Making motherwort tincture
Open up a Wise Woman medicine chest and chances are, you will find motherwort tincture.
Easy to grow in a garden, motherwort often finds her way into the paths and new beds. She is is in the mint family—relax, though, she’s not like peppermint. Motherwort spreads by seed, and not by creeping roots.
Like all plants in the mint family, motherwort has square stems, opposite leaves and double lipped flowers. Motherwort's leaves, though, are maple shaped. And unlike most other mints, Motherwort is not aromatic and is quite bitter to the taste—some say it tastes like chocolate!
Botanically motherwort is known as Leonurus cardiaca which translates to lion-hearted! She is well known as an ally for the heart and circulatory system.
Motherwort is also indicated for three common health issues for women: menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and hormonal related mood swings. A fast acting tonic and calmative, she can be used in acute situations. Motherwort offers a bit of Mom’s shoulder to lean on—even 20-30 drops usually takes the edge and intensity off within a half hour.
Note that one of the actions that allows motherwort to support women with menstrual cramps is that motherwort increases blood flow to the uterus. Therefore, motherwort is contraindicated for menopausal women with very heavy bleeding or flooding.
Making motherwort tincture
Like most mints, the optimum window for peak potency is in the early flowering stage. In the Blue Ridge mountains that is usually in May.
To make your own motherwort tincture, follow these four easy steps:
- Harvest the top third of the plant including the buds and flowers and connecting leaves and stems.
- Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top.
- Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks.
- Strain out the plant material and the tincture will be almost black.
Now you have your bottle of motherwort to stock your medicine chest!
More on herbs for women of all ages and stages
If you'd like to read more about my four favorite herbs for women's health, see my blog article Herbs for Women of All Ages and Stages. This in depth article includes motherwort as well as nettles, vitex, and comfrey–for all stages of a woman's life from menarche through menopause.
Wondering about how and when to make herbal tinctures, infusions, vinegars, salves or oils? Get the scoop with my concise Wise Woman Medicine Making Chart as a clear reference for the why's and how's of using and making herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, salves, and oils.
Corinna Wood, seasoned teacher and mentor along the wise woman path–from herbs to self love
"I was initiated into the Wise Woman Tradition at the tender age of 22, by Susun Weed and a beloved patch of nettles. Today, I support women with inner growth and healing tools to ground you in your own innate wisdom, needs and desires. My teachings on heart and soul healing draw on earth wisdom of our foremothers––the shoulders on which we stand––to navigate the challenges we face as women in the world today."