A spiky, weedy, clumping perennial herb that can reach up to five feet tall, motherwort is often found growing wild, especially in wet areas such as floodplains and riverbanks, or along streams. In a separate jar, mix three parts food grade vegetable glycerin with one part water and shake to combine. Read more about combating powdery mildew here. At this stage in the plant’s growth cycle, the plant has put out lots of leafy growth. Broadcast seeds in late spring and cover with a very thin 1/8-inch layer of soil. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. The uppermost leaves are oblong with one pair of coarse teeth. 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. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. Use the leaves, stems, and flowers of motherwort to make a tincture. The product comes in a resealable container, just like all of the other products they sell. Supports Female Reproductive Health. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Motherwort can often be found growing wild. It also has a unique leaf structure. Plant them out in a garden bed amended with compost once seedlings have reached 4-6 inches tall. It should keep for several years in your pantry if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! To cold stratify seeds, soak for 12-24 hours and then put them in a plastic bag filled with sand and peat. It also has sent up flower stalks but the flower buds are still young. The stalks, flowers, and leaves of motherwort are typically harvested during full bloom in mid to late summer (Foster, 1993; Grieve, 1931). A glycerite tincture is very similar to an alcohol-based tincture, except food grade vegetable glycerine is used to make it instead of vodka. 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. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu. Hardy to Zones 3 to 8, otherwise grown as an annual. A dearth of well-designed human studies documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. Hang in small bundles or spread out on a screen in a warm, dry place. Leonurus cardiaca or motherwort is usually harvested at the end of June. Motherwort can be brewed as a tea for medicinal purposes, but its intense bitterness makes this a less than pleasant option. Leaves and flowers in bowl. Let the jar sit in the pantry for a month, shaking daily. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. The lower leaves have five cleft lobes with coarse teeth, and leaves with three lobes grow higher on the stem. See our TOS for more details. When identifying Motherwort look for the classic square stem of all mint plants. It was morning, after the dew had evaporated. This medicinal herb has a reputation for reducing anxiety, feelings of restlessness, and stress. 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. Motherwort was first used by the Greeks to soothe the anxiety of pregnant women. Here are 6 of the major benefits of motherwort. 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Flowers. It self-sows readily where it is happy. In rare instances, spider mites can damage the leaves of the plant. A great bee forage plant, include motherwort in areas where you want to. If harvesting motherwort yourself, consider using gloves – it can be quite spiky! The flowers are extremely useful in preparing the amazing and beneficial tincture. This keeps the plant from going to seed and spreading everywhere. 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. I am excited to make use of my abundant motherwort supply this year. 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. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. This tends to happen during prolonged periods of drought. Motherwort has long been used in herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant, and it attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden. 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. Plants can be put in by either hand or by transplanter. There isn't enough reliable information to know if motherwort is safe to use when breast-feeding. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings are also curable with this herb. I worked a few years at a Chinese restaurant and one of my favorite customers gave me a plant for my garden. Harvest the herb when it is in bloom, which is in late summer. 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. High quantities can cause nausea and taking motherwort may have an adverse interaction with other medications. Step Three: Weigh in grams (For this we had 200 grams) Step Four: Measure alcohol in mls. It likes full sun and gets 2-5 ft tall. Start cold stratified seeds in flats a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. How to take the motherwort tincture 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. Reduce the chances of it getting away from you by cutting back to 3-5 inches after flowering, but before those seeds mature. This herb has many great medicinal values and is truly undervalued in the world of plants. It Relieves Menstrual Cramps. Strain out the herb. Considered a weed by some, you won’t find cultivated varieties available for purchase. 2. Definitely a must have if you are looking for a gift for your pollinators. Step Two: Remove leaves and flowers. They should take about a week to sprout, and strong seedlings can be thinned to 2-3 feet apart. To prevent self seeding, cut foliage back to 3-5 inches after flowering and before the seeds have a chance to mature. Space plants 2-3 feet apart. Motherwort is categorically a mint that has a very bitter taste. The glycerite will keep for one to two years. In vitro studies have demonstrated its ability to have an effect on cardiac function, though further research is needed. Distinguishing Features. Because motherwort is so bitter, most herbalists prefer to use it as a tincture rather than a tea. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 10 days, checking regularly for moisture and spritzing lightly if the mix becomes dry. 