Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao)

Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao)

Botanical Name: Western: Leonurus cardiac. Eastern: Leonurus artemisia.

Motherwort is the plant best known for treating female disorders, hence its name “motherwort.” It treats conditions from pregnancy, to menses, to menopause. It is also famous for calming nerves and giving strength to the heart.

Below is an overview of motherwort, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of motherwort.

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Western Name: Motherwort

Also Known As: Throw-wort, Lions ear, Lion’s tail, Heartwort

Organs/Systems: Uterus, Heart, Gynocology

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Uterine tonic, primarily a cardiac tonic, nervine, emmenagogue, sedating, mild diuretic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, lowers blood pressure, emotionally broken heart, female reproductive issues especially peri-menapausal, depression/anxiety, menstral cramping, earache, insomnia, contractions in childbirth, balances hormones.


Pin Yin: Yi Mu Cao (The seed is Chong Wei Zi.)

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Heart, Liver, Bladder

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Invigorate Blood and Regulate Mensis: cramps, abdominal masses, infertility, post partum abdominal pain. Reduces masses caused by blood stasis. Promote Urnination and Reduce Swelling: acute systemic edema, especially if accompanied by blood in urine. Seeds slightly sweet and cold, break up blood and are more astringing and tonifying. Cools Liver and Brightens Eyes. Premier herb for strengthening the heart and promoting longevity.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Herbaceous perennial. Square stem with short hairs. Opposite leaves with serrated margins. Flowers appear in leaf acils on upper part of plant and have three lobed bracts. Blooms July/August and grows up to five feet tall; very little scent.

Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao) Parts Most Frequently Used: Fresh or Dried Leaves (aerial parts), Seeds

Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Very Bitter, Slightly Cold

Caution: Caution during pregnancy, as it lowers blood pressure.

History/Folklore: Named motherwort due to its strength in treating many female issues. Historically used in China to prevent pregnancy. Ancient Greeks gave it to woman to reduce anxiety. The herb’s name Lion’s Ear comes from the leaf’s lion tail shape, as well as the plant’s ability to treat the heart. There is an old tale of a town whose waters flowed through banks of motherwort which caused the residents to lived to be 130 years old.

Key Constituents:

Alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, and Vitamin A.

Member of Mint Family

Member of Mint Family

Motherwort is a member of the mint family, so it has the square stem of the other mint family plants.


Lower Lipid Levels

TCM research has shown astragalus assists in lowering blood lipid levels, aiding a healthy cardio system.

Fun fact!

Strength of Will

Motherwort is given to people to strengthen their will and sense of purpose.


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References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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