Motherwort
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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Motherwort Overview

Written by FoundHealth, sshowalter.

As its Latin name cardiaca suggests, motherwort has traditionally been used to treat heart conditions. The ancient Greeks and Romans employed motherwort to treat heart palpitations as well as depression, which they considered a problem of the heart. Centuries later, Europeans would believe motherwort helpful for "infirmities of the heart" but also considered the herb to have strengthening and stimulating effects on the uterus, using it to bring on a delayed menstrual period, as an aid during labor, and to relax a woman's womb after childbirth.

These uses of motherwort correspond well with those in traditional Chinese medicine, which employs the Asian variety, Leonurus artemisia, to treat menstrual disorders or to help a woman expel a dead fetus and placenta from her womb. 1 In eastern China, women still drink a syrup made from motherwort to promote the recovery of the uterus after childbirth; the herb has a strong bitter taste, so visitors to a recovering mother often bring along sugar as a gift. 2

Dosage

The Commission E recommends a dose of 4.5 g of dried herb daily, or the equivalent.

Note: Irregular or rapid heartbeat can be a sign of serious medical illness. Do not self-treat these conditions with motherwort except under medical supervision. Also, do not combine motherwort with other heart medications, as they might interact unpredictably.

References

  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al. Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia , the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  2. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al. Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia , the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
 
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