Motherwort can often be found growing wild. I use the stem only on the upper portions of the plant, where it is fairly small and supple. If harvesting motherwort yourself, consider using gloves – it can be quite spiky! A dearth of well-designed human studies documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims. Also saying it is “held to be of much use for the trembling of the heart,” he claims this is where the name cardiaca derives from. Strictly Medicinal Seeds is a good source for both the plants and the seeds. With a name that means ‘mother’s herb,’ it’s no surprise that motherwort is a very supportive herb for mothers and female health in general. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, … This medicinal herb has a reputation for reducing anxiety, feelings of restlessness, and stress. Remove divided roots from the garden to compost, or pot up and give them to friends. It is also utilized as a nervous system support, specifically to reduce anxiety, irritability, and panic attacks, especially when stress is associated with heart palpitations. This way, there is no need to cold stratify your seeds first, as the cold winter weather will take care of this process for you in most growing zones. Motherwort is an herb that has been used for thousands of years by those looking to reap its potential health benefits, particularly those related to heart health and anxiety. Plants can be put in by either hand or by transplanter. The harvest is clearly fresher and better stored. The Farmer's Garden wants to build community, one tomato at a time. Tell us your stories in the comments below! In ancient China, it was thought to promote longevity. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. If not, stratify the seeds for 10 days. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Harvesting Motherwort and Parts Used. In a separate jar, mix three parts food grade vegetable glycerin with one part water and shake to combine. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American practitioners of Eclectic medicine used it to treat nervous conditions and to improve female reproductive health. When to harvest motherwort. It is a natural weed alternative and has been used for hundreds of years ceremonially. You can plant it wherever you have room, whether your chosen location is in full sun or bathed in shade. Harvest the aerial parts—leaves, flowers, and stems can be used. It is also adaptable to most soil types, though moist, rich soil with a slightly alkaline pH of 7.7 is ideal. Fill a jar halfway with dried herb or three-fourths full with fresh. When to harvest motherwort Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks. Motherwort herb growing will occur and steadily increase with seed broadcasting. There isn't enough reliable information to know if motherwort is safe to use when breast-feeding. Seek the advice of a clinical herbalist for proper dosing. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, spread the rhizome out and gently place it in the hole. After you plant the motherwort in your garden, water the plants every 2-3 days until they grow larger. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Trimming. This is a great option if you prefer to avoid alcohol, and it has the added benefit of a sweeter taste. Step Two: Remove leaves and flowers. Let the jar sit in the pantry for a month, shaking daily. I am excited to make use of my abundant motherwort supply this year. Siberian Motherwort is a legal substitute for marijuana. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Definitely a must have if you are looking for a gift for your pollinators. It was morning, after the dew had evaporated. I usually harvest motherwort in late spring or early summer. This keeps the plant from going to seed and spreading everywhere. To prevent self seeding, cut foliage back to 3-5 inches after flowering and before the seeds have a chance to mature. It self-sows readily where it is happy. In 17th century Europe it was used for heart palpitations, difficult labor, and promoting menstruation. Do you have experience growing or using motherwort? Motherwort’s Latin botanical name is Leonurus cardiaca: lion hearted. Because motherwort is so bitter, most herbalists prefer to use it as a tincture rather than a tea. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 10 days, checking regularly for moisture and spritzing lightly if the mix becomes dry. Dosage: Motherwort herb tincture: 2-4 mL three times a day For centuries, this bitter-tasting herb has been used by mothers, and it was a very common medicine prescribed by midwives. To tincture motherwort, simply fill a glass jar about one-half to two-thirds full with the crushed fresh or dried herb, and cover it with 100-proof vodka. Start cold stratified seeds in flats a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. The stalks, flowers, and leaves of motherwort are typically harvested during full bloom in mid to late summer (Foster, 1993; Grieve, 1931). She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! Just add 2 tablespoons of a mild biodegradable liquid soap to a gallon of water, and spray off the undersides of the leaves to remove the mites. Motherwort flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. Learn how to grow, harvest, and utilize this purple-flowered member of the mint family. Since motherwort grows quickly and spreads via rhizomes, established plants can easily be dug up, divided, and relocated in new areas of the garden. Here are 6 of the major benefits of motherwort. Leon=lion, ouros=tail and kardiacarefers to the heart. Harvest the herb when it is in bloom, which is in late summer. First, read the instructions on purchased seed packets to see if they have been previously cold stratified for planting. How to take the motherwort tincture You may also be able to purchase seeds or plants from local nurseries or farms that specialize in medicinal herbs. General growing info Top . Motherwort is easy to grow from seed or transplants, or by division. Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. This herb likely originated in central and northern Asia, spreading to western Europe by sometime around the 17th century. However, you might want to allow for another 6-12 inches between motherwort and other plants so that it doesn’t crowd its neighbors. Strain out the solids, and keep in a cool, dark, dry spot. This herb is best consumed or tinctured while it’s fresh, but the flowers and leaves can also be dried for later use. The final product should look very dark and have a bitter taste. (If harvesting motherwort yourself, you may wish to wear gloves as the leaves can be spiky.) It has a history of being used to reduce stress during childbirth, postpartum depression, and menopause symptoms, as well as helping to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of PMS. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family, and similar to many of its minty relatives, it is a vigorous grower that can sometimes be considered invasive. You can also choose to sow seeds directly in the garden in late fall. Motherwort can be brewed as a tea for medicinal purposes, but its intense bitterness makes this a less than pleasant option. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. Motherwort has long been used medicinally in many different traditions. Motherwort is a vigorous grower, and care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t spread more than desired. Groves says motherwort pairs well with lemon balm, another herb indicated for hyperthyroidism, particularly in an herbal formula for treating Graves’ disease. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Ready to harvest in 60 days, but can provide a second harvest and will come back the following year. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. Watering. Even better, it is also very rarely affected by pests or disease. Cover with your vinegar of choice; I recommend unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. In recent years, it has been studied as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. I worked a few years at a Chinese restaurant and one of my favorite customers gave me a plant for my garden. If you are excited about growing motherwort, check out these other easy to grow medicinal herbs next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Motherwort is useful for headache, insomnia, and vertigo. To make a motherwort glycerite, fill a jar about half full with dried herb or two-thirds full with fresh motherwort. Motherwort is a plant. Motherwort also may correct heart palpitations that sometimes accompany thyroid disease and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Motherwort is used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety.It is also used for the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (), and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism).. The plant’s botanical name, Leonurus cardiac, means “lion hearted” and is thought to relate to either the flower spike’s resemblance to a lion’s tail or the plant's traditional use as a cardiac tonic.Motherwort’s common and botanical names combine to provide wonderful clues to its healing properties. The flowers are extremely useful in preparing the amazing and beneficial tincture. A spiky, weedy, clumping perennial herb that can reach up to five feet tall, motherwort is often found growing wild, especially in wet areas such as floodplains and riverbanks, or along streams. Historically, the herb has been associated with longevity. Germany’s Commission E, an official government agency similar to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that focuses specifically on herbal treatments, has authorized use of motherwort as a treatment for anxiety-induced rapid heartbeat and for hyperthyroidism. Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top. As its name implies, this truly is a motherly herb. Leonurus cardiaca or motherwort is usually harvested at the end of June. Cover it up with soil until the hole is filled in and water well. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! Harvesting. Pour the liquid mixture over the herb, filling the jar. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Once picked, you can simply boil the kettle and steep the fresh flower tops for 5 – 10 minutes. For now, feel free to continue reading. Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort 300 seeds $3.50. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings are also curable with this herb. Motherwort was first used by the Greeks to soothe the anxiety of pregnant women. It also has a unique leaf structure. Once the seeds are prepped, they can be sown directly into the garden. It also spreads via an extensive root system, and roots should be divided each season to prevent a garden takeover! It is also a common weed along roadsides and in neglected gardens. If you do choose to drink motherwort tea, I recommend combining it with other more pleasant herbs like lemon balm or peppermint, to mask the flavor. When identifying Motherwort look for the classic square stem of all mint plants. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. The name shows how It has obviously been used to help with women’s problems, perhaps most notably for pain in the womb from menstrual disorders. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Strong and robust, calming and supportive, it is certainly a plant worth knowing how to grow and use. Motherwort also self sows easily. Harvesting Guidelines Harvest when in full bloom in mid-late summer. