Motherwort is useful for headache, insomnia, and vertigo. Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. This herb has many great medicinal values and is truly undervalued in the world of plants. To make a motherwort glycerite, fill a jar about half full with dried herb or two-thirds full with fresh motherwort. 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. Like alcohol, glycerin is a useful medium that may be used to extract and preserve the active chemical compounds of herbs. Read more about combating powdery mildew here, How to Harvest and Use Stinging Nettle Root, Growing Borage as a Cover Crop and for Green Manure, How to Identify, Prevent, and Treat Collar and Crown Rot in Fruit Trees, Tips for Growing Hardy Chicago Fig Trees (Bensonhurst Purple), Organic Gardening 101: A Practical How To Article, 11 of the Best Birdbaths: Your Guide to Water Features for Your Feathered Friends, 13 of the Best Tall China Asters for the Late Summer Garden, How to Identify, Prevent, and Control Cedar Apple Rust, The Taste of Summer: How to Plant and Grow Watermelons. Perhaps the easiest way to acquire motherwort is to find a patch already growing in your yard or a friend’s yard, and cut some divisions. I usually harvest motherwort in late spring or early summer. If powdery mildew develops, remove infected parts of the plant and destroy them. Motherwort is a vigorous grower, and care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t spread more than desired. When to harvest motherwort This medicinal herb has a reputation for reducing anxiety, feelings of restlessness, and stress. Pour the liquid mixture over the herb, filling the jar. 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. For now, feel free to continue reading. Plant them out in a garden bed amended with compost once seedlings have reached 4-6 inches tall. It reduces period irregularities and eases cramps. Don’t forget your gloves and pruning shears! Motherwort is a plant. This is a bold name, bestowed in part due to the plant’s resemblance to a … She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! The plant produces clusters of pink to purple flowers that rise along prickly sepals, blooming from midsummer through early fall. Motherwort has also been used when the period is out of balance, either not coming regularly or coming too often. Motherwort should be harvested when in full bloom. Please consult a medical professional before taking any medicinal herbs. You can reduce instances of this disease by pruning overcrowded areas to increase air circulation, and avoid overwatering. 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. The botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca also comes from the greek. Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort 300 seeds $3.50. How to take the motherwort tincture Motherwort heals menstruation as well as menopause. Place a lid on the jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as vinegar will corrode metal. On the lower portions, I remove the leaves … Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top. The Farmer's Garden is an online place to learn how to garden. High quantities can cause nausea and taking motherwort may have an adverse interaction with other medications. If not, stratify the seeds for 10 days. Motherwort Medicine. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. To avoid unwanted spread, try growing it in containers or raised beds. The process of making herbal infused vinegar is very similar to what you would do to create a tincture or glycerite. 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. Leon=lion, ouros=tail and kardiacarefers to the heart. It also has sent up flower stalks but the flower buds are still young. Tell us your stories in the comments below! 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. The flower spike is also thought to bear resemblance to a lion’s tail. Don't leave much to go to seed, as it will take over a garden. It likes full sun and gets 2-5 ft tall. 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. It seemed to be calling my name. Motherwort has long been used in herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant, and it attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden. Roughly chop enough fresh motherwort to loosely fill a sterilized quart jar; do not stuff the jar. To cold stratify seeds, soak for 12-24 hours and then put them in a plastic bag filled with sand and peat. The flower stalks can be a bit prickly. If you are excited about growing motherwort, check out these other easy to grow medicinal herbs next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. 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). Considered a weed by some, you won’t find cultivated varieties available for purchase. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. 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. Flowers. The product comes in a resealable container, just like all of the other products they sell. It does not like excessive heat and can't grow in Florida. The uppermost leaves are oblong with one pair of coarse teeth. 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. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 10 days, checking regularly for moisture and spritzing lightly if the mix becomes dry. Last warning, motherwort herb is a prolific and unbridled easy-to-grow plant with a propensity to take over the garden – so gardener beware. 2. You can also choose to sow seeds directly in the garden in late fall. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. It is also adaptable to most soil types, though moist, rich soil with a slightly alkaline pH of 7.7 is ideal. This use continued and spread and gave the herb its common name. A glycerite tincture is very similar to an alcohol-based tincture, except food grade vegetable glycerine is used to make it instead of vodka. Strong and robust, calming and supportive, it is certainly a plant worth knowing how to grow and use. To make any of these infusions, begin by preparing the herb. The harvest is clearly fresher and better stored. For centuries, this bitter-tasting herb has been used by mothers, and it was a very common medicine prescribed by midwives. Step Two: Remove leaves and flowers. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Hang in small bundles or spread out on a screen in a warm, dry place. You can read more about dividing perennials here. The flowers are extremely useful in preparing the amazing and beneficial tincture. 