≡ Menu

Motherwort: Healing the Anxious Heart and Mind

by Kathy Eich

Though anxiety does not define who we are, it can certainly feel like it. Anxiety can cause one to feel as if they are powerless. When powerless, many emotions flare, from fear to shame. Our hearts become stressed. And regardless of the situation, there is an element of failure and loss involved.

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca, does much to calm the excess of energy which courses through the heart and nervous system. It is a great healer that spreads joy and calm to those who seek it. While motherwort is often considered an herb for women, men can find benefit in using it as well for maladies of the nervous system and heart triggered by stress.

Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca, (Chinese form: L. sibiricus; L. heterophyllus) is native to Europe and Asia. Colonists introduced motherwort to North America, and it has naturalized here quite easily. It is in the mint family, and has a square stem. Its roots are quite hardy, and if it goes to seed it spreads voraciously.

The Greeks gave Motherwort to pregnant women suffering from anxiety; hence the name “mothers herb” or “mother wort”. Leonurus is of the Greek leon, for lion, and ouros, for tail. The plant in flower was seen to resemble the tail of a lion. Cardiaca refers to heart, for it has, through history, found notoriety as a heart tonic.


Afflictions of the heart and nervous system find rest with motherwort. History tells us that it is considered to be a cardio tonic as well as nervine tonic. Maude Greives tells us that there is “no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart.” Due to the presence of the chemical alkaloid leonurine, a mild vasodilator, motherwort acts as an anti-spasmodic to relax smooth muscles, one of those muscles being the heart. Chinese studies have also found motherwort to decrease clotting and the level of fat in the blood. That it can, in its calming nature, slow heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat. Motherwort has a mildly diuretic affect, also aiding high blood pressure. But it is important to note that while motherwort can be helpful in instances of high blood pressure, it is most appropriately effective when high blood pressure is a symptom of excess stress and anxiety.

The effects this plant has on the nervous system are profound. There is nothing subtle in the way that it works. As motherwort “gladdens the heart,” it relaxes the nervous system resulting in an elevated mood, relief of nervous debility and spasm. Higher doses of tincture can act as a sedative to improve sleep, while smaller doses during the day can give energy by balancing and backing off the typically anxious nature of the user. I have used motherwort with illnesses such as MS, chronic fatigue, neuralgia and other afflictions where nerves are compromised. It benefits the spine greatly. And while its stalk of flowers has been compared to rhythm of the heart, or of the menstrual cycle, I recognize that it closely resembles the spine, further indicating it as an excellent nervine tonic.

Hyperthyroidism benefits greatly from motherwort. I explain to my clients who deal with it that the thyroid is how we metabolize. That it affects not only what food we ingest, but how our nervous system and our senses (how we hear, see, touch, taste, smell) process information. While I have seen articles on motherwort indicate that it decreases thyroid function, this is not how the plant functions. It brings to balance and alleviates symptoms associated with a hyperactive thyroid. Those symptoms being heart palpitations, anxiety, sleeplessness, and in some cases depressed appetite, for it is a bitter that stimulates digestion. It is, however, contraindicated for those with hypothyroidism. Though, in certain cases and in low doses in a formula, I have used it successfully when this condition is present for menopause.

Which brings us to issues of a feminine nature. Motherwort inherits its most used common name from the application of use as a plant for pregnancy, birth, motherhood and menopause. Motherwort’s use in pregnancy is specific; since it is an emmenagogue, it puts the pregnancy in danger of termination. It is the alkaloids in motherwort that stimulate this action. But the alkaloids are alcohol soluble, not water-soluble. Therefore, it is safe to say that while the tincture of motherwort, both alcohol and glycerin, are contraindicated during pregnancy, one can safely use the tea while pregnant for anxiety. Note, however, that it will not be very effective for high blood pressure during pregnancy, for it is the alkaloids that facilitate this action as well. The tincture is typically used in a “Mothers Cordial” during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy in preparation for the birth. Motherwort will lesson cramping and anxiety during the birth process. It is used to aid the birthing of the placenta, for easing the anxiety of learning the motherly role postpartum, and lifting the spirits. It can aggravate heavy bleeding, so if you are prone, use it sparingly. It is used with great benefit throughout motherhood in easing the stress of children cycling through difficult phases as well.

PMS is a great venue for motherwort. Women who tend to have menses that come on slowly, and have other symptoms during PMS such as anxiety, digestive disturbances, nervousness and cramps will benefit from motherwort. It also has a mildly diuretic affect, as noted in the cardio tonic paragraph.

Menopause, just like motherhood, is another transitional point for women. I have had great success using motherwort in combination with other plants to ease the anxiety and hormonal shifts associated with hot flashes. In some cases I combined motherwort with kava, black cohosh and bugleweed with great success. Transitions can be traumatic. And this plant can ease much of the anxiety associated with trauma.

There are other things this plant has been witnessed to aid. It has been found useful for fever where there is delirium and sleeplessness. As an antispasmodic, it has been used for rheumatism, and for lung afflictions such as asthma and bronchitis, though I have not used it for such. I have used it successfully for intestinal spasms when in a pinch. The bitter nature of the plant also lends itself well to digestive ills, though these are secondary actions.

The strength of this plant lies in many areas of the body. An important lesson is that motherwort shows us how many things are affected by our emotional response to stress.

There is a process to working with stress and anxiety, instead of it working against us. Anxiety points out what can be perceived as weakness. But I encourage the concept that anxiety can be a tool that assists us in learning something about ourselves, a tool to encourage us to move to a more functional emotional and physical place. Dealing with it makes us stronger. I believe it comes to help us realize that we need to listen to our heart, and realize what we truly desire out of life. And motherwort can bring the stillness to allow us to hear more clearly.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mel

    Good article on motherwort, but I am confused as to why you have a picture shown of yarrow. Thanks for the info.

