Motherwort, I Love You

Look who’s popping up all over the garden, looking incredibly pleased with herself:

motherwort1Yep, it’s a little clump of Motherwort  (Leonurus cardiaca) leaves. Isn’t she pretty? I love the way she has those hints of purple-brown in her leaves and stems.

Motherwort is a really valuable ally for me right now.

I’ve blogged a bit about  changes and developements in my life, especially in my spiritual and healing work. And while the evolution of my work is a beautiful and exciting thing, it’s also sometimes overwhelming. I frequently find myself frozen with doubt, insecurity, worry that I can’t do it. And the worst days are the ones when I wonder if the men in white jackets are going to come and carry me off to a nice room with padded walls and give me happy pills every day.

Enter this fuzzy little beauty:

motherwort4Motherwort doesn’t change what I feel. She doesn’t make me giddy or happy, she doesn’t knock me out, she doesn’t sedate me. She just says, “There, there dear,” and helps me to flow with the changes, with my feelings–even with the doubt. I’ve heard some people say that motherwort makes them feel really good. She doesn’t have that effect on me. Instead, she helps me to be okay with whatever it is that I am feeling. If I need to cry, I can cry really really hard, and be okay with the intensity of it. If I’m angry, she helps me to be with the anger and understand what it’s about. Although often when I’m angry, it’s because I’m scared or worried, and so a good cry is what I really need, and so . . . motherwort often makes me cry!

motherwort2But it’s a good cry. It’s the kind of cry you have when you’re feeling all worked up but don’t know  how to express it, and then you go have a visit with your mom or your aunt or grandmother, and she gives you a cup of tea and says, “So how are you doing honey?” and you just burst in to tears.

It seems to me that motherwort gives me space and a listening ear, and that she opens up the flow inside of me that I’m clamping down because it’s not pleasant.

I feel like motherwort is an important plant friend for many of us right now–especially those of us who are treading new territory with energy work and the transitions that we seem to be making as a culture and species. It seems that our planet is changing, we are changing, we’re on a precipice and who knows what happens when we tumble over its edge? Some days it’s exciting, and some days it’s terrifying, and motherwort seems to help us surrender to the flow and be all right with our uncertainties.

Motherwort is taking over one of the large beds in my front yard. I was a bit worried about it last year, but this year I’m thinking maybe it’s a good thing after all. I’m really glad I made so much tincture last summer, because I have so many friends who need her right now. And I can only imagine that going forward, she will really help us to cope with the process we are in.

Of course there are some contraindications with motherwort–she’s definitely not for everyone. Do some research before you decide to work with her, especially if you have any health conditions or are on any kind of pharmaceutical. I’m not medically trained to tell anyone what will and won’t cause a problem!

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16 thoughts on “Motherwort, I Love You

  1. What a pretty little plant. Reminds me a little of borage (to look at, at least). I plan to plant a little herb garden at the front of my house – it’s a tiny raised bed, but room enough for a few important herbs. Would you have any that you recommend?

  2. Motherwort was one of the first herbs I bought to grow in my Sanctuary together with goats rue. Both of them act as if they own the whole herb bed. At first I was worried about “weeding” the new seedlings in spring, but now I have moved her to another bed where she can grow as wild as she likes. I love the way the bees mob her in summer. Many women who attend my workshops have made her their ally, learning her lesson that bitterness doesn’t taste so bad when you really need her and goes away altogether if you mix her with lemon balm. I fell in love with her vinegar last year for the first time and now I use her in my tonic formulae when I feel the need.

  3. I love motherwort, too. When she grew in my garden, I made a tincture and used it daily – I had that much daily stress – and discovered that it is also an ally of the heart. It helps to tone the heart muscles. Gives you the heart of a distance runner, according to the EKGs.

  4. As always, I so enjoy your posts on herbs. Such love you put into the writing, it gives me the desire to grow it myself. I am still searching out nettle, as each time i hear the name or see a picture I remember your post about your harvesting it with a friend. Your posts stick with me. Maybe its the personal feelings you put into it or the stories of your experience, but I remember more with reading your posts then i do from the books about herbs.
    I also wanted to offer you, that is if you would have any use or desire for it, half a packet of Tree (indian) tobacco. I have planted plenty I can save seed from. If you do want or have need for it, just drop me an email and I will send it out ASAP.
    Looking forward to the many more posts with herbs!

  5. I have a question. What parts of the Motherwort plant are used for the tincture? Thank you for any info you can provide.

  6. Hello!

    I’d like to chime in, as a guy, and say that I love Motherwort. I was introduced to it by – wait for it – my mother, when I was experiencing an unexpected adverse, heart-racing reaction to a supplement.

    Since then, I have taken to making a bitter tea from it daily; there is a lot going on in my life right now, and I’ve long tended toward anxiety and worry. This herb feels very comforting, and has helped keep me calmer, and my heart rate slower and steadier.

    Best Regards

    1. Oh yes, I’ve read of motherwort’s use as a heart tonic, especially for heart palpitations/racing heart. Nice to hear from someone who has experienced it first hand, thanks for posting.

  7. How exciting to stumble upon this information on magical motherwort….i shall seek her out immediately! yay herbs!

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