Motherwort: Healing the Anxious Heart and Mind

by John on February 15, 2009

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.


Uses

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.

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  • Mel

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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

  • Mel

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

  • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

    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.
    Denise

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

    Hi,
    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?

    Thanks

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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.

  • Sstephie36

    Can motherwort be taken with xanax?

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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.

        • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

          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.

  • Freshdesignsk

    Hello

    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?

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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 .

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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 !!

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

    Hello,

    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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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!

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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,
      Kathy

  • Jlsellers

    It helps calm me down and feel more peaceful.

  • Eloem

    Where can I purchase the Motherwort?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarrhaj Sarrha Johnson

    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.
    -Katrina

    • 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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      Thanks so much for writing, Tom. I love this idea! You are correct about being able to scientifically prove the calming effect of honey, but energetic medicine cannot often be clinically proven. Thanks for keeping the bee population http://www.redrootmountain.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?paged=3#comments-formgrowing and well tended. We take those little creatures for granted! Warm wishes, Kathy

  • 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?

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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?
    Thanks
    Chris

  • 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 .

  • betzy

    Dos anyone know if this pills works for menstrual cramps?

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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!

        • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

          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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com/ Kathy Eich

      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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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

  • 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.

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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!

      • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

        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

  • 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

    • http://www.redrootmountain.com Kathy

      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

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