    • Thanks so much. And yes, the pics on there have refused to coordinate well. I also don't have many up. But hopefully I'll work on it-or have my husband do it-sometime in the near future. Best wishes. And thanks again. Kathy

      Sent from my iPod

      • jackie

        hi,ive been reading this thread after doing a search for motherwort,ive been having palpitations on and off since i was around 37,and perimenapausal,i have used quiet life tablets with some success as i read up on motherwort,they have 34mg of motherwort with various other things inc valerian ect,im now 53 and i have developed panic attacks with the palpitations,and believe i have health anxiety,ive ordered some motherwort capsuals and valerian tablets,also some vervain,but have no idea in what quantitys to take them for my condition,to get me throu till i resolve it throu therapy ,i would realy appreciate some advice,thankyou so much

        • Hello, Thank you for writing. I’ll email you so that we can connect that way. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • Mel

    Good article on motherwort, but I am confused as to why you have a picture shown of yarrow. Thanks for the info.

  • Thanks so much. And yes, the pics on there have refused to coordinate well. I also don't have many up. But hopefully I'll work on it-or have my husband do it-sometime in the near future. Best wishes. And thanks again. Kathy

    Sent from my iPod

  • Denise0918

    Hi I have been taking motherwort for about a month for anxiety and rapid heart. I have Mitral valve prolapse syndrome and experience panic and anxiety. My question is I realize that I should not take a beta blocker with Motherwort, but I would like to try and was wondering how long I hae to wait for the motherwort to be out of my system. Thanks.

    • Hi Denise,

      Thanks for writing. Good question. Herbs are hydrophilic, and so are eliminated through fluid transport as opposed to storing in fat cells. I'm not sure how much you were taking, but I'd recommed letting it pass on about a week. Best to you, Kathy

      Sent from my iPod

  • Hifi95

    Can you take Mother wort with beta blockers?I have had to health professionals tell me different answers?Thank you

    • Well, I would live to say there is a straight answer here, but it truly depends on the person. I’ve had some clients take moderate to low doses successfully with beta blockers and others that it didn’t go well with. You could always try a lie dose of motherwort (about 10-15 drops) with your medication for a week or so to test it. Be conscious of adverse reactions. Plant medicines are hydrophilic and eliminate from the body fairly quickly if you need to stop the motherwort. I hope this helps. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • Amylea4111

    can i take this before a driving lesson

  • Burtie

    I get tachycardia from anxiety and suffer from absent periods due to low oestrogen, brought on by stress. The pill doesn’t agree with me…
    How does motherwort regulate periods?


    • Hum, good question. It normalizes heart rhythm, blood pressure and is anti-anxiety, but not so much as having literal effects on hormonal levels. It combines well with plants that balance hormones, though. And it may be a good one for you with those. I hope you find a good practitioner to work with. Warmly, Kathy

  • Joshuadove8

    I have hyperthyroid with main side effects of a pulse ranging anywhere between 90 – 11o.
    I have been told to take, lemon grass, bugleweed and motherwort, 1:2:2: ratio 5 grams, 3 times per day does this sound sufficient. Any further direction please. Thank you.

    • Hello, and thanks for writing. I have used this combination multiple times for folks with hyperthyroid with great success. It is an excellent one, and I hope it does the trick for you.

    • marloe

      Hi there. I just stumbled across this and wanted to check with you on the lemon grass??? Would this be by any change lemon balm instead of lemon grass??? I was hyperthyroid for 15 years, it was sub clinical. TSH was almost non existent. Herbalist gave me a tincture, that contained bugleweed. That really helped a lot, but had to stop taking it after some time. Then ended up working with a homeopathic doctor to stabilize and strengthen my body.

  • Sstephie36

    Can motherwort be taken with xanax?

    • Hello Stephanie,

      I appreciate your question.  You are commenting on the most read article I have ever written.  I do wish there was a straight answer to your question.  This depends on the person.  I have worked with people on xanax who were weaning from other anti-anxiety drugs.  We often used motherwort in a formula with hawthorn and/or skullcap, for example.  There are times when it does work nicely, and times when there is a reaction.  I also always work in tandem with their doctors, keeping track of progress and setbacks.  It’s important to keep in touch with your doc and a trained alternative health professional to trouble shoot things you might try, especially if one has been on a drug for a long period of time or is on a higher dose.
      My answer is it depends on the person.

      I hope this helps, and allows some food for thought if nothing else.

      Best wishes in your search,  Kathy

      • Brenda Nelson

        I used to be on Zanax (as Alprazolam which I took only 1/2 to 1 tablet a few times a week) and then I noticed I was developing some unusual- for- me symptoms. chest pain,  fluttering in my chest; raised blood sugar levels to borderline diabetic; raised alk-phos (liver distress), constipation. I went to the drug companies website and sure enough, all of these were possible side effects of the drug. I got off it and retested a few months later–back to normal!

      • Brenda Nelson

        Also, since Zanax can cause a racing heart and motherwort can ease that it would be a clash in the body. I got off of Zanax cold turkey. I would suggest you get off it as quickly as your intuition suggests is possible and use Motherwort for a while until you feel better. I habve alos found Louise Hays book “Heal Your Body” tremendously helpful in terms of discovering the mental cause behind things like anxiety and illnesses.. Once you have found the mental cause you will heal. We live in a culture that accepts a lot of stress as normal. I don’t accept it anymore. If I start to feel bad. I stop and change directions. Toward thoughts and actions that make me feel better. Not to cover up the negative feelings. But to look at them as messages from my wiser self as to some important change in attitude I need to make.

