a day of mothering: motherwort
i didn’t know anything about motherwort the first time i tried it. motherwort is not one of those flashy herbs that ‘they’ promise is the next cure all. don’t get me wrong, it’s an herb you can find in whole foods or your local health food store. but it’s never been one of those herbs that is supposed to cure cancer, relieve migraines or add 20 years to your life.
that’s probably because motherwort is most closely associated to women’s health. it does a lot of good things for things like menstrual cramping and PMS and helping with cramps after giving birth.
but even more so, it is a ‘comforting’ herb. one that helps a lot with heavy anxiety and whirling brain. but most of all, it helps with a broken heart. from herbalist susun weed:
In addition to its health-promoting effects on the uterus, motherwort heals the heart. It is, in fact, one of the world’s best heart tonics. Its name means “lion hearted” or “strong hearted.” Daily use helps new blood vessels grow to the heart. I call it “a bypass in a bottle.” (Yes, motherwort increases vascularization to the uterus as well, so daily–but not occasional–use is contra-indicated for women with endometriosis or fibroids.) A dose of 10-20 drops, taken several times a day, can lower blood pressure, improve heart action, and strengthen electrical activity in the heart.
New research showing that the heart has the same memory cells found in the brain may lead us to another use of motherwort: to help relieve heartache, especially from childhood injuries. Let motherwort ease your bad memories and open you to more joy. Try 5-10 drops before meditating and see what happens.
i am lucky enough to be in a place where motherwort grows prolifically. so i’ve seen motherwort out relaxing in the sun, been able to gather her fresh. and there’s a certain line of thinking in herbalism that some herbs sort of ‘look like’ or ‘mimic’ the area of the body it works best at healing or the action it takes on the body. you can definitely see this principle at work with motherwort. It is a lovely flower that you can’t mess with–there are prickers all over the flower area that hurt when you touch and get imbedded in your skin if you grab too hard. our boundaries are important, and if somebody grabs too hard, it’s ok to prick them till they leave you alone. they’ll know next time to treat you more respectfully and with more care.
a lesson we could all learn, one that we hopefully learn from motherwort as she helps us to heal from trauma and pain.