Motherwort: Benefits & Uses

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Using motherwort is a popular natural approach for various health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues and reproductive problems.

What is Motherwort?

Motherwort is an herbaceous plant scientifically known as Leonurus cardiaca and bears other common names like lion’s ear and throw-wort. This herb is typically collected before the seeds form, but all of the aboveground parts of the plant can be used for traditional medicine and natural applications. Native to central Asia and parts of Europe, motherwort is now considered an invasive species and grows primarily on roadsides and undisturbed areas of land. This herb has a number of uses, largely due to its impressive level of antioxidants and active ingredients, including flavonoids, terpenes, tannins and various vitamins.

Motherwort Benefits

The top benefits of motherwort include its ability to relieve menopausal symptoms, soothe symptoms of heart conditions, and increase appetite, among others.

Close-up of leaves of motherwort herb.

Minty motherwort leaves. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

  • Naturally treat heart conditions, such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure
  • Traditionally used to soothe anxiety and tension
  • Treats fast/irregular heartbeat and abnormal breathing which affect heart health
  • Boost women’s health, including delayed labor and delayed afterbirth
  • Balance hormones related to menopausal symptoms and delayed menstruation
  • Soothe post-partum complications
  • Improve sleep issues, such as insomnia and restlessness
  • Improve overall thyroid health
  • Eliminate symptoms of shingles and other skin infections
  • Reduce excess flatulence
  • Help to break fevers
  • Improve respiratory ailments
  • Treat edema and water retention
  • Stimulate the function of the kidneys
  • Boost appetite following injury or surgery

Motherwort Uses

There are many different ways to use motherwort, primarily as a medicinal treatment or herbal remedy.

  • Tincture: The dried aboveground parts of this plant can be made into a tincture and the essential oils can be extracted.
  • Tea: The dried leaves are also commonly brewed into a tea.
  • Essential oil: The essential oils can also be blended with other carrier oils for topical applications on the skin and hair.
  • Dosage: Although there is a limited amount of research that has been done on appropriate dosage for this herb, it depends on your specific health and fitness goals. Most experts recommend no more than 5 grams of this herb each day, as excessive consumption can lead to negative side effects.

Side Effects

While moderate use of this herb can help with a wide variety of health concerns, some people should avoid the use of this herbal remedy.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid the use of this herb, as it can stimulate the reproductive system, which could be dangerous for the child.
  • Those who are planning on undergoing surgery should avoid this herb in the weeks leading up to the operation.
  • Furthermore, excessive use of this herb has been associated with uterine bleeding and blood-thinning.
  • Finally, those who have sensitive skin or problems with heart palpitations should consult their doctor before adding this to their health regimen.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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