        • Thanks for your comments.  Everyone weans from drugs differently.  Some cold turkey, and some over the course of a year or more.  Due respect need be given to each person and their process. It can be a dangerous one for some.  And as to motherwort being a substitute for Zanex, motherwort is a tonic that helps restore balance over time to the heart and nervous system.  Tonics remind our body how to do something, but aren’t the pill that does it for us.  Some people can successfully wean from Zanex using motherwort, while others cannot.  It depends on the person. Is motherwort a cure for anxiety? No.  But  it does slow and re-balance our natural reactive force, helping us realize that we have time to take a breath and step back in order to change our mind about a situation and not be ruled by our emotions. But the plant can’t do the work alone.  It needs someone to be conscious of choice, and supports the person in mustering the will to keep trying a different way. I tell my clients that anxiety is power.  And as I put it at the end of the article, it is also a tool for growth and learning many things about ourselves.
          The stress response has always been our bodies mechanism for survival.  It will always be with us. Learning to manage it is work and time well spent.  I talk a little about stress and anxiety in these articles. http://www.redrootmountain.com/relieving-stress-part-i-nervine-tonics-for-a-new-year/277, and http://www.redrootmountain.com/relieving-stress-part-ii-solutions-for-a-new-year/289
          Thanks for sharing your story.

          • Chris

            Hi Kathy! I have made 2 trips to the ER with a fast heart rate and palpitations. I was told that my potassium was low 3.1 and he called my heart rate tachychardia because it was so high.. The dr. recommended I take 10mg. of propranolol. I have been taking this medicine for 9 days. My last dose was 10 hours ago. Is it safe for me to try motherwort with this drug. I prefer not to take it if I don’t have to.

          • Hi Chris, Thanks for writing. No. I would not take motherwort with your drug. I get calls from people who do mix propranolol with motherwort and their symptoms worsen. You may be one of the lucky ones who can do it. But I wouldn’t risk it. I recommend figuring out which you choose, herbs or less. Then, find a good herbal practitioner in your area who has experience in this area to work witj if you choose herbs. Here are a few general things to try- up your potassium and magnesium, less sugar and, if necessary, caffeine, oatstraw tea, determine if your condition is emotionally triggered. While your potassium is low, and it may be the cause, the nervous system and adrenals can be a part of the problem, too. Steer clear of stimulating adaptogens, like the ginsengs. Be sure your herbalist understands the nervous system, and works with nervine tonics and nutritive plants to start, and addresses things specific to you, not just your malady. Good luck.

  • Freshdesignsk


    I have anxiety before and during my menstrual cycle. Have been trying homeopathic remedies like Sepia, Natrum Muriaticum, etc. I am not not sure they are doing much and read about Motherwort. Is this a safe herbal remedy to take for anxiety? It gets quite bad for about 5 days. I pace, I sweat ( my extremities) I tingle, feel spacy and light headed, sometimes I palpitate, feel like I always need to be moving, feel like I’m vibrating inside. I am a single mom going through a marital breakup and I find it scary to be alone and tryin to mother while this is going on. Once I fall asleep I sleep fine but have fear and a hard time convincing myself I’m safe and nothing bad is going to happen before I fall asleep. I have small moments of anxiety outside my menstrual cycle but nothing like what happens during my cycle. Can you suggest anything?

    • Hi.  Thanks for writing.  It sounds like you are going through a lot.  And it’s my responsibility to let you know that seeing a trained herbalist one on one is best.  They can recommend something specific to you.  BUT, being a trained herbalist, I can also give some general advice.  Because while herbs have certain affinities for people, they also do for specific dysfunction and organ systems.  General advice, not specific for you, is what I’ll address.
      What you are feeling is normal, no question about it.  And it’s okay to have these feelings as long as you feel capable of keeping yourself and your child from harm.
      Yes, motherwort is an excellent plant for anxiety.  It’s safe, but it’s use should be monitored if you are taking blood pressure meds or anti-depressants.  It is effective, and I like to use it with passionflower when fear of death is present.  I recommend equal parts of each.  I would begin with a dose of 10 drops of each plant in tincture form 3 times a day.  At bedtime, take 30 drops of each.  Also, when you feel like you are going to jump out of your skin, I recommend 30 drops of each during the day to help you level out.
      Lower doses are great as well. And I highly recommend them.  If you respond positively to the plants at these doses, then try lowering them.  Lower doses mean fewer resources used-saves plants, time and money.
      Other plants to consider with motherwort: hawthorn and skullcap and holy basil.
      Also look into taking a few lemongrass baths a week.  That is an amazing plant for anxiety with palpitations, and is quite harmonizing.
      You will re-balance with time.  Divorce is difficult.  Give yourself a year.  My best to you,  Kathy

  • Castellon65

    Only to say thank you for your explanation of Motherwort .

    • You are very welcome.  And thank you for reading.  It’s good to know our plants.

  • Sarrhajohnson

    Hi, my name is Sarrha and I have been taking Hawthornberry heart syrup , cayenne extract, motherwort extract and ginger extracts 4 blood pressure and heart palpitations . Is this a good combination 4 my condition or what wud you suggest ? Kathy plz answer asap I really need your expertise !!

    • Oh my.  I would love to help, but don’t quit know enough.  How long have you been on the formula?  If long enough to see results, are you seeing positive ones? Has anything changed for the worse? My opinion, in the most general sense, is that the formula is good for cold blood and sluggish circulation with nervousness.  Cayenne is also used for blood coagulation and can stimulate the nervous system slightly, as well as the respiratory tract.  Ginger is wonderful for thinning and warming blood, helps with fat digestion, and is a circulatory stimulant.  The hawthorn is a fabulous tonic for most everyone, as it strengthens the heart muscle to perform better whether low or high blood pressure is the case, or the rhythm is off. With cold blood conditions it is best used with warming agents, as you have coupled it with. Motherwort is specific for anxiety with heart conditions and palpitations, but you know about motherwort. I don’t know the intricacies of your condition, but it sounds like nervousness may be a contributing factor.  My questions would reflect figuring out if you are of a warm-hot constitution, or a cold constitution.  That would take some evaluation.  Look at your circulation.  Is it poor or good?  Is your tongue bluish or quite red and flaming? The latter is a hot constitution, and means you would not stand to gain from taking the ginger and cayenne.  I hope this helps.  Best, Kathy

  • Beemawr


    I’m a 25 year old white male and possible Hyperthyroid patient.  I have been dealing with a lot of stress, anxiety and panic symptoms for a while now.  Last year I got checked out at the local ER for heart palpitations and was sent home after having been told that all my tests (EKG, chest x-ray, blood, urine, etc.) came back normal – thankfully.  Anyway, while some of my symptomatic responses have lessened and improved, others have kept on and maybe even worsened.