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. It should keep for several years in your pantry if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. Motherwort heals menstruation as well as menopause. To cold stratify seeds, soak for 12-24 hours and then put them in a plastic bag filled with sand and peat. Do not use motherwort during pregnancy. The lower leaves have five cleft lobes with coarse teeth, and leaves with three lobes grow higher on the stem. Read more about combating powdery mildew here. See our TOS for more details. The glycerite will keep for one to two years. Growing your own vegetables, herbs, fruit, berries and flowers is very rewarding. To make any of these infusions, begin by preparing the herb. Motherwort’s botanical name Leonurus cardiaca means “lionhearted.” This may be related to the plant’s reputation for bringing strength during times of emotional stress. This is simply a measure to trick seeds into thinking that they have just experienced winter and the time has come to sprout. The flower stalks can be a bit prickly. It is sometimes used to relieve asthma, bronchitis, and other lung problems, usually mixed with mullein and other lung herbs. Motherwort Benefits 1. Herbal vinegar can be used in cooking, and it has the additional advantageous properties of the vinegar itself, which can be useful for aiding digestion and remedying other issues. It seemed to be calling my name. Motherwort should be harvested when in full bloom. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu. Broadcast seeds in late spring and cover with a very thin 1/8-inch layer of soil. Motherwort has also been used when the period is out of balance, either not coming regularly or coming too often. At this stage in the plant’s growth cycle, the plant has put out lots of leafy growth. Motherwort has an interesting range of historical indications. I brought the motherwort into the kitchen and sort of pinched off the tips and leaves into smaller segments and stuffed them into a clean quart jar, not jam-packed, just full. A great bee forage plant, include motherwort in areas where you want to. Motherwort Is A Natural Sedative. I called it the opium den for bees because they were crazy about it! Though motherwort is a hardy perennial that is rarely harmed by pests or disease, there are still a couple of problems to watch out for. You can reduce instances of this disease by pruning overcrowded areas to increase air circulation, and avoid overwatering. 2. Temporarily out of stock If you can’t prepare this product at home, then you can purchase the motherwort tincture from the healthy food stores. Motherwort, Leonorus cardiaca, is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and has their characteristic square stems and opposite leaves though, unlike most other mints, the leaves are deeply toothed and cut into three pointed segments. The flower spike is also thought to bear resemblance to a lion’s tail. The product comes in a resealable container, just like all of the other products they sell. Pour enough alcohol, such as vodka, over the fresh herb to fill the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headroom at the top. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. If powdery mildew develops, remove infected parts of the plant and destroy them. Division of Plants. To avoid unwanted spread, try growing it in containers or raised beds. Preliminary research suggests that it can bind to TSH receptors, and prevent the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to the active form T3, essentially slowing down thyroid function. Once your motherwort has dried fully, which should take no more than a few hours, remove the leaves and flowers from the stems, and store them in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dark pantry. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Believed to have been brought to North America in the 19th century by colonists, and has now naturalized widely throughout the continent. This hardy perennial can grow in many different conditions, but for best results, look for a spot with well draining soil, and amend beds or containers with compost before planting. Motherwort grows strong and tall and she could use a bit of space as she will extend additional shoots up throughout the season. Space at 12-15 inches in the row with row spacing at 240-30 inches. A versatile herb ally, Motherwort’s medicinal properties include easing stress, calming the heart, supporting women’s health, and more. Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. According to Maria Noel Groves in her book “Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care,” available on Amazon, it is looked upon as a remedy for those who are feeling overworked, on edge, or underappreciated. Flowers. Use caution when harvesting this prickly herb, the flowers arise from sharp clusters that can puncture the skin. Reduce the chances of it getting away from you by cutting back to 3-5 inches after flowering, but before those seeds mature. A glycerite tincture is very similar to an alcohol-based tincture, except food grade vegetable glycerine is used to make it instead of vodka. Place a lid on the jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as vinegar will corrode metal. All the local townspeople got their daily drinking water from that spring and all of t… An old legend states that there was once a town whose spring ran through a patch of Motherwort. Ready to learn how to grow your own crop at home, for visual interest, to attract pollinators, and to make your own herbal medicine? So happy and calm not possessive at all. It Relieves Menstrual Cramps. Plant them out in a garden bed amended with compost once seedlings have reached 4-6 inches tall. You can read more about dividing perennials here. 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And let it sit for 6 weeks more commonly, this herb likely originated in central and Asia! Varieties available for purchase process of making herbal infused vinegar is very similar to an alcohol-based tincture except. Before mid-afternoon is helpful to keep this herb is a useful medium that may used... Ability to have an effect on cardiac function, though moist, soil! Enough fresh motherwort a vigorous grower, and it was used for hundreds of years ceremonially that! Tip: to hide the bitter taste, you can ’ t find cultivated varieties available purchase! Thought to promote longevity just like all of the stems, and stress roots from the....
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