While reading a blog post from CrookedBearCreek on WordPress, a blog I follow and find very useful & informational as an aspiring herbalist, I realized it would be clever to focus my monthly herbal monograph around a theme; based on what month it is. This made me think, as I read that post at the end of January, that my February monograph would be an herb related to the heart since this month is filled with love and hearts. For me it is not just Valentine’s Day, it is also my wedding anniversary. My husband and I got married on a snow filled, February day, 5 years ago. A simple, affectionate day joined by a few close family members with an intimate celebration to follow our courthouse ceremony.
Motherwort is not only beneficial for the heart but is also a calming herb for mothers; especially when dealing with PMS or menopause. It helps to reduce nerves and agitation associated with irritability. One of its nicknames is “lion hearted” which relates to the ability it has to gladden and strengthen the heart because of the alkaloid, leonurine, which is a vasodilator. This is an herb that grows wild throughout the US, Britain, and Asia and is seen by many as a weed. What continues to disappoint me, as I delve farther and farther into my herbal studies, is how many useful and beneficial herbs grow plentifully; are easily turned into tinctures/glycerites/vinegars; but are seen by most as something that need to be killed with pesticides. Right at our doorstep, backyard, or close by in a wild woods area they are growing naturally and generously & it is time to rediscover what nature has provided for health, wellness, and balance; herbs like Motherwort.
Here is my Motherwort monograph (I wish I could do these more often, but my current goal is one a month since realistically, this is all I have time for):
In the book, Body Into Balance, by Maria Noel Groves, Motherwort is listed under; relaxing sedatives. This herb is not typically drank as tea due to its bitterness, but is tolerable as a tincture (which is what I made), glycerite, or vinegar. There is some that grows wild in the backyard of our neighbor behind us. Since it was easy to locate & harvest there is a good chance it grows wild by you too if you live in the United States Midwest. It grows in a variety of locations including meadows, fields, and forest edges. The flowers are light pinkish/lilac to white. Harvest when just in bloom before the leaves turn brownish.
This herb can encourage bleeding & should never be used during pregnancy, is not recommended with hyperthyroidism & on rare occasions causes nausea.
Since I suffer from menorrhagia, this is not an herb I gathered & tinctured for myself. This was literally & conscientiously collected for the sake of my husband’s 💓 heart. I researched once I had identified it; discovering the benefits & realized it was something he could use. Yet while doing the monograph, connecting more closely with this herb & rediscovering its benefits, it encouraged me to start incorporating a little bit of tincture into my weekly regimen (usually every other day I take a dropper full). Mostly because there is a history of heart disease on my father’s side of the family.
The Yogi teas🍵I drink have quotes on them that, I feel, compliment the tea drinking experience. A homage of sorts to how, when a body is nourished and balanced by herbs & tea, it can function at its full capacity. The quote for today is:
“Your potential self is infinite.”
Have a wonderful rest of your day!!