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Motherwort

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Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca

The herb contains the alkaloid leonurine, which is a mild vasodilator and has a relaxing effect on smooth muscles. For this reason, it has long been used as a cardiac tonic, nervine, and an emmenagogue. Among other biochemical constituents, it also contains bitter iridoid glycosides, diterpinoids, flavonoids (including rutin and quercetin), tannins, volatile oils, and vitamin A.

Motherwort is recognized in traditional herbal culture for promoting heart health, and easing nervous tension and anxiety. Supports the nervous system, especially relating to healthy heart and menstrual cycles.

As a tonic, it acts without producing febrile excitement, and in fevers, attended with nervousness and delirium, it is extremely useful.

The traditional use of motherwort is the treatment of racing heart (tachycardia) caused by nervous tension. Long-term use may reduce the formation of clotting factors and also lower total cholesterol and triglycerides. Motherwort is also used to treat menstrual tension. It treats false labor pains, and it is useful in the stimulation of delayed or suppressed menstruation, especially when prolonged emotional stress is factor.

Old writers tell us that there is no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart, and that it is good against hysterical complaints, and especially for palpitations of the heart when they arise from hysteric causes, and that when made into a syrup, it will allay inward tremors, faintings, etc. There is no doubt it has proved the truth of their claims in its use as a simple tonic, not only in heart disease, neuralgia and other affections of the heart, but also in spinal disease and in recovery from fevers where other tonics are inadmissable.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a herbaceous perennial plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Other common names include Throw-wort, Lion's Ear, and Lion's Tail. The latter two are also common names for Leonotis leonurus. Originally from Central Asia it is now found worldwide, spread largely due to its use as a herbal remedy. L. cardiaca has a square stem and opposite leaves. The leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points and while the upper leaves are more latticed. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and it blooms between June - August. The flowers are small, pink to lilac in colour often with furry lower lips. The plant grows to about 60-100 cm in height. It can be found along roadsides and in vacant fields and other disturbed areas.

Consult your physician before using this herb if you take prescription medication for your heart. Not recommended while pregnant.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.