    I experience symptoms such as:
    generalized anxiety, daily panic, feeling warm (esp. in face), irritability, mood swings, minor hair loss, muscle aches/soreness, frequent defecation and urination, heat intolerance, insomnia, etc.

    Two things that I’ve thought have contributed to the onset or prolonging of this are habitual.  They are masturbation and excessive use of the computer.

    What got me back to thinking about my thyroid gland is that I recently went to a local chiropractor who ordered the tests the ER ran last year.  My TSH showed 0.81, “the low end of normal.”  So he wants me to get more tests to get the hormones checked out.

    Can you please suggest something?  I want a natural approach.  I’m not interested in the conventional medical routes available.  Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that I’m located just outside of Chicago.

    Please e-mail me if possible: beemawr (at) gmail (dot) com

    Many thanks in advance.

  • AW

    I am a 46 year old male who suffers from severe anxiety.  I have recently have had bouts with artial fibrillation which has increased my anxiety.   After a recent ER visit I was put on Toporal XL and an aspirin regimen. 

    I was told about Motherwart and the fact that it might help with the suffering that I experience on a daily basis.  Psychologically, this has become bery difficult for me and I need help and advise.  I am wiling to do anything to alleviate this anxiety in my life.

    If you can please email me at awatts333 at aol dot com I will be forever grateful.

    • I will send you an email.  Thanks for writing in.  Warm wishes, Kathy

    • Gene

      GABA – buy from WHOLE FOOD STORE, the brand ,,Solgar,, 500 mg. its realy work……

  • Jeremy Riesenfeld, L.Ac.

    Hi Kathy,

    I’m an acupuncturist in Washington DC, and recently ran across Urban Moonshine’s Joy Tonic, where motherwort is the main ingredient.  Not knowing anything about it, I googled it and this article came up.  I immediately thought that it could benefit a few of my patients, and am looking forward to recommending it.  I’d like to post this article on my blog in full – at dc-acupuncture.com.  Please let me know if you’d be OK with that.  Thanks again!

    • Hello!

      Thank you so much for asking.  You are more than welcome to post this on your blog. It would be great to hear your experience with the plant once you begin using it more.  One thing I have found, is that kids who tend toward anxiety don’t always respond well to motherwort. In some, it makes them more angry.
      Also, grownups that begin to feel calmer from taking the plant become tired at first, which stresses them out.  After a few weeks of use, however, their energy re-balances, and they begin to have a more even energy during the day, with fewer ups and downs.
      I like to begin with small doses of 1:2 fresh plant tincture.  Small being 5-10 drops 4-6 times a day. Other plants formulate well with motherwort, but seeing that you are an acupuncturist, you may have plants you work with that are not Western.
      Thanks again for asking, and for writing. I always enjoy a good note from another professional. Warm wishes,

      • Signify

        Very good to see you respond to the acupuncturist. No matter how benign in effects, it’s not a good idea to google-treat, especially if you are in a profession where people have your trust. I hope the acupuncturist understands that while herbs have been used for healing since the beginning, that it takes knowledge and skill, and the same kind of overall physical and emotional assessment as with any other approach. Again, thank you for responding to that comment.

  • Jlsellers

    It helps calm me down and feel more peaceful.

  • Eloem

    Where can I purchase the Motherwort?

  • Hi Kathy , I still have the heart palpations , but I have another problem which is gallstones and I need some info on how 2 dissolve them , plz help u can also e-mail me @ Sarrhajohnson@Yahoo.com I wud appreciate it tu.

  • Treen

    HI Kathy, I am hesitant to talk about my symptoms here, for all to see, but am very interested in talking with you after reading all of the communication here. I am hopeful that you may be able to provide me with some advice on taking control over my anxiety, stress and basically my life. I would appreciate it if you could email me so we can communication personally. My email is katrinajohndro@yahoo.com.
    Thank you in advance and I hope to talk with you soon.

    • GENE

      1. GABA – buy from WHOLE FOOD STORE, the brand ,,Solgar,, 500 mg. its realy work…..
      2. liqud QUNOL CoQ10 – from COSTCO
      3.HAWTHORN .
      4. PASSION flower.
      All this staff realy help me . I GET OUT FROM MEDICATION…

  • LovinHerbs

    Motherwort can be grown easily–it spreads rapidly. Growing your own will save money.

    • It certainly does, and certainly can! Thanks for your comment.

  • Tania

    Motherwort and breastfeeding? What i your opinion?
    Thanks ahead!

  • Tom Bombadil

    Kathy, I came across your article when I was researching motherwort, but for a totally unmedical reason. I cleared a patch of ground last summer — about 20 x 20 feet — and a thick growth of motherwort came up this spring. Because it looks weedy, and is growing near our driveway, I was going to remove it. However, when it came into full flower, I noticed that bees (and I am a beekeeper) really love the blossoms. So I’m hoping that the honey our bees make from the flowers’ pollen and nectar will have a mildly calming effect. Scientifically, this may be hard to prove as bees typically gather pollen and nectar from a variety of sources. But who knows? And for overall health benefits, any excuse to eat honey, as long as it’s locally produced and unpasteurized, is worthy a try! Meanwhile, thanks for all you do to help so many scared and suffering people.

  • Deer

    Hi Kathy, I just made a tincture of motherwort with vodka. I snipped the mother wort and put in a jar with tight lid. It will sit for 6 weeks. Now, I would much prefer to use glycerine. Will it work just as well? Alcohol is a poison. Although I only take like 1/4 tsp/day. How would I use glycerine? Same as vodka?

