast tenderness, convulsions, cramps, cystitis (interstitial), delirium tremens, depression (including postpartum and bipolar), diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, edema, epilepsy, goiter, headache, heartbreak, heart palpitations, herpes, high cholesterol, hot flashes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, hysteria, insomnia, labor difficulty, low libido, melancholy, menopause symptoms, myocardial ischemia, infertility (female), irregular menses, nervous exhaustion, neuralgia, placenta retention, poor vision, postpartum pain, premenstrual syndrome, rapid pulse, restlessness, rheumatism, sciatica, shingles, skin hypersensitivity, shortness of breath, stomachache, tachycardia, and vaginismus. The seeds are used to improve virility and vision. Topically, motherwort can be used as a douche to treat vaginitis.
The fresh or dried flowers and seeds are edible; they are sometimes used to flavor beer. The seeds of the plant were once used as a substitute for sesame seeds.
An olive green dye is made from the leaves.
Aboveground plant: beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, flavonoids (quercitin, rutin), citric and malic acids, alkaloids (stachydrine, leonurinine, betonicine), bitter glycosides (leonurine, leonuridin), caffeic acid, essential oil, phytosterols, tannins, resin
Avoid motherwort in cases of excessive menstrual bleeding. Avoid during pregnancy (but note that motherwort can be helpful during labor, under the guidance of a qualified health-care practitioner). The plant may cause contact dermatitis in some people.
Plant details were provided by iPlant by Brigitte Mars.
Hyperlink it to https://brigittemars.com/iplant-app/