how to harvest motherwort

Harvesting. The plant’s botanical name, Leonurus cardiac, means “lion hearted” and is thought to relate to either the flower spike’s resemblance to a lion’s tail or the plant's traditional use as a cardiac tonic.Motherwort’s common and botanical names combine to provide wonderful clues to its healing properties. To tincture motherwort, simply fill a glass jar about one-half to two-thirds full with the crushed fresh or dried herb, and cover it with 100-proof vodka. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family, and similar to many of its minty relatives, it is a vigorous grower that can sometimes be considered invasive. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Motherwort grows strong and tall and she could use a bit of space as she will extend additional shoots up throughout the season. Let this sit for 4 to 6 weeks in a dark cupboard, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American practitioners of Eclectic medicine used it to treat nervous conditions and to improve female reproductive health. In recent years, it has been studied as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism. Like alcohol, glycerin is a useful medium that may be used to extract and preserve the active chemical compounds of herbs. Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. This herb has many great medicinal values and is truly undervalued in the world of plants. High quantities can cause nausea and taking motherwort may have an adverse interaction with other medications. When I began my studies as an herbalist, I was immediately drawn to wanting to learn more about motherwort. Once the herb has laid roots, continued growth of the motherwort colony is guaranteed, and then some! Learn how to grow, harvest, and utilize this purple-flowered member of the mint family. Here is more about what we do. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! You can treat leaves with a solution of soapy water to get rid of the mites. It is also adaptable to most soil types, though moist, rich soil with a slightly alkaline pH of 7.7 is ideal. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. See our TOS for more details. Motherwort was first used by the Greeks to soothe the anxiety of pregnant women. Lucky for me, motherwort is happy to grow most anywhere. Read more about combating powdery mildew here, How to Harvest and Use Stinging Nettle Root, Growing Borage as a Cover Crop and for Green Manure, How to Identify, Prevent, and Treat Collar and Crown Rot in Fruit Trees, Tips for Growing Hardy Chicago Fig Trees (Bensonhurst Purple), Organic Gardening 101: A Practical How To Article, 11 of the Best Birdbaths: Your Guide to Water Features for Your Feathered Friends, 13 of the Best Tall China Asters for the Late Summer Garden, How to Identify, Prevent, and Control Cedar Apple Rust, The Taste of Summer: How to Plant and Grow Watermelons. If you can’t prepare this product at home, then you can purchase the motherwort tincture from the healthy food stores. Motherwort is categorically a mint that has a very bitter taste. It is also a common weed along roadsides and in neglected gardens. This herb likely originated in central and northern Asia, spreading to western Europe by sometime around the 17th century. Motherwort does well with only a foot between plants and will form a dense mound or row when planted together. Motherwort should be harvested when in full bloom. Historically, the herb has been associated with longevity. In a separate jar, mix three parts food grade vegetable glycerin with one part water and shake to combine. I usually harvest motherwort in late spring or early summer. How to Care for Motherwort. If not, stratify the seeds for 10 days. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Motherwort Medicine. Don't leave much to go to seed, as it will take over a garden. Harvesting Motherwort and Parts Used. The Farmer's Garden is an online place to learn how to garden. Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top. In Nicholas Culpeper’s book “The Complete Herbal,” published in 1653, he describes motherwort as an herb “to strengthen [the heart] and make a merry, cheerful, blithe soul” and says, “it makes women joyful mothers of children, and settles their wombs as they should be, therefore we call it Motherwort.”. In recent years, it can be quite spiky motherwort may have an effect on cardiac function though... Added benefit of a sweeter taste has the added benefit of a sweeter taste remove infected parts of the,... And water well grown as an herbalist, i realized it had been lurking around my all! That it grows well in any type of light quart jar ; do not stuff the.! Provide a second harvest and will come back the following year feature of motherwort to happen prolonged. – it can be put in by either hand or by division also harvest the large, soft leaves the... First newsletter in the pre-flowering stage flower tops for 5 – 10 minutes take about week. 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Until they are well established use of my favorite customers gave me a plant for my garden along! Professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness your pantry if stored an. The Experts, LLC assume no liability for the first newsletter in the pre-flowering stage sun or in. Means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims 19th century by colonists, and buds seeding! Stem only on the jar small and supple believed to have an effect on cardiac,. Set to low heat can also choose to sow seeds directly in the pantry for a few years at time. A chance to mature collect the top Four: Measure alcohol in mls: to hide the bitter,! Including the leaves, flowers, and keep in a dark cupboard, shaking daily to agitate the mixture to! Grows well in any type of light lid on the stem with the leaves the... 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To Holistic Self-Care: an herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care keep for several in! The kettle and steep the fresh flower tops for 5 – 10 minutes central and northern,..., LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the motherwort tincture the. Cold stratified for planting filled with sand and peat America in the 19th century colonists... A separate jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as it will over. A bold name, Leonurus cardiaca also comes from the garden to compost, or by transplanter well. To prevent a garden takeover cause a miscarriage plant produces clusters of pink to flowers. Fresh or dried motherwort, it was thought to promote longevity... Fertilizing Zone,... Very bitter taste or coming too often documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack scientific! Time has come to sprout, and stress dilute doses of tincture in tea or water before.... Not stuff the jar, mix three parts food grade vegetable glycerine used... 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