    • Hello!  Thanks for your question.  I have 2 things on that.  I’m not big on taking all that alcohol either.  There is a way to evaporate most all of it off.  Put your drops of tincture in a cup, add about 1 tsp of hot water to the tincture.  It takes about a min. for the alcohol to evaporate.  I’ve used this method for recovering addicts, and people with high liver enzymes.  It works great. Making a glycerin tincture is more involved.  Measure your alcohol tincture, put it in a double boiler. With water in the bottom pot, and the tincture in the top.  Add an amount of glycerin equal to that of the tincture, put the pot on low, and wait for the alcohol to evaporate.  The glycerin will become the medicine carrier. It takes a while, and the pot must be watched! Good luck.

  • Chris

    Hi Kathy
    I am 61 and have palpitations (missed beats). I have seen my Doctor, but there is evidently not much danger and no treatment; however they are tiring when they occur. I was recommended motherwort tea by a herbalist, but I need to clarify the dose. I have been putting 1 teaspoonful of tea to a mug & using up to 3x per day (just begun so no effect as yet). Would it be more helpful to use the tincture?

  • Lynn

    Kathy, you say you have used mother wort successfully in low doses for people with hypothyroid. Can you give me an idea of the dose? I’m 57 .

    • Right wing

      I would like to know that, too. Thanks!

  • betzy

    Dos anyone know if this pills works for menstrual cramps?

    • Hello! Thanks got your comment. I don’t recommend capsules. Often, the herbs are not fresh enough. Go with a plant tincture. And know, too, if motherwort doesn’t work for you, there are other things that will. Skullcap and blue vervain are two others. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • Billy

    My name is Billy.
    I take a blood pressure medication called amlopidine 10 mg.
    I am under a lot of stress as a Federal Police Officer and I notice sometimes I have a rapid heart rate of 90 to 95.
    I was also taking lorazepam 1 mg 3 x a day.
    I just purchased Motherwort to help lower my blood pressure and lower my heart rate.
    Can I take Motherwort with my medication.
    Also I take a natural sleeping aid with I can’t sleep.
    Is all this safe
    Please email me at billythomas2425@yahoo.com

    • Hi Billy. I’ll email you tomorrow with the specifics to your question. Thank you for writing! Warm wishes, Kathy

  • Daniela Circonciso

    Hi Kathy: Thanks so much for this information. I plan to purchase the plant tincture. I often get what seems to be anxiety induced spasms or tics that come and go around my left eye. Mostly during PMS. Do you know of any other homeopathic remedies that would help, or is motherwart a good option? Thanks again for your insight.

    • Hi Daniela,

      You asked a great question. It can be helpful, but there are other plants that more specifically take care of tics and tremors of the Autonomic Nervous System. Skullcap is one. It is an excellent and harmonious fit with motherwort. Take both as plant tinctures, using 5-10 drops of each, 3 times daily. You can raise or lower the dosage from there as needed. Allow several weeks (or post PMS) before judging the effects.
      Warm wishes, Kathy

      • Daniela Circonciso

        Hi Kathy: I just wanted to follow up and offer a sincere heart-felt THANK YOU. I’ve been using the Motherwart tincture for 2 weeks now (still waiting for skullcap to arrive). I must say that this herb has had amazing effects. In the past I have used passionflower & valerian and while they relieved panic & anxiety in the moment, none were very long lasting. Motherwart feels very different. I feel an overall sense of calm & wellbeing, as if it’s time released. Even when I have anxiety, its not as overwhelming. I only wish I would have discovered this herb 2 years ago. I’m hoping it will help with fertility and menstruation, but I wonder if its safe when trying for a baby/pregnancy? Any knowledge on that? I’m 35, my husband is 41 and we’ve had one miscarriage 2 months ago (blighted ovum) after an IUI. No specific fertility issues found. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

        • Dear Daniela, That is wonderful news! I’m so glad to hear that motherwort is acting as a true tonic for you. I look forward to more updates after you add the skullcap. In short, what you are feeling is exactly as you should. I love feedback, and thank you for it. On your other question, motherwort is an emmenagogue. That means that is will induce menstruation, and is contraindicated in pregnancy until the final 4 weeks. The upside is, you are taking a low dose, 5-10 drops 3 times daily, and you will probably be fine until you get pregnant. Most practitioners recommend 35-45 drops 3-4 times daily. My motto is find the lowest therapeutic dose possible- it saves resources. This works our advantage with most contraindications. I have had other clients successfully use this plant until they got pregnant on the low dose. It stabilizes mood, which is essential during change. Thanks for writing, and keeping me posted. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • Mamalionuk

    What do you advise to help ease the separation anxiety in an 8 month old? I am returning to as little work as possible, but still enough to warrant my bub being in daycare. Can you give motherwort to a baby? I want to ease his fears and endless crying. Thank you

    • Hello! Thanks for writing. It’s understandable that you’d like to calm and ease your baby. Motherwort isn’t the plant for it, though. But I’ll give you a couple of other options. 1. Lavender essential oil. Add 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub his/her feet with it. 2. If crying from digestive issues and/or teething, use chamomile with catnip tincture. Add 2 drops of each to a teaspoon of hot water. Let it cool, than use a syringe to give the herbs by mouth 2-3 times daily. Give these things a few weeks to work. Good luck. I recommend trying the lavender first!

  • Heaseba

    Hi Kathy
    I have serious issues with menopause. My only real symptom is hot flashes, but they are constant and intense… please email me. I need advice from an Herbalist who really IS one..hmsebald@hotmail.com

    • Hello, and thanks for writing. Hot flashes, eh? I will email you sometime next week. I’m catching up with clients and classes after the holidays. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • stephanie

    can u take motherwort with st johns wort? i have pvc’s, bad anxiety, fibromyalgia, and cfs…was wondering what mixture woul be best. i heard of grapeseed oil for fibromyalgia, but i dont know how to use it.. aslo i have the herb in plant form, how do i dose that for a tea.. ty

    • Hello! You can take motherwort with St. Johns wort. And they are an excellent nervine tonic and antianxiety combo. I would actually use the tinctures of both plants if you are interested in taking them, and begin with very low doses, about 1-3 drops of each 2-3 times daily. You may also look into a plant called blue vervain. St. Johns wort is excellent for the nerve pain that accompanies fibromyalgia, but is contraindicated if you are on immune suppressing drugs. Warm wishes to you on your healing journey.

