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Motherwort - leonurus cardiaca - inflorescense

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca

In this monograph we are going to look at a plant that is not native to the Netherlands, but has been happily living here since at least the 7th century. I am talking about motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca. With its pink lipped flowers, this plant looks great in any ornamental garden. However, it has much more to offer than just beauty.

Medicinal properties of motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort’s Dutch name hartgespan means as much as heart strain. This name helps us to remember this plant’s main use against a wide range of heart complaints. Leonurus cardiaca calms the heart and strengthens heart function.
But it can do more. This plant operates against nervousness and anxiety. Since ancient times, motherwort has been used during childbirth, to strengthen contractions and to help the delivery progress rapidly. And that is not all. You will find much more in this monograph.

Magical properties of Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort’s main magical properties have much in common with its medicinal properties. It is suitable for magic that aims to strengthen something or someone. This plant’s association with the king of beasts, the lion, might therefore not only be related to the shape of this plant. It gives lion’s courage to all who need it.

Botanical description Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort is a strong plant that easily reaches a meter in height, sometimes even 1.5 metre. It stands on a powerful rhizome with a square, hollow, hairy stem on top. The stems are purple in colour, stand upright and are leafed from top to bottom. The plant is strongly branched.
The leaves are arranged decussately. They are hairy, dark green on top and greyish on their undersides. The shape of the leaves differs depending on their position on the plant. At the bottom of the plant, the leaves are palmatifid with five to seven lobes. At the top they are tripinnatifid and elongated.
The labiate flowers are light pink to pink and appear in whorls around the middle and upper part of the stem. The flower is two-lipped – with a short lower lip – and hairy. After flowering, a four-chambered schizocarp appears containing four achenes.

Interesting facts

Motherwort is popular with bees and bumblebees. Another reason to put this plant in your garden!
Siberian motherwort, Leonurus sibericus, also has healing powers. However, motherwort is more powerful.
You can dye textiles with this plant which will create an olive-green colour.
According to an ancient Chinese legend, motherwort can ensure you will live to an extremely high age.

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