"What a drag it is to get old. Kids are different today, I've heard every mother say, Mother needs something today to calm her down". Ah Mick, if you only knew! Sung by the Rolling Stones and sworn by many. Women are stressed and stretched to capacity and beyond. Caring for children and spouses and careers and social commitments..."They're so hard to satisfy"!!! But there is a better way, to help you through your day, than the little yellow pill Mick sings about. OK - enough of that! Let me tell you about my favorite mother's little helper, motherwort.
Leonurus cardiaca (or motherwort) is a perennial herb that is native to Central Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is in the mint family and grows here in Northwest Indiana with very little fuss. Sun or shade. Clay or sand. As it's Latin name implies, it is a cardiac tonic. Heart disease among women is on the
rise. Natural remedies should not be ignored as preventive care. Leonurine found in motherwort acts to relax the blood vessel walls, making it easier for blood to circulate. Less stress on the heart. Less stress on the veins. Lessens the feelings of stress. All good things. Motherwort can be an interesting landscape plant as well., growing up to 4 feet tall, growing in clumps similar to ornamental grasses, with pinkish white or pale blue blooms. But if you choose to grow motherwort, remember it is in the mint family and can spread out of control before you know it. To avoid an unexpected take over, simply cut the blooms before the seeds ripen. Dry the flowers and leaves to make tea. It's a little bitter, but nothing a little honey can't handle.
Another common name for motherwort is lion's tail because it blooms in a way that resembles a hairy tuft on a long stem. Motherwort tea is especially useful during times of transition. It has a long history of use post partum to stimulate the uterus and reduce excessive bleeding. It is a galactagogue which means it stimulates milk flow...a definite bonus for new moms trying to breast feed. And it's action on the blood vessels reduces nervous tension brought on by the demands of caring for a newborn...another common problem during the transition to motherhood. Because motherwort is a uterine stimulant it is excellent for PMS relief. And at the other end of the spectrum, motherwort helps regulate hormonal changes surrounding menopause that cause hot flashes, sleep disturbances and other unwanted symptoms. Motherwort, or lion's tail is said to help a woman find her inner lioness at all stages of life. Grace under pressure. What a gift this little herb is! And so much better than any yellow pill.