  • Shelly

    Hello Kathy I am a long time anxiety sufferer who is now having hypnic jerks and rapid heart rate when trying to fall asleep. This has now caused massive insomnia. I went to gp and he put me on a beta blocker atenolol and muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine in which I have been on for almost 2 weeks and have not had much relief of symptoms. Today I have another appt to see the gp to be put on anxiety meds. I came across your website and saw mother wort, what can I take to relieve anxiety and insomnia? I am willing to try alternative meds but have no clue the best herbs for me and dosage

    • Hello. Thanks for writing, and I’m sorry to hear about your insomnia. It is unnerving. The herbs that you may need do not combine well with beta blockers. So you will need to be off the drugs for about a week before trying herbs. I hope others see this comment, too. Because this is a comment that doesn’t get made enough. Now, onto herbs that can help. Motherwort is an excellent plant to try. But an even more specific one for you is skullcap. Skullcap calms tics, tremors and jerks in the body. These jerks come from the Autonomic Nervous System. Skullcap is an ANS anti-spasmodic. It will take a couple of weeks to work, so patience is key. Begin in this dosage range, 10-15 drops 2-4 times daily. Another plant to consider is passionflower. It is more sedative, and has the same action skullcap does. You will find it helpful at bedtime. Take 20 drops 30 min. before bed with your 10 drops of skullcap. I’m saying drops because I recommend you use a tincture. Tea would be fine too, drinking 3 cups of skullcap daily. Tea before bed is not a good idea, though, because it will make you have to use the bathroom. On brands- order the tinctures from Herbalist and Alchemist. I haven’t found the skullcap tincture from Herb Pharm to be effective. I will also email you my reply. Warm wishes, Kathy

    • Signify

      You posted one year ago. I wonder at a doctor who would have you take a beta blocker continuously for anxiety. I hope that you now have a different physician, and that the anxiety is at levels you can cope with.

      • sharon

        Actually, a mild beta blocker daily, along with (as needed) Clonazepam is recommended by books I’ve read by PHDs., and I’m living proof that it works wonders. My cariologists have kept me on it, because it works- esp. along with the Clonazepam (only as needed- in a panic situation or attack of arrhythmias) The beta blocker blocks some of the adrenalin that the body in its anxiety- sensitive state is in, and also slows the heart enough to keep it from racing. The beta blocker that works best for me is acebutolol, 200 mg, twice a day. (I’ve done twice a day for years) If you do a higher dosage, it can actually promote more arrhythmia problems. Every time I’ve tried to cut down, or a doctor has wanted me to stay off of it for like- a stress test– my heart goes crazy. I inherited this heart arrhythmia problem from my grandmother. It started (with both of us) in our late 20’s. I’m now in my late 50’s. If I keep away from Adrenalin inducing medicines- and some foods and (surprising) some supplements and herbs, I lead a pretty normal life. I’m female and eat healthy diet. I don’t do caffeine, except for occasional glass of tea. Motherwort has worked great for me in emergency situations- where arrhythmias have come on expectantly. I keep a bottle on my bed, and in my purse. I’m not sure all brands are created equal. I’ve used Nature’s Answer in organic alcohol for years. the yellow & red wrapper. They seemed to have changed their formula when they changed the wrapper to green and white. I’m not sure it’s the same stuff. But it is a strong formula. PLEASE get a clean bill of health from your CARDIOLOGIST before self medicating. I had lots of tests ran, and everything was good- except the electrical rhythm gets out sometime. CALM w/Calcium (powders) seems to also help on nights when i’m jittery. IT has magnesium, potassium and calcium. Dissolve in hot water, and drink. I have discovered over the years things that trigger arrhythmias in me. A few to watch out for; Himalayan pink salt- has something in it that sends it out. Also, a 1000 mg of D3 stimulates too much, as does other things. Hope this helps someone.

  • Migs

    KAthy, a 38 year old male and I suffer from Anxiety and panic attacks. almost everyday, I feel a combo of heart racing, palpitations, nervous, anxious , scared, my chest just feels so exhausted, shortness of breath, you know butterflys in my chest feeling, etc. ive been to the E.R. a hand full of times, they have checked my heart and done blood test, chest xray etc. and they say my heart is Good. my dr. is no help, he just keeps giving me Xanax, but I don’t wanna take meds for my Anxiety. The only meds I am on are Metoprolol and lisinapril. What advice can you give me? Motherwort for me? if so, how much of a dose? will it interact with my other meds? Kathy, can you please email me back at leugim510@yahoo.com Thank you Kathy and I hope to hear from you.

    • Hello, and Thanks for writing. I’m sorry to hear that your anxiety is having such a negative impact on your life. It can be frustrating to contend with. I’ll write you an email this week. But I have to say, the medications you are on do not do well with motherwort. They, in fact, don’t do well with quite a few nervine herbs. I have heard from people who have tried to take motherwort, blue vervain, and other meds to manage their nerves while on high blood pressure meds such as yourself. They often try the plant without consulting a practitioner. I hear from them when they are in dire straights, because the plants with the drugs causes their blood pressure to spike. The matrix that is formed with these drugs is complex, and plants that try to relax the heart and nervous system seem to elicit the opposite effect as the body cannot process the information from both the plants and the drugs. I’ll send an email with this information, but I want others to see it, too. There is one plant that I use to manage the nerves along with the drugs. It is milky oat tincture. It seems to work okay. Aromatherapy is another option. Warm wishes, Kathy

    • Neil Roberts

      Hey Migs, I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for almost three years and I also spent a few times in A&E (E.R) hooked up to an ECG. But as we know, there’s nothing wrong with us except it’s all in the mind. The anxiety we get is from our own thinking and the panic attack is caused by the ‘flight or fight’ reaction. All we need is a little push while we are feeling anxious and we trigger the ‘flight or fight’ mechanism and we end up in panic mode.

