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    how to harvest motherwort

    Once picked, you can simply boil the kettle and steep the fresh flower tops for 5 – 10 minutes. Strain and store in an airtight container in a cool dark location. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. The uppermost leaves are oblong with one pair of coarse teeth. Harvesting Guidelines Harvest when in full bloom in mid-late summer. Lucky for me, motherwort is happy to grow most anywhere. This medicinal herb has a reputation for reducing anxiety, feelings of restlessness, and stress. When identifying Motherwort look for the classic square stem of all mint plants. Leonurus cardiaca or motherwort is usually harvested at the end of June. Once the plant is mature, it can ... Fertilizing. According to Maria Noel Groves in her book “Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care,” available on Amazon, it is looked upon as a remedy for those who are feeling overworked, on edge, or underappreciated. 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In a separate jar, mix three parts food grade vegetable glycerin with one part water and shake to combine. Because motherwort is so bitter, most herbalists prefer to use it as a tincture rather than a tea. Distinguishing Features. Motherwort, Leonorus cardiaca, is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and has their characteristic square stems and opposite leaves though, unlike most other mints, the leaves are deeply toothed and cut into three pointed segments. Since motherwort grows quickly and spreads via rhizomes, established plants can easily be dug up, divided, and relocated in new areas of the garden. It seemed to be calling my name. The flower stalks can be a bit prickly. If harvesting motherwort yourself, consider using gloves – it can be quite spiky! How to Care for Motherwort. Motherwort’s Latin botanical name is Leonurus cardiaca: lion hearted. To make a motherwort glycerite, fill a jar about half full with dried herb or two-thirds full with fresh motherwort. Be aware that it also self-seeds like a champion, so do not allow it to reseed unless the entire area is given over to this lovely herb. Motherwort is used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety.It is also used for the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (), and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism).. Pour enough alcohol, such as vodka, over the fresh herb to fill the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headroom at the top. Herbal vinegar can be used in cooking, and it has the additional advantageous properties of the vinegar itself, which can be useful for aiding digestion and remedying other issues. It should stay fresh for one to two years. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Historically, the herb has been associated with longevity. Water young plants every few days, until they are well established. Once the herb has laid roots, continued growth of the motherwort colony is guaranteed, and then some! Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 10 days, checking regularly for moisture and spritzing lightly if the mix becomes dry. If you do choose to drink motherwort tea, I recommend combining it with other more pleasant herbs like lemon balm or peppermint, to mask the flavor. A spiky, weedy, clumping perennial herb that can reach up to five feet tall, motherwort is often found growing wild, especially in wet areas such as floodplains and riverbanks, or along streams. Please consult a medical professional before taking any medicinal herbs. If you are excited about growing motherwort, check out these other easy to grow medicinal herbs next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Motherwort does well with only a foot between plants and will form a dense mound or row when planted together. Motherwort’s botanical name Leonurus cardiaca means “lionhearted.” This may be related to the plant’s reputation for bringing strength during times of emotional stress. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings are also curable with this herb. Tell us your stories in the comments below! This will show you how to harvest Motherwort and put up a tincture. Motherwort blooms from mid to late summer and can be harvested anytime. A dehydrator set to low heat can also be used to dry your harvest more quickly. Temporarily out of stock Don’t forget your gloves and pruning shears! Motherwort Is A Natural Sedative. Last warning, motherwort herb is a prolific and unbridled easy-to-grow plant with a propensity to take over the garden – so gardener beware. Motherwort is easy to grow from seed or transplants, or by division. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. I use the stem only on the upper portions of the plant, where it is fairly small and supple. Motherwort is a vigorous grower, and care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t spread more than desired. Supports Female Reproductive Health. Harvesting Motherwort and Parts Used. The flowers grow in whorls that alternate up the stem with the leaves. Harvest the leaves and the entire flower stalk with clippers when the flowers are in full bloom, anywhere from late June into August, being sure to leave enough flower … The Farmer's Garden wants to build community, one tomato at a time. You can treat leaves with a solution of soapy water to get rid of the mites. It should keep for several years in your pantry if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. Motherwort also may correct heart palpitations that sometimes accompany thyroid disease and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). More commonly, this herb is made into a tincture or herbal glycerite, or infused in vinegar. This herb has many great medicinal values and is truly undervalued in the world of plants. This way, there is no need to cold stratify your seeds first, as the cold winter weather will take care of this process for you in most growing zones. The plant produces clusters of pink to purple flowers that rise along prickly sepals, blooming from midsummer through early fall. Cover it up with soil until the hole is filled in and water well. A versatile herb ally, Motherwort’s medicinal properties include easing stress, calming the heart, supporting women’s health, and more. While it is helpful to keep this herb watered well while it is young, once established, it is hardy and drought tolerant. It reduces period irregularities and eases cramps. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, spread the rhizome out and gently place it in the hole. We had 200 grams of motherwort so a 1:2 dilution would mean we need 400mls of everclear. Division of Plants. Step Three: Weigh in grams (For this we had 200 grams) Step Four: Measure alcohol in mls. If you can’t prepare this product at home, then you can purchase the motherwort tincture from the healthy food stores. 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It does not like excessive heat and can't grow in Florida. The process of making herbal infused vinegar is very similar to what you would do to create a tincture or glycerite. Broadcast seeds in late spring and cover with a very thin 1/8-inch layer of soil. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! Cover with your vinegar of choice; I recommend unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. It also spreads via an extensive root system, and roots should be divided each season to prevent a garden takeover! She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Motherwort flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. Leaves and flowers in bowl. Siberian Motherwort is a legal substitute for marijuana. To make your own motherwort tincture, follow these four easy steps: Harvest the top third of the plant including the buds and flowers and connecting leaves and stems. Harvest the aerial parts—leaves, flowers, and stems can be used. Motherwort has long been used medicinally in many different traditions. At this stage in the plant’s growth cycle, the plant has put out lots of leafy growth. It has a history of being used to reduce stress during childbirth, postpartum depression, and menopause symptoms, as well as helping to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of PMS. If starting from seed or transplants, it is necessary to cold stratify seeds for a few weeks prior to planting. Let this sit for 4 to 6 weeks in a dark cupboard, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. The name shows how It has obviously been used to help with women’s problems, perhaps most notably for pain in the womb from menstrual disorders. However, you might want to allow for another 6-12 inches between motherwort and other plants so that it doesn’t crowd its neighbors. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Learn how to grow, harvest, and utilize this purple-flowered member of the mint family. It was morning, after the dew had evaporated. If not, stratify the seeds for 10 days. Our gardening blog provides helpful gardening advice to both novice and experienced gardeners. On the lower portions, I remove the leaves … Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. For use as dried herb, harvest on a dry, sunny day before mid-afternoon. Harvesting. Motherwort is an upright prickly bush that can grow tall and wide. Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort 300 seeds $3.50. Motherwort Uses. Here is more about what we do. Step One: Gather plant material Our motherwort harvest. Disclosure. It is also utilized as a nervous system support, specifically to reduce anxiety, irritability, and panic attacks, especially when stress is associated with heart palpitations. Flowers. Remove divided roots from the garden to compost, or pot up and give them to friends. Whether you are using fresh or dried motherwort, it should be chopped, crushed, or ground into small pieces. Motherwort herb growing will occur and steadily increase with seed broadcasting. Growing your own vegetables, herbs, fruit, berries and flowers is very rewarding. Motherwort heals menstruation as well as menopause. The botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca also comes from the greek. So happy and calm not possessive at all. Motherwort Benefits 1. There isn't enough reliable information to know if motherwort is safe to use when breast-feeding. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. The harvest is clearly fresher and better stored. All the local townspeople got their daily drinking water from that spring and all of t… When to harvest motherwort Considered a weed by some, you won’t find cultivated varieties available for purchase. Tip: To hide the bitter taste, you can dilute doses of tincture in tea or water before consuming. Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. Cut and collect the top third of the stems, including the leaves, flowers, and buds. Ready to learn how to grow your own crop at home, for visual interest, to attract pollinators, and to make your own herbal medicine? It is harvested when it is in full flower and often tinctured while fresh. Reduce the chances of it getting away from you by cutting back to 3-5 inches after flowering, but before those seeds mature. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Once I learned to recognize it, I realized it had been lurking around my garden all along! Read more about combating powdery mildew here. The flowers are extremely useful in preparing the amazing and beneficial tincture. The product comes in a resealable container, just like all of the other products they sell. You can also choose to sow seeds directly in the garden in late fall. In Nicholas Culpeper’s book “The Complete Herbal,” published in 1653, he describes motherwort as an herb “to strengthen [the heart] and make a merry, cheerful, blithe soul” and says, “it makes women joyful mothers of children, and settles their wombs as they should be, therefore we call it Motherwort.”. When I began my studies as an herbalist, I was immediately drawn to wanting to learn more about motherwort. Do not use motherwort during pregnancy. Pour the liquid mixture over the herb, filling the jar. Dosage: Motherwort herb tincture: 2-4 mL three times a day This is simply a measure to trick seeds into thinking that they have just experienced winter and the time has come to sprout. Don't leave much to go to seed, as it will take over a garden. Fill a jar halfway with dried herb or three-fourths full with fresh. It is a natural weed alternative and has been used for hundreds of years ceremonially. The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. Plant them out in a garden bed amended with compost once seedlings have reached 4-6 inches tall. Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. I am excited to make use of my abundant motherwort supply this year. I called it the opium den for bees because they were crazy about it! Let the jar sit in the pantry for a month, shaking daily. The Farmer's Garden is an online place to learn how to garden. A great bee forage plant, include motherwort in areas where you want to. With a name that means ‘mother’s herb,’ it’s no surprise that motherwort is a very supportive herb for mothers and female health in general. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. Space plants 2-3 feet apart. Leon=lion, ouros=tail and kardiacarefers to the heart. