Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. If not, stratify the seeds for 10 days. When identifying Motherwort look for the classic square stem of all mint plants. Place a lid on the jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as vinegar will corrode metal. Lucky for me, motherwort is happy to grow most anywhere. Leaves and flowers in bowl. Definitely a must have if you are looking for a gift for your pollinators. A great bee forage plant, include motherwort in areas where you want to. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. It reduces period irregularities and eases cramps. You may also be able to purchase seeds or plants from local nurseries or farms that specialize in medicinal herbs. 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. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu. Strain out the herb. It also has sent up flower stalks but the flower buds are still young. 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. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Motherwort can often be found growing wild. Harvest the herb when it is in bloom, which is in late summer. Division of Plants. More commonly, this herb is made into a tincture or herbal glycerite, or infused in vinegar. Motherwort Medicine. If starting from seed or transplants, it is necessary to cold stratify seeds for a few weeks prior to planting. Motherwort is easy to grow from seed or transplants, or by division. Don't leave much to go to seed, as it will take over a garden. Dosage: Motherwort herb tincture: 2-4 mL three times a day This herb likely originated in central and northern Asia, spreading to western Europe by sometime around the 17th century. I use the stem only on the upper portions of the plant, where it is fairly small and supple. This herb is best consumed or tinctured while it’s fresh, but the flowers and leaves can also be dried for later use. 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. Motherwort’s Latin botanical name is Leonurus cardiaca: lion hearted. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, spread the rhizome out and gently place it in the hole. It is sometimes used to relieve asthma, bronchitis, and other lung problems, usually mixed with mullein and other lung herbs. See our TOS for more details. Once the plant is mature, it can ... Fertilizing. Motherwort flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. Disclosure. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. When I began my studies as an herbalist, I was immediately drawn to wanting to learn more about motherwort. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. 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. Sometimes, white powdery fungus can develop on the plant foliage, hindering plant growth and vigor. But I had never grown motherwort before, and truthfully, I didn’t have any idea what it looked like, how to harvest it, or how to use it at home. In rare instances, spider mites can damage the leaves of the plant. The Farmer's Garden wants to build community, one tomato at a time. Motherwort is useful for headache, insomnia, and vertigo. Motherwort has long been used medicinally in many different traditions. 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. Ready to learn how to grow your own crop at home, for visual interest, to attract pollinators, and to make your own herbal medicine? 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. Once picked, you can simply boil the kettle and steep the fresh flower tops for 5 – 10 minutes. Roughly chop enough fresh motherwort to loosely fill a sterilized quart jar; do not stuff the jar. Historically, the herb has been associated with longevity. 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. Watering. Supports Female Reproductive Health. It self-sows readily where it is happy. In Nicholas Culpeper’s book “The Complete Herbal,” published in 1653, he describes motherwort as an herb “to strengthen [the heart] and make a merry, cheerful, blithe soul” and says, “it makes women joyful mothers of children, and settles their wombs as they should be, therefore we call it Motherwort.”. To prevent self seeding, cut foliage back to 3-5 inches after flowering and before the seeds have a chance to mature. This medicinal herb has a reputation for reducing anxiety, feelings of restlessness, and stress. The process of making herbal infused vinegar is very similar to what you would do to create a tincture or glycerite. Let this sit for 4 to 6 weeks in a dark cupboard, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. Pour enough alcohol, such as vodka, over the fresh herb to fill the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headroom at the top. 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. Leonurus cardiaca or motherwort is usually harvested at the end of June. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. 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. Harvest the aerial parts—leaves, flowers, and stems can be used. Leon=lion, ouros=tail and kardiacarefers to the heart. They should take about a week to sprout, and strong seedlings can be thinned to 2-3 feet apart. Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. I worked a few years at a Chinese restaurant and one of my favorite customers gave me a plant for my garden. Motherwort heals menstruation as well as menopause. Step Three: Weigh in grams (For this we had 200 grams) Step Four: Measure alcohol in mls. Whether you are using fresh or dried motherwort, it should be chopped, crushed, or ground into small pieces. If powdery mildew develops, remove infected parts of the plant and destroy them. This will show you how to harvest Motherwort and put up a tincture. 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).. Hang in small bundles or spread out on a screen in a warm, dry place. It was morning, after the dew had evaporated. Motherwort blooms from mid to late summer and can be harvested anytime. 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. Start cold stratified seeds in flats a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. It also spreads via an extensive root system, and roots should be divided each season to prevent a garden takeover! You will notice that the leaves suddenly seem to look thin and brown, and you will have to wait until next season to harvest more. Cover with your vinegar of choice; I recommend unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. To dry, hang bundles of stems in a dark, airy location, or lay them on a screen in a dark, dry room. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Learn how to make an Herbal Extract out of Motherwort! Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks. Motherwort Is A Natural Sedative. 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 likes full sun and gets 2-5 ft tall. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Like alcohol, glycerin is a useful medium that may be used to extract and preserve the active chemical compounds of herbs. It Relieves Menstrual Cramps. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. 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. How to Care for Motherwort. To avoid unwanted spread, try growing it in containers or raised beds. Here in Zone 7b, we often have a harvest in … Space at 12-15 inches in the row with row spacing at 240-30 inches. You can reduce instances of this disease by pruning overcrowded areas to increase air circulation, and avoid overwatering. According to Daniel E. Moerman in his book “Native American Ethnobotany,” Native American tribes including the Delaware, Micmac, Mohegan, Shinnecock, and Oklahoma people used an infusion of motherwort as a uterine tonic for women, and it was used by the Cherokee and Iroquois people as a digestive and nervous system support. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, … 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. For use as dried herb, harvest on a dry, sunny day before mid-afternoon. Divide in spring or fall during dormancy. Harvest the leaves and the entire flower stalk with clippers when the flowers are in full bloom, anywhere from late June into August, being sure to leave enough flower … When to harvest motherwort. All the local townspeople got their daily drinking water from that spring and all of t… Use caution when harvesting this prickly herb, the flowers arise from sharp clusters that can puncture the skin. Motherwort also may correct heart palpitations that sometimes accompany thyroid disease and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. The final product should look very dark and have a bitter taste. Do you have experience growing or using motherwort? But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. To make a motherwort glycerite, fill a jar about half full with dried herb or two-thirds full with fresh motherwort. Do not use motherwort during pregnancy. Believed to have been brought to North America in the 19th century by colonists, and has now naturalized widely throughout the continent. The glycerite will keep for one to two years. The Farmer's Garden is an online place to learn how to garden. Here is more about what we do. For centuries, this bitter-tasting herb has been used by mothers, and it was a very common medicine prescribed by midwives. To make any of these infusions, begin by preparing the herb. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! A dearth of well-designed human studies documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Tell us your stories in the comments below! In recent years, it has been studied as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism. This use continued and spread and gave the herb its common name. The flowers are extremely useful in preparing the amazing and beneficial tincture. Motherwort is a vigorous grower, and care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t spread more than desired. After you plant the motherwort in your garden, water the plants every 2-3 days until they grow larger. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Motherwort herb growing will occur and steadily increase with seed broadcasting. Strain out the solids, and keep in a cool, dark, dry spot. Here are 6 of the major benefits of motherwort. 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. Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort 300 seeds $3.50. Since the flowering stage is considered the best time to harvest the plant to make a tincture, I’m ready to go with my snippers and 100 proof vodka. Motherwort Benefits 1. 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