Whether grappling with Frankenstorms, a major life transition or the day-to-day grind, we could all use a little anxiety relief now and then. Motherwort is an excellent herb for soothing the nervous system and heart—helping to regulate palpitations and high blood pressure while easing stress. It has many other benefits too. Symptoms of PMS, menopause, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue are reduced as well. Known as a longevity herb in China, motherwort has a broad range of useful applications.
An infusion of lightness and calm
Maude Greives, a master herbalist, once remarked that there is "no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart" than motherwort. The ancient Greeks agreed and frequently used this "mother's herb" to reduce anxiety and calm the heart. Motherwort quiets and balances the nervous system—easing spasm and lifting the mood. Nervousness and irritability along with multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue and neuralgia all respond well to motherwort. Use a small dosage if energy is needed during the day or a higher amount as a sedative to promote restful sleep.
Curtail cardiovascular complaints
Beyond soothing the nervous system, motherwort is an excellent heart tonic—alleviating high blood pressure and arrhythmia. Motherwort contains the alkaloid leonine—a mild vasodilator. This compound relaxes smooth muscle, helping to regulate heart rhythm and minimize palpitations. Motherwort is also a diuretic, effectively reducing water retention and lowering blood pressure. Chinese research has shown that the use of motherwort assists in lowering blood lipid levels as well, further contributing to a healthy cardiovascular system. In traditional Chinese medicine, motherwort is considered one of the premier herbs for strengthening the heart and promoting longevity.
A mother's herb for women
Motherwort is especially beneficial for women. Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause are softened with this herb. It relaxes uterine cramping and regulates the menses. It calms irritability associated with PMS too. Motherwort also quiets anxiety and the hormonal shifts that accompany menopause. Childbirth and new mothering can be tempered by motherwort as well. When used as a "mother's cordial" during the final four weeks of pregnancy, motherwort diminishes anxiety and cramping during the birthing process. However, do not use motherwort early in pregnancy as it encourages miscarriage. Postpartum, motherwort lifts the spirit and promotes tranquility.
There is no need to fret and worry nor suffer heart complaints or severe hormonal fluctuations. With motherwort, this classic herb gently takes the edge off these concerns while infusing life with a dash of lightness and joy.
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