Benefits of Motherwort
Motherwort herb is a lovely plant with a long history of use in supporting women’s health. The benefits of motherwort include effects on the circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems. Motherwort herb is a wonderful way to calm frazzled nerves and emotions.
Motherwort Herb – Offering Unconditional Love
When was the last time you were held in an embrace of unconditional love? These special embraces are usually only shared in times of tragedy. Perhaps we are living in tragic times, and solid, loving embraces could be used as a preventative medicine?
Often you will hear experienced herbalists speaking of the plants as though they are individuals with distinct personalities. Whether you believe in the spiritual nature of the plants or not, understanding the benefits the plants have to offer can become more meaningful when we consider them as complicated and sophisticated, rather than in the simplistic, “this herb for that symptom” viewpoint.
Motherwort is one of those herbs with a distinct “personality”, and like us, she can be contradictory in her ways. She has silky soft leaves, delicate, but prickly flowers. And she offers unconditional support, especially during emotional times of stress.
Motherwort Uses – The Tension and Anxiety-Relieving Herb
When I first began learning about herbal remedies, I frequently found myself skeptical of the long lists of benefits one plant could supposedly offer. However, I now have a better understanding of how this works, and motherwort is a good example of a plant that offers many benefits.
Motherwort has a long tradition of use in easing tension, anxiety, and as a supportive herb for women.
Studies indicate motherwort may be beneficial in reducing depression and those who use motherwort report a greater sense of calm and well-being. Motherwort is supportive to the nervous system during times of acute stress or emotional upheaval, and provides a soothing and calming effect (much like the sensation of being held in unconditional love by a loving mother, sister, or friend.)
Motherwort has a bitter flavor and this acts to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which puts the brakes on the flight-or-fight stress response. Motherwort’s bitter properties allow us to rest. (You can learn more about bitter herbs and their benefits – The Benefits of Bitters and How to Make a Bitter Tincture)
Motherwort Uses – Women’s Medicine
The common name “Motherwort” goes back to the tradition of using motherwort for aiding mothers and women.
Motherwort herb calms and soothes the nerves for overworked mothers who could use a little mothering themselves,” ~ Deborah Frances
Used as women’s medicine, the benefits of motherwort include:
- Motherwort is used by experienced herbalists and midwives in preparation for birth and after-care.
- Motherwort is an emmenagogue, which is a fancy way of saying an herb has a stimulating effect on the uterus and can bring on menses. This is useful for women with stagnation, delayed, or scanty menses, and cramping during menstruation or between periods.
- Helps with PMS symptoms – used to ease tension, headaches, and anger.
- Relieving hot flashes – Motherwort is a member of the mint family and has a strong cooling effect on the body.
Motherwort for the Heart
The scientific name for Motherwort is Leonurus cardiaca which translates to: Leonurus – Lion’s tail, and Cardiaca – heart.
Western medicine views the heart as a muscular valve, but we are all familiar with the emotional and spiritual qualities of the heart. We talk about feeling “heart-broken”, and we can either put “our heart and soul” into something, or “lose heart”.
Motherwort works on both the physical heart and the emotional heart.
Leonurine, an alkaloid in motherwort, acts as a mild vasodilator and anti-spasmodic, both of which can help reduce blood pressure, especially when high blood pressure is a primary symptom of tension, anxiety, and stress.
In addition to these physical properties, studies indicate motherwort may be beneficial in reducing depression, and those who use motherwort often notice a greater sense of calm and well-being.
Herbalist Rosalee de la Foret says this about motherwort:
Motherwort’s actions beautifully show us the connection between the physical and spiritual heart. It is often used when there is a rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat (palpitations) associated with anxiety or nervousness. Through this, we can see that it acts on the physical heart by decreasing palpitations and mild hypertension while also acting on the spiritual heart to soothe and calm anxiety. An additional benefit of motherwort is that it is calming without being overly sedating.
The content on this site may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. SeekingJoyfulSimplicity.com is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Thank you for you for supporting Seeking Joyful Simplicity. ~ Michelle
How to Use Motherwort
Although you could make a tea with motherwort, it is quite bitter, and most people prefer using it in tincture form. Motherwort can be used as needed to soothe tension and anxiety, or taken daily for a more therapeutic benefit. Using a tincture, one dropperful 1- 4 times daily is a frequently recommended dose. I recommend Herb Pharm Certified Organic Motherwort Extract for Endocrine System Support – 1 Ounce bottle.
Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and should not be used during pregnancy (except by a highly experienced herbalist or midwife.)
If you have heavy menstrual bleeding, motherwort is probably not a good herb for you to use.
The safety of motherwort when breast-feeding is unknown.
Please Note: the information provided here is not intended to replace professional medical advice and care. It is simply my perspective for you to consider as you make good choices for you and your family’s health. The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and maintaining health. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care. The information provided has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not meant to diagnose any disease, nor is it intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Seek the support and care of a physician and/or complementary care practitioner you trust, and above all, listen to and trust in yourself. Be well!
Resources:Depression and Leonurine