Motherwort is another member of the Mint family, the Labiatae. It grows quite easily to great size, and spreads lots and lots of seeds. It is considered an invasive weed in much of the country, having (oops) escaped from many an herb garden. The leaves are harvested when young and vibrant, in May and early June, before the flower spike begins to rise. Flowering will continue through August, and a new crop of young leaves will set by the frosts. Side-dress once a season.
Elemental associations: Water
Phytochemistry: Bitter glycosides, volatile oils, alkaloids, tannins (D. Hoffmann)
Actions: Cardio-tonic, emmenagogue, sedative, relaxant, hypotensive, anxiolytic
Specific systems: Women’s reproductive system, cardiovascular system, nervous system
The combination of effects Motherwort possesses makes it an invaluable addition to any menopause formula. Its gently relaxing power makes it especially indicated in cases of menopause linked to anxiety (which is often the cause of hot flashes, and can often result from the unfamiliar symptoms). It is also useful as an emmenagogue for younger women.
Its use, however, isn’t limited to the female sex: it should be considered in any case or atherosclerosis, the ‘hardening of the arteries’ we so often see today, as it can make these blood vessels more supple and renew their youth. Again, because of its relaxing power, it can help in cases where cardiovascular imbalances are linked to anxiety or nervousness. Indications: Menopause, anxiety, heart disturbances
Preparation/Dosage: Use 2 TBS per quart of water for a hot infusion. I prefer the tincture of the fresh, young leaves, prepared at 50% alcohol, 1:3 to 1:5. Take ¼ teaspoon three times a day, or as often as needed for anxiety.