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. Once I learned to recognize it, I realized it had been lurking around my garden all along! I usually harvest motherwort in late spring or early summer. 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. Step One: Gather plant material Our motherwort harvest. As its name implies, this truly is a motherly herb. Place a lid on the jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as vinegar will corrode metal. 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 … 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. The flower stalks can be a bit prickly. The Farmer's Garden is an online place to learn how to garden. Please consult a medical professional before taking any medicinal herbs. Use caution when harvesting this prickly herb, the flowers arise from sharp clusters that can puncture the skin. It is harvested when it is in full flower and often tinctured while fresh. So happy and calm not possessive at all. The botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca also comes from the greek. Motherwort is a vigorous grower, and care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t spread more than desired. 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. Like alcohol, glycerin is a useful medium that may be used to extract and preserve the active chemical compounds of herbs. 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).. You can treat leaves with a solution of soapy water to get rid of the mites. Last warning, motherwort herb is a prolific and unbridled easy-to-grow plant with a propensity to take over the garden – so gardener beware. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Harvesting Guidelines Harvest when in full bloom in mid-late summer. Motherwort is easy to grow from seed or transplants, or by division. Harvesting Motherwort and Parts Used. Motherwort also self sows easily. Water young plants every few days, until they are well established. This is a great option if you prefer to avoid alcohol, and it has the added benefit of a sweeter taste. Motherwort has also been used when the period is out of balance, either not coming regularly or coming too often. Even better, it is also very rarely affected by pests or disease. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. In ancient China, it was thought to promote longevity. Cover with your vinegar of choice; I recommend unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. Motherwort Medicine. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! Motherwort Is A Natural Sedative. Siberian Motherwort is a legal substitute for marijuana. 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. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Strain and store in an airtight container in a cool dark location. Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort 300 seeds $3.50. Here is more about what we do. Don’t forget your gloves and pruning shears! Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Pour the liquid mixture over the herb, filling the jar. 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. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Leon=lion, ouros=tail and kardiacarefers to the heart. It is a natural weed alternative and has been used for hundreds of years ceremonially. Ready to harvest in 60 days, but can provide a second harvest and will come back the following year. It seemed to be calling my name. If you do choose to drink motherwort tea, I recommend combining it with other more pleasant herbs like lemon balm or peppermint, to mask the flavor. This herb likely originated in central and northern Asia, spreading to western Europe by sometime around the 17th century. Historically, the herb has been associated with longevity. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. The harvest is clearly fresher and better stored. Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. Harvest the aerial parts—leaves, flowers, and stems can be used. This is simply a measure to trick seeds into thinking that they have just experienced winter and the time has come to sprout. Our gardening blog provides helpful gardening advice to both novice and experienced gardeners. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Don't leave much to go to seed, as it will take over a garden. The Farmer's Garden wants to build community, one tomato at a time. You can plant it wherever you have room, whether your chosen location is in full sun or bathed in shade. Motherwort is a plant. Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks. 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 also may correct heart palpitations that sometimes accompany thyroid disease and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The name shows how It has obviously been used to help with women’s problems, perhaps most notably for pain in the womb from menstrual disorders. The final product should look very dark and have a bitter taste. Strain out the solids, and keep in a cool, dark, dry spot. Cover with a tight lid and set aside in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. For use as dried herb, harvest on a dry, sunny day before mid-afternoon. Motherwort is useful for headache, insomnia, and vertigo. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Motherwort Tincture can be made from fresh flowering tops and leaves, which can be harvested 2-3 times from midsummer to frost. Since motherwort grows quickly and spreads via rhizomes, established plants can easily be dug up, divided, and relocated in new areas of the garden. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 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. Motherwort does well with only a foot between plants and will form a dense mound or row when planted together. Disclosure. Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top. You may also be able to purchase seeds or plants from local nurseries or farms that specialize in medicinal herbs. 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