Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca)

In keeping with the Mother's Day theme, I thought I'd talk about a fairly obscure herb: motherwort (which means herb for the mother).

True to its name, motherwort has traditionally been used to stimulate uterine contractions and facilitate childbirth. It can also remedy late menstruation, but should be avoided if one has heavy menses. Many herbalists recommend it for PMS and everything that goes with it, namely stress, tension, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, and water retention.

It is contraindicated during pregnancy, except in the last few days to stimulate labor.

Motherwort is not just for mothers though! The botanical name is cardiaca, from the Latin for heart, and it has long been known as an herb that supports heart health. In fact, Russian scientists recently released a study, published in the journal "Phytotherapy Research" that showed it significantly reduced blood pressure after 14 days of taking 300 mg twice a day. Those subjects with seriously high hypertension saw improvements similar to those with moderately high pressure, but the seriously high blood pressure group still needed additional medication to lower the pressure to the desired range.

Interestingly, most subjects from both groups had significant improvements with anxiety, headaches, and insomnia! 

There are very few clinical studies on motherwort, but it has been used traditionally for centuries for the above conditions. As always, if you decide to take an herbal supplement, do your research and run it by your physician, especially if you're on medication.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™