Historically, the motherwort herb was used during childbirth to facilitate contractions as well as calm the mother during labor, giving it its common name of motherwort. A perennial herb, its medicinal uses include easing heart palpitations, menstrual disorders, menopausal discomfort, and as a mild sedative. All but the root of the plant is used for making tea, tinctures or decoctions. Always consult your physician or healer about use of herbal remedies.
Use dried leaves to make motherwort tea. Place 1 to 2 tsp. of dried leaves, slightly crumbled, in an 8 ounce cup. Pour boiling water over the leaves, and let cool 10 minutes. The leaves infuse the water, making the tea.
Use a mesh tea strainer, and pour the infusion into another cup. Discard the used leaves.
Use the tea for easing heart palpitations due to anxiety, or as a sedative to ease menstrual cramping. Do not administer motherwort if the menstrual bleeding is overly heavy, because the herb causes an increase in flow.
Use the leaves, stems, and flowers of motherwort to make a tincture. Roughly chop enough fresh motherwort to loosely fill a sterilized quart jar; do not stuff the jar.
Pour enough alcohol, such as vodka, over the fresh herb to fill the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headroom at the top. Do not use rubbing alcohol or other nonconsumable alcohol. Use apple cider vinegar to make the tincture if alcohol is not an option.
Put a fitted, sterilized lid on the jar, and place the tincture in a cool, dark place. Gently shake once a day. Add more alcohol or vinegar when necessary, as the plant is soaking up the liquid.
After six weeks, strain the contents. Discard the plant matter, and store the tincture in a sterilized jar in a cool, dark place.
Use the motherwort tincture for controlling high blood pressure, quick relief of heart palpitations or hot flashes from menopause, or onset of anxiety. Place 10 drops of the tincture in a glass of water or juice and drink quickly. The tincture is concentrated, so do not use more than three times within a day. For control of high blood pressure, the tincture may be taken up to three months.
Use the stems, seeds, flowers, and leaves to make a decoction of motherwort. For every ounce of plant material, use one cup of water. Place water in a deep pot, and bring to a boil. Add the motherwort, and allow the water to come back to a boil. Boil for five minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, and cover it. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes; this is called steeping. Strain the mixture, and discard the plant matter. Allow the decoction to cool. Store in a sterilized jar, and use within two weeks.
Use the decoction as a tea for menstrual discomfort or to ease anxiety. Dilute a small amount of the decoction with clean water, and use as eyewash to relieve conjunctivitis, to reduce puffy eyes, or to ease eye strain.