      There is a few things we can do to prevent this and these are what I did two years ago and I haven’t had one panic attack since – not even the odd anxiety….nothing. Without going to deeply into how I figure this out, here is what I did.

      1. Start taking magnesium supplements daily ( Google Dr Carolyn Dean on magnesium deficiency)
      2. Eat a banana and nuts, such as Brazil and Almonds.
      3. Meditate each day.
      4. Turn the damn TV off!
      5. Exercise more

      It took me around three to four weeks and I felt great and I have felt great since. I never used to drink as that would trigger me off, but now I can and do, but only once and a while.

      Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for your comment. It is always sound advice. And it’s great to hear you implemented so many lifestyle changes and were successful. Warm wishes, Kathy

      • Maggie

        I agree with turnig off TV amd meditating but to be honest most anxiety has a real physiologic cause ie: Lyme ,Mycoplasma,Bartonlella,Mold,Cardiac Disease,Food allergies COPD,and many more undiagnosed toxins or infections…so I dont think we should make people think they can control all panic as it is not usually due to their anxiety …their anxiety is usually due to an underlying inflammation and then when we are stressed it certainly gets worse .by making inflammation worse and then you keep thinking about certains things that make you more stressed…and the cycle goes on….so to all out there please do research on and know that all the other factors above contribute to making an original physiologic panic worse …so diet exercise and decreasing stressful info being pumped into our heads will all help but getting the real physiologic cause ..ie mold,infection,toxins,wheat all any many more cause the physical Sx first

  • jaina

    There are so many issues with menopause 🙁 not only do we go through the hormone issues but dry mouth, throat, when Doctors prescribe medicines and don’t realize that it can make your problems worse. I am not happy with what is happening just because of menopause and learning this by reading blogs- this one is written so good, it makes me happy 🙂 I going to try the motherwort, since nothing helps not even the natural menopause meds… thanks

    • Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate your supportive words. Menopause is tricky. And the hot flashes and emotional component are maddening, at times. Motherwort is a good one to add to a regime. You may also want to look at blue vervain (Verbena hastata), kava kava, agrimony, and black cohosh, to name just a few. And remember that it takes time. Once you begin taking a plant, expect to have to wait a few weeks to see measurable results, with even more improvement over time. I wish you the best. Warmly, Kathy

    • Signify

      Not all women experience menopause in the same way. I’d say, that it is highly individual.

  • PK

    My ND has me on motherwort and scullcap for heart palpitations. I have heart palpitations for about three days then my heart beats normal for about 4 days. She told me to take 3 dropperfuls of the motherwort/skullcap every 15 minutes until the heart palpitations cease. I could take up to 1/2 ounce at one of those times but not over 1 ounce. She said if I don’t have relief with this pattern then I have a heart functionality problem. It worked for me once but two other times it didn’t work. So knowing what she said gave me more anxiety and didn’t help my problem. I read online a naturalist doctor said that taking 1 teaspoon of half motherwort and hawthorne berry 5 times daily is what he recommended for those with heart palpitations. That seemed to work better. It seems my my heart palpitations have to run their course. The motherwort I think helped them not to be as intense. Could you email me with some advice on what I have just written about my situation.

    • Signify

      I hope your ND is not like the ND I saw who was really an allopath in disguise. Speaking of patterns, has this ND established what daily life, including eating habits, might be precipitating factors – you might well know this yourself. If I had an ND tell me that if there was no relief from the herbs, that I have a heart dysfunction, what is the time line for the herbs to work.

  • Karen

    Hello. I have atrial fibrillation, about twice a week, for about 24 hours. It makes me feel anxious, nervous, butterflies in stomach, etc which makes symptoms even worse. Although I take an anxiety medication about 2-3 times a week, I do not want to take other drugs recommended by doctor (beta blockers and blood thinners) until I investigate and try natural remedies first, one of which is motherwort tea. How often is it recommended to have motherwort tea? Is more than two times a day too much?

    • mkf

      Karen i am investigating this for afib as well…about once a week sometimes more or less and mine last now 24-42 hours. And don’t want to take the other drugs. I cannot get motherwort in my country so am ordering a tincture from america. I take hawthorne, 3 gm of taurine & a slew of other vitamins minerals etc. Best of luck to both of us ! 🙂

    • Signify

      Do you really mean “atrial fibrillation?” In any event, please don’t self-treat knowing nothing about the herbs. Take thee to an herbalist.

  • Diana Thurbon

    Hi Kathy, I am or more WAS a herbalist. I always used a combination of Hawthorn and Motherwort for people who needed a little heart help. Now I could use a little help. My thyroid got messed up with radiotherapy about 12 yrs ago. Over the years I’ve found natural extract works best because I don’t convert from T4 to T3 very well. My pulse rate is resting between 100 – 110 yikes! I am still very slightly hypo. My Dr want to try me on Beta blockers. Due to neuralgis I am on Lyrica, Effexor and Tramal. I don’t like herbal tinctures (who does) but I bought some Mothewort to try and get my heart rate down- dose for the tincture is 5-15 ml per day. I was going to take 10 ml. Then I read you said contraindicated for hypothyroid. I don’t expect a free on line consultation but I would like to know why you think anyone with hypo shouldn’t take it. I thought it might be good for me. BTW I had a fast heart rate 30 years ago and the cardiologist said I had a “neurotic” heart because my HR under load dropped from my HR at rest!! – I don’t feel neurotic but I have lived a stressfull life 73 now. Thanks for any advice or help.’Diana

  • Klara

    Lynn, she used it for hyperthyroidism not hypo.. As she says in the articles, it is contraindicated tof those with hypo.

  • Signify

    For me, hawthorn is not ideal, but taken with motherwort, seems to be far more harmonious.

