Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)


Motherwort is said to resemble a Lion’s Tail, giving us its common name, but at WishGarden Herbal Remedies  we like to refer to it as ‘Lion Hearted,’ or the herb for ‘Strength of Heart.’  Traditionally Motherwort was not used as a heart herb, though its usage as a cardiac tonic is quite frequent nowadays (notice the heart reference in the Latin word cardiaca).  Mother’s Wort, or Mother’s Herb to the Greeks, was used mainly as a women’s herb, during pregnancy, labor, menstrual disorders and menopausal syndromes.  It is interesting to note that so many herbs that were known to be beneficial to the uterus (for example, Raspberry Leaf, Rose, Lemon Balm, Black Haw, and Hawthorne), also were used as medicine for the heart.

Early in my Chinese Medicine studies a professor was lecturing on the etymology of the Chinese Character ‘Xin’ (Heart), 心, and we discussed how the ancient form of the character,           looked a lot like a uterus.  This is even more interesting knowing that diseases of the heart and uterus can oftentimes go hand in hand.  Another etymological scholar describes the character as being a picture of the entire torso, a concept that is inclusionary of both body systems .  The connection linking these two prominent organs is physical as well—the uterus contains a pacemaker, just like the heart.

With the roots of WishGarden Herbs lying in the midwifery world, Motherwort is an herb that is familiar to us and used in many of our pregnancy and women’s hormonal formulations.  However, it is also one of the key herbs used in our Emotional Ally, where it can give anyone in need a good dose of some ‘strength of heart.’

Written by Carrie Pattison.


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