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. It should keep for several years in your pantry if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. Leaves and flowers in bowl. 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. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. Motherwort has an interesting range of historical indications. It also spreads via an extensive root system, and roots should be divided each season to prevent a garden takeover! Once the herb has laid roots, continued growth of the motherwort colony is guaranteed, and then some! When identifying Motherwort look for the classic square stem of all mint plants. A great bee forage plant, include motherwort in areas where you want to. Strain out the solids, and keep in a cool, dark, dry spot. Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. We had 200 grams of motherwort so a 1:2 dilution would mean we need 400mls of everclear. In vitro studies have demonstrated its ability to have an effect on cardiac function, though further research is needed. While it is helpful to keep this herb watered well while it is young, once established, it is hardy and drought tolerant. Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. Be aware that it also self-seeds like a champion, so do not allow it to reseed unless the entire area is given over to this lovely herb. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. 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. I use the stem only on the upper portions of the plant, where it is fairly small and supple. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, … In recent years, it has been studied as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism. Motherwort was first used by the Greeks to soothe the anxiety of pregnant women. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. The final product should look very dark and have a bitter taste. Here in Zone 7b, we often have a harvest in … It also has a unique leaf structure. A dehydrator set to low heat can also be used to dry your harvest more quickly. Motherwort Tincture can be made from fresh flowering tops and leaves, which can be harvested 2-3 times from midsummer to frost. Strictly Medicinal Seeds is a good source for both the plants and the seeds. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. However, you might want to allow for another 6-12 inches between motherwort and other plants so that it doesn’t crowd its neighbors. 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. Harvesting Guidelines Harvest when in full bloom in mid-late summer. A dearth of well-designed human studies documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Fill a jar halfway with dried herb or three-fourths full with fresh. This will show you how to harvest Motherwort and put up a tincture. Water young plants every few days, until they are well established. Cover with a tight lid and set aside in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. Believed to have been brought to North America in the 19th century by colonists, and has now naturalized widely throughout the continent. You can treat leaves with a solution of soapy water to get rid of the mites. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Broadcast seeds in late spring and cover with a very thin 1/8-inch layer of soil. The lower leaves have five cleft lobes with coarse teeth, and leaves with three lobes grow higher on the stem. Space at 12-15 inches in the row with row spacing at 240-30 inches. 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. Harvest the aerial parts—leaves, flowers, and stems can be used. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, spread the rhizome out and gently place it in the hole. 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. As its name implies, this truly is a motherly herb. 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. To make your own motherwort tincture, follow these four easy steps: Harvest the top third of the plant including the buds and flowers and connecting leaves and stems. Motherwort is easy to grow from seed or transplants, or by division. Our gardening blog provides helpful gardening advice to both novice and experienced gardeners. First, read the instructions on purchased seed packets to see if they have been previously cold stratified for planting. 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).. Strain out the herb. 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. Here is more about what we do. Start cold stratified seeds in flats a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. For use as dried herb, harvest on a dry, sunny day before mid-afternoon. Since motherwort grows quickly and spreads via rhizomes, established plants can easily be dug up, divided, and relocated in new areas of the garden. So happy and calm not possessive at all. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Hardy to Zones 3 to 8, otherwise grown as an annual. Motherwort Uses. Motherwort herb growing will occur and steadily increase with seed broadcasting. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Groves says motherwort pairs well with lemon balm, another herb indicated for hyperthyroidism, particularly in an herbal formula for treating Graves’ disease. Learn how to make an Herbal Extract out of Motherwort! Once the plant is mature, it can ... Fertilizing. Motherwort can be brewed as a tea for medicinal purposes, but its intense bitterness makes this a less than pleasant option. This herb is best consumed or tinctured while it’s fresh, but the flowers and leaves can also be dried for later use. It self-sows readily where it is happy. All the local townspeople got their daily drinking water from that spring and all of t… 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. After you plant the motherwort in your garden, water the plants every 2-3 days until they grow larger. Trimming. Do not use motherwort during pregnancy. It should stay fresh for one to two years. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Siberian Motherwort is a legal substitute for marijuana. To dry, hang bundles of stems in a dark, airy location, or lay them on a screen in a dark, dry room. Motherwort also self sows easily. 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. Once the seeds are prepped, they can be sown directly into the garden. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! 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