29 April 2013

Motherwort Helps Move Stagnant Energy

From the perspective of Chinese medicine tension, stress and irritability are said to be due to stagnant Liver Qi (energy). This can be due to problems with work, dysfunctional relationships, lack of exercise, withdrawal from Qi-moving herbs or drugs like tobacco, alcohol or marijuana, or genetic predisposition.

For women during premenstrual time Liver Qi often stagnates with hormonal fluctuation. The treatment is always to move stagnant Liver Qi. This can be done with exercise, practicing breathing exercises, acupuncture treatment or herbs. In extreme situations a change of job or end to a problem relationship may be required to restore the flow of healthy Liver Qi.

My favorite herb for moving stagnant Liver Qi and mental energy and calming irritability and anger is Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca.

Motherwort is exceptionally helpful for balancing emotional issues in women such as anxiety or irritability, whether related to PMS or menopause. It also helps smooth the menstrual flow for uterine cramping. For heavy bleeding or pregnancy this herb should be avoided.


Men can also benefit from Motherwort. I have had good results when giving this herb to both men and women under acute emotional stress. Above is a picture of one of my Motherwort plants from this winter season.

Motherwort needs partial shade. In hot climates such as Central Florida, it needs to be grown as a Winter annual. Harvest the leaves and flowers when the plant is in full bloom. Motherwort is a very bitter herb and it is easiest to take in tincture form.

You can grow Motherwort and easily make your own tincture from fresh or dry herb.

Simpler's Method for Tincturing with fresh herbs:

Chop fresh herbs coarsely and pack into a clean glass jar.

Add 80-100 proof plain Vodka or Brandy to cover the herbs completely.

Screw on the lid, label, and shake once a day.

Strain after 2-6 weeks, allow to settle, decant through filter paper.

Store in a dark glass dropper bottle. The dosage for adults is 1-2 dropperful.

Cory Trusty is a soap maker, community herbalist, organic gardener, and homeschooling mom to two girls. Cory and her family live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cory's background is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biology.  She is sharing tried and true natural home remedies and mini lessons from herbal classes that she teaches. Cory works full time making soaps, shampoo bars, herbal salves, flaxseed heat packs and more for her website AquarianBath. Read more from Cory at the Aquarian Bath blog. Cory is also a Food and Gardening writer for EcoEtsy and has published in The Essential Herbal Magazine and on the Herb Companion Blog. Connect with Cory on TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus and Pinterest.