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Home :: Motherwort :: Herbs

Motherwort Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Motherwort extracts typically come from the seeds or nutlets found in the dry, thorny flowering heads of Leonurus cardiaca. Active components of another plant variety, 1. artemisia, are extracted from the dried leaves.

Description

From the perennial root-stock rise the square, stout stems, 2 to 3 feet high, erect and branched, principally below, the angles prominent. The leaves are very closely set, the radical ones on slender, long petioles, ovate, lobed and toothed, those on the stem, 2 to 3 inches long, petioled, wedge-shaped; the lower roundish, palmately five-lobed, the lobes trifid at the apex, the upper three-fid, coarsely serrate, reticulately veined, the veinlets prominent beneath, with slender, curved hairs. The uppermost leaves and bracts are very narrow and entire, or only with a tooth on each side, and bear in their axils numerous whorls of pinkish, or nearly white, sessile flowers, six to fifteen in a whorl. The corollas, though whitish on the outside, are stained with paler or darker purple within. They have rather short tubes and nearly flat upper lips, very hairy above, with long, woolly hairs. The two front stamens are the longest and the anthers are sprinkled with hard, shining dots.

Members of the mint family (Labiatae), these plants have been transplanted to the United States and Canada from Europe. Some people refer to other species as motherwort.

Common doses of motherwort

Motherwort comes as dried leaves and extracts. Experts disagree on what dose to take.

Uses of motherwort

Motherwort' shows its relevance to menstrual and uterine conditions (due to its alkaloid content) while 'cardiaca' indicates its use in heart and circulation treatments (due to its glycoside content). It has been shown to calm palpitations and normalize heart functions in general. t may be useful to ease false labour pains. It is an excellent tonic for the heart, strengthening without straining. Chinese research referred to in Potters Cyclopedia found that it both reduced blood platelet aggregation and decreased levels of blood lipids

Side effects of motherwort

Call your health care practitioner if you experience these possible side effects of motherwort:

  • prolonged bleeding
  • skin sensitivity to light.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use motherwort while taking:

  • Coumadin
  • drugs used to treat liver disease
  • heart drugs called beta blockers (such as Inderal)
  • Lanoxin
  • other heart drugs.

Important points to remember

  • Don't take motherwort if you're pregnant.
  • Avoid this herb if you have a low platelet count (ask your health care practitioner).
  • Avoid direct sunlight when using motherwort.
  • Report unusual bleeding or bruising to your health care practitioner.

What the research shows

Although some studies suggest motherwort may have promising antitumor and antioxidant properties, more studies are needed to support therapeutic claims.

Other names for motherwort : -

Other names for motherwort include i-mu-ts'ao, lion's-ear, lion's-tail, lion's-tart, and throwwort.


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