Leonurus cardiaca

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-18 (EDT)

See Also Botanical Monographs

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is known as a cardiac tonic and women's health tonic. It helps to regulate the menses, it promotes blood circulation, stimulates the development of new tissues , is a diuretic and helps to reduce swelling. To explore the characteristics, medicinal uses and prescribing considerations of this herb in more detail, check out the references indicated.[1], [2]


AKA L. sibiricus in East Asia, Chinese Motherwort, yi-mu-cao


Historical Uses:

In traditional chinese medicine Motherwort was used to promote longevity and strengthen the heart.

Medicinal Uses:

  • cardiac tonic for cardiac autonomic imbalance (sedative effect similar to Valeriana spp.); palpitations (e.g., with anxiety), reduced coronary perfusion (mitigates spasm of coronary artery)
  • amenorrhea from cold, bearing down, or pelvic and lumbar uneasiness or pain; suppressed lochia
  • dysmenorrhea, PMS, women's tonic
  • used in childbirth, breastfeeding
  • Other Conditions
  • nervousness, irritability, delirium tremens, typhoid with nervous excitability, nervous debility or unrest (e.g., at menopause)

Prescribing Considerations

The information provided is intended to augment the treatment from a naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition, if you are on any prescription medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Formulations and Preparation

  • Tincture - 60-120 drops (long use required for therapeutic benefit, but his may also be due to insufficient dose used)
  • Fluid extract - 30-60 drops
  • Decoction - 60-120mL, every 1-3 hours, 2 tsp (2-4g) per cup


The safety and prescribing considerations for this herb include:[3] [4]

  • Generally regarded as safe.
  • Side-effects are generally not seen.
  • Drug-Herb Interactions rare.


  1. Boon Heather, Smith Michael (2009) 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs: The Complete Natural Medicine Guide Second Edition Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research, CCNM Toronto.
  2. Godfrey Anthony, Saunders Paul, Barlow Kerry, Gowan Matt (2011) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine, Advanced Botanical Medicine. V3 CCNM Press, Toronto.
  3. Stargrove Mitchell Bebell, Treasure Jonathan, McKee Dwight L (2008) Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.
  4. Brinker Francis (1997) Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines, 4th Edition Eclectic Medical Publications.