  • sharon

    a mild beta blocker daily, along with (as needed) Clonazepam is recommended by books I’ve read by PHDs., and I’m living proof that it works wonders. My cariologists have kept me on it, because it works- esp. along with the Clonazepam (only as needed- in a panic situation or attack of arrhythmias) The beta blocker blocks some of the adrenalin that the body in its anxiety- sensitive state is in, and also slows the heart enough to keep it from racing. The beta blocker that works best for me is acebutolol, 200 mg, twice a day. (I’ve done twice a day for years) If you do a higher dosage, it can actually promote more arrhythmia problems. Every time I’ve tried to cut down, or a doctor has wanted me to stay off of it for like- a stress test– my heart goes crazy. I inherited this heart arrhythmia problem from my grandmother. It started (with both of us) in our late 20’s. I’m now in my late 50’s. If I keep away from Adrenalin inducing medicines- and some foods and (surprising) some supplements and herbs, I lead a pretty normal life. I’m female and eat healthy diet. I don’t do caffeine, except for occasional glass of tea. Motherwort has worked great for me in emergency situations- where arrhythmias have come on expectantly. I keep a bottle on my bed, and in my purse. I’m not sure all brands are created equal. I’ve used Nature’s Answer in organic alcohol for years. the yellow & red wrapper. They seemed to have changed their formula when they changed the wrapper to green and white. I’m not sure it’s the same stuff. But it is a strong formula. PLEASE get a clean bill of health from your CARDIOLOGIST before self medicating. I had lots of tests ran, and everything was good- except the electrical rhythm gets out sometime. CALM w/Calcium (powders) seems to also help on nights when i’m jittery. IT has magnesium, potassium and calcium. Dissolve in hot water, and drink. I have discovered over the years things that trigger arrhythmias in me. A few to watch out for; Himalayan pink salt- has something in it that sends it out. Also, a 1000 mg of D3 stimulates too much, as does other things. Hope this helps someone.

  • Bodhi

    I’m taking it for irregular heartbeats for stress it seems…a great friend passed away from cancer..also astragalus root hopefully it works…interesting enough when lying down..trying to sleep it really does a dance..ohh i’m a male 48 yrs of age.

  • jeanne

    Hi Carla,
    I have all the same issues as Mig’s but not on any beta blocker. extreme anxiety and panic. You mentioned above you found something that helped. I would live to know more. I am so tired of this. Thanks for any help.

  • Cara Smith

    Hey kathy my name is Cara I’ve hyperthyroidism and get alot of heart palpitations I’ve only recently started taking motherwort in powder form and wanted to know how long before I see any change or easing of my symptoms? My email is cara2k11@live.com.

    • Hi Cara, That’s tough too say. It’s really person dependent. I would give it at least 2-4 weeks. Other plants that would work well for with the motherwort are lemon balm and bugleweed, fyi. Warm wishes, Kathy

  • claudia

    can motherwort irritate my liver. I am taking it twice a day for hormonal balance.

    • Hello! Good question. I would not saw that it would irritate your liver, but I have known some to have loose stools from higher doses. It’s easier to manage and manipulate dose with a tincture, so I recommend those. I hope this answers your question.

  • Bobby

    What is good for anexity and panic disorder

    • Lin

      hi, my name is Linda. i am taking BLUE VERVAIN,SKULLCAP,SCHISANDRA BERRY,MOTHERS WORTH,AND SIBERIAN GINSENG. for my anxiety and panic disorder and my depression. its been a month or son and every thing has been great. i take 1 tea spoon of each to a hot cup of water and let it sit for about 10 min and strain it, then you drink it every night. my herbalist told me about it and so far so good.

  • Gregory Ladd

    Hello – Does anyone know if it would be ok to give this to my son who is 13? He has anxiety and I think he might benefit from it. I am a 47 year old male and find it very helpful both during the day and before I go to sleep.

  • Erin Day

    Thank you Kathy, I found this simple article profound and invaluable. What a truly blessed herb Motherwort is. I appreciate most your perspective on anxiety. Indeed “it comes to help us realize that we need to listen to our heart, and realize what we truly desire….”. Yes! Just took a dose of the Mother and was feeling some rare calm and peace, not to mention lack of heart irregularity. Perfect timing. I hope to work with this and other herbs soon. I need and want to know so much more. Thank you

  • Kayla

    I deal with horrible panic and anxiety. My heart races off and on daily. Been to ER 3 times for the Heart rate and have done multiple heart tests and they say that it’s just tachycardia induced from the panic and anxiety. Now my question is….my heart races a lot but my blood pressure stays within normal range. It’s never HIGH it’s pretty normal. So I see motherwort can lower blood pressure, since my blood pressure is normal it won’t lower it to danger will it? Wasn’t sure if just normalizes blood pressure or really lowers it

  • Lisa

    Hi, I’ve just read your article on motherwort and have a couple questions. I have just started having anxiety with heart palpitations the past couple months. They started while taking homeopathic remedies – the homeopath said that the remedies obviously weren’t the best remedies for me and the aggravation of the heart palps and anxiety resulted. she was not able to resolve the anxiety/palps with homeopathy and after a couple months of misery I decided I had to stop trying. I’ve just started taking motherwort yesterday, and valerian at night. I’m also on Inderal – have taken it for 8 years to slow my heart rate. I haven’t found anything to indicate there’s a problem with taking the herbs and the Inderal so I started the herbs. I’ve seen many articles on the motherwort tinctures – some say take 10-20 drops a couple times a day, some say take a dropper full 3 times. And as far as the valerian, I have it in capsules and have read that 600 mg is correct. So, my question is this, what is a good dosage to get palpitations under control, and should I lower the dosage after a while? Thanks..

  • Mwati Mwila


    I have bipolar I disorder and my mania mostly comes around my menstral cycle. I also have anxiety with my mania. I’m on medication for my mania, is it good to take this product?


    • Hello! Sorry for the delayed response. Because I’m not certain what medications you are on, it would be irresponsible of me to say. Because it sounds as if hormones, liver and perhaps kidney might be involved, you would benefit from seeing a clinical herbalist to help you with your specific issues, and find protocols that fit you and your medications. Look at the American Herbalist Guild website for a list of registered herbalists near you. And my best to you on your quest for health. Warm wishes, Kathy