I find myself toe-tapping Mother Nature to hurry up already and bring us new growth and warmer weather. However, Mother Nature is doing her job (just not as quickly as we would like)! Here, I find Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) doing quite well even with the cold.
This is one particular herb that has come to me in my dreams. I never understood the implications until I met Pam Montgomery at the New England Women's Herb Conference. You could say I was just getting into herbalism and this was all new to me. She introduced me to a different way of connecting to the plants. I realized that Motherwort was reaching out to me in a way that I would understand. I dreamed that I was harvesting Motherwort across the street. It was the correct time of year to harvest the plant and I was doing it happily in my dream. When I woke up, I realized I still needed to harvest this plant and it was the perfect time to do so. I set out that morning with my alcohol, mason jar, and pruners and was able to get a nice tincture going. A few hours later, I looked out the window to see all of the plants (including Motherwort) being mowed down. It's a good thing I listened to the dream and the plant! There have been other dreams with this herb; as well as, other plants throughout the years. I try to write them down in a journal upon waking.
Motherwort has been an ally for me personally as a relaxing nervine and regulator of the reproductive and endocrine system. I find this herb to be beneficial for grief, depression, and any energetic imbalance of the heart. It is also considered to be an excellent heart tonic especially with palpitations. It is cooling and drying as most nervines are and can be especially drying to an already dried constitution. In this case, I would use smaller doses or combine it with a moistening herb. It is very bitter and acrid so an infusion is difficult to get down sometimes. I prefer the tincture and suggest adding the drops to a small glass of water.
Harvesting of Motherwort is usually done around August when the blooms are showing. I trim the herb including flower, leaves, and stem into my jar and fill it. Just be sure to have gloves because the flower spikes can be vicious! After filling the jar, I pour 100 proof vodka to the top and cap it off. I will label it and then let it sit for 3 weeks shaking it once daily. Strain and bottle the tincture afterwards (don't forget to label). I recommend up to 40 drops three times daily or 6ml a day if needed.
Soon, we will see other familiar herbs beginning to bloom. In another week or two the Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Wild geraniums, violets, bloodroot, toothworts, and spring beauties will be announcing Spring with bells and whistles! Keep your eyes peeled and enjoy the sight! It means warmer weather on the horizon!!