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Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

The gay, green leaves of Motherwort are coming up around the back fences along the alleys of Riverwest. At full growth, the plant is three to six feet tall, has large leaves and spikes of tiny pink flowers. It’s usually taken as an infusion, tincture, or liquid extract, with the advice of a professional herbalist. Motherwort is usually used as a mild sedative and stress reliever. It’s also suggested for PMS and menstrual pain. Its calming action can help control chest pains associated with heart problems, and can help lower blood pressure. The herb is usually gathered in late summer when the foliage is at its most abundant and flowers at their prime. It’s dried and then powdered for storage. Note: The information in this column is not intended to be used as medical advice. Please see a professional herbalist for further information. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 6 – June 2003