Motherwort is a hearty herb that is native to Central Eurasia. It belongs to the mint family. Its botanical name “Leonurus cardiaca” describes its appearance of possible medical uses. Leonurus means “lion’s tail” since the tip of its leaves resembled the tip of a lion’s tail. Meanwhile, cardiaca means “for the heart.”
The herb contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are responsible for its numerous health benefits. According to studies, leonurine, a compound present in the plant, can help promote relaxation of blood vessels and encourage uterine contractions, making it beneficial during menstruation and childbirth.
Detailed Health Benefits Of Motherwort
According to research, motherwort may have cardiac protective abilities that can help relax heart cells and prevent blood clots that cause heart attacks. It contains antioxidants which according to a 2014 research can help protect the heart from damage.
Motherwort has been found to be beneficial in treating heart palpitations associated with anxiety attacks, overactive thyroid, and other nervous disorders.
Some of the menopausal symptoms a woman may experience are mood changes, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep problems. We can reduce these symptoms by taking a combination of motherwort, licorice root, wild yam by mouth for 12 weeks.
Painful and Delayed Menstruation
Motherwort has been known to promote delayed menstruation and relieve cramps associated with menstruation. It can also help tone uterus muscles in order to lessen possible menstrual cramps in the future. For this purpose, it can be used as a tincture or as a poultice over the abdomen.
In a study published in Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology in 2009, results revealed that Motherwort can help curb inflammation by slowing up the release of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. This can help people in controlling their inflammatory disease.
Researchers of a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2011 have found that after 28 days of using Motherwort treatment, 32% of the participants with high blood pressure and related psychological issues (such as anxiety) experienced improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, only moderate improvements were experienced by the remaining 48%. Also, improvement in blood pressure was observed by the researchers.
Helps In Child Birth
The use of motherwort can help ease premature labor pains. Also, it can improve symptoms of insomnia, restlessness, tension, and anxiety experienced by women during labor. After childbirth, Motherwort is given to help relax and bring uterus back to normal.
Motherwort can help stimulate digestion. It can help those who have lost their appetite due to nervousness or anxiety. For this purpose, we need to combine it with other aromatic mints in a tincture and use a few drops before meals.
Fever and Other Respiratory Ailments
Motherwort has been traditionally used for intermittent diseases such as typhoid. It is also recommended for bronchitis, wheezing, and coughing with white sputum.
Edema and Kidney Stagnation
The plant acts as a mild diuretic and can strengthen the kidneys. It has been historically used for edema that is associated with kidney insufficiency.
Typical Uses Of Damong-Maria
Though Motherwort doesn’t taste or smell good, still, some consume it in the form of tea, sweetened with honey. Simply steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups of the tea daily.
As a tincture, a concentrated liquid herbal extract, a half to three-quarter teaspoon can be taken three times a day.
Common Motherwort Combinations
Here are some of the Motherwort combinations depending on its intended use:
- For the heart, combine motherwort with hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) and rose (Rosa spp.).
- For hot flashes and anxiety associated with menopause, combine motherwort with black cohosh (Actaea racemosa).
- For loss of appetite due to nerves, combine motherwort, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and/or chamomile (Matricaria recutita).
- For anxiety, combine motherwort with pasqueflower (Pulsatilla occidentalis) or passionflower (Passiflora incarnata).
- For dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), combine motherwort with Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis).