Meet Motherwort – Leonurus cardiaca, or Heart of the Lion.
She is a tenacious plant, often a bit thuggish in the herb garden and she can easily take over an area with little regard for what else wants to grow there.
She stands incredibly erect and tall, she has stems so square that you can easily feel the corners under your fingers as you touch them. Her seed pods are prickly and often hurt my hands as I process her – but of course – she is Motherwort and she is protecting her progeny!
If you look closely you will see the very distinct and almost rigid pattern of two leaves opposite, and the next two leaves alternate, making a cross shape when you look at it from above. This very definite rhythm gave the old herbalists the signature that this plant would regulate – and indeed she does. As you might guess from her name, she regulates the heartbeat. All those skippy beats be they from adrenaline and stress, or even from thyroid disturbance and sometimes (under supervision of course) from a cardiovascular complaint.
Not only does she regulate the heart, but she can also regulate your periods bringing everything back into line and on time.
She’s also the most wonderful nervine – calming you down, making you feel more grounded, less ragged, less raw. Giving structure where everything feels like it’s falling apart. In fact probably what most busy mothers need from time to time – hence her name. She will protect you fiercely if you need her to. Which is why I don’t mind her bullish behaviour in the garden – we all need someone bossy enough to fight our corner sometimes.