Leonurus cardiaca – Common Motherwort

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Common Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a non-native, medicinal plant in the mint family.
Motherwort has pink tubular flowers, upper leaves lobed in three parts, and lower leaves that resemble maple leaves. The plant is bitter so does not taste or smell good, but it has been used medicinally to regulate menstrual periods, calm anxiety, and treat heart palpitations.
The above-ground parts of the fresh or dried plant can be turned into a tea. To dry the leaves and flowers, the plant should be placed in an area with low humidity, high ventilation, and out of direct sunlight.
Motherwort can also be turned into a tincture. To make a tincture, chop the dry leaves and flowers, pack a jar 3/4 full, and top with vodka. The jar should be stored in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks, after which the plant material can be strained out. The tincture should keep for several years. A typical dose would be 1/2-1 teaspoon up to 3 times/day.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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