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. Here are 6 of the major benefits of motherwort. The flower spike is also thought to bear resemblance to a lion’s tail. Here in Zone 7b, we often have a harvest in … Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. This use continued and spread and gave the herb its common name. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu. Motherwort also self sows easily. Sometimes, white powdery fungus can develop on the plant foliage, hindering plant growth and vigor. You can reduce instances of this disease by pruning overcrowded areas to increase air circulation, and avoid overwatering. Just add 2 tablespoons of a mild biodegradable liquid soap to a gallon of water, and spray off the undersides of the leaves to remove the mites. This is a bold name, bestowed in part due to the plant’s resemblance to a … The final product should look very dark and have a bitter taste. Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks. In ancient China, it was thought to promote longevity. Seek the advice of a clinical herbalist for proper dosing. Motherwort is an herb that has been used for thousands of years by those looking to reap its potential health benefits, particularly those related to heart health and anxiety. This herb likely originated in central and northern Asia, spreading to western Europe by sometime around the 17th century. Also saying it is “held to be of much use for the trembling of the heart,” he claims this is where the name cardiaca derives from. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. The pinky flowers appear in whorls around the stem and the calyxes are very prickly so beware when harvesting! In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American practitioners of Eclectic medicine used it to treat nervous conditions and to improve female reproductive health. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family, and similar to many of its minty relatives, it is a vigorous grower that can sometimes be considered invasive. One unique feature of motherwort is that it grows well in any type of light. I brought the motherwort into the kitchen and sort of pinched off the tips and leaves into smaller segments and stuffed them into a clean quart jar, not jam-packed, just full. Strain out the solids, and keep in a cool, dark, dry spot. Strong and robust, calming and supportive, it is certainly a plant worth knowing how to grow and use. Motherwort is useful for headache, insomnia, and vertigo. Place a lid on the jar, preferably a nonreactive plastic lid, as vinegar will corrode metal. For now, feel free to continue reading. The plant’s botanical name, Leonurus cardiac, means “lion hearted” and is thought to relate to either the flower spike’s resemblance to a lion’s tail or the plant's traditional use as a cardiac tonic.Motherwort’s common and botanical names combine to provide wonderful clues to its healing properties. Plants can be put in by either hand or by transplanter. Do you have experience growing or using motherwort? Strictly Medicinal Seeds is a good source for both the plants and the seeds. Motherwort Medicine. The glycerite will keep for one to two years. It likes full sun and gets 2-5 ft tall. To avoid unwanted spread, try growing it in containers or raised beds. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. First, read the instructions on purchased seed packets to see if they have been previously cold stratified for planting. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, … Use the leaves, stems, and flowers of motherwort to make a tincture. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. You can plant it wherever you have room, whether your chosen location is in full sun or bathed in shade. Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top. After you plant the motherwort in your garden, water the plants every 2-3 days until they grow larger. Though motherwort is a hardy perennial that is rarely harmed by pests or disease, there are still a couple of problems to watch out for. In recent years, it has been studied as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism. This is a great option if you prefer to avoid alcohol, and it has the added benefit of a sweeter taste. Ready to harvest in 60 days, but can provide a second harvest and will come back the following year. According to Daniel E. Moerman in his book “Native American Ethnobotany,” Native American tribes including the Delaware, Micmac, Mohegan, Shinnecock, and Oklahoma people used an infusion of motherwort as a uterine tonic for women, and it was used by the Cherokee and Iroquois people as a digestive and nervous system support. 2. Divide in spring or fall during dormancy. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Space at 12-15 inches in the row with row spacing at 240-30 inches. The stalks, flowers, and leaves of motherwort are typically harvested during full bloom in mid to late summer (Foster, 1993; Grieve, 1931). Motherwort Tincture can be made from fresh flowering tops and leaves, which can be harvested 2-3 times from midsummer to frost. This keeps the plant from going to seed and spreading everywhere. Once the seeds are prepped, they can be sown directly into the garden. I worked a few years at a Chinese restaurant and one of my favorite customers gave me a plant for my garden. To prevent self seeding, cut foliage back to 3-5 inches after flowering and before the seeds have a chance to mature. But I had never grown motherwort before, and truthfully, I didn’t have any idea what it looked like, how to harvest it, or how to use it at home. It also has sent up flower stalks but the flower buds are still young. To dry, hang bundles of stems in a dark, airy location, or lay them on a screen in a dark, dry room. Hardy to Zones 3 to 8, otherwise grown as an annual. In 17th century Europe it was used for heart palpitations, difficult labor, and promoting menstruation. The lower leaves have five cleft lobes with coarse teeth, and leaves with three lobes grow higher on the stem. In vitro studies have demonstrated its ability to have an effect on cardiac function, though further research is needed. To cold stratify seeds, soak for 12-24 hours and then put them in a plastic bag filled with sand and peat. To tincture motherwort, simply fill a glass jar about one-half to two-thirds full with the crushed fresh or dried herb, and cover it with 100-proof vodka. Motherwort was first used by the Greeks to soothe the anxiety of pregnant women. For centuries, this bitter-tasting herb has been used by mothers, and it was a very common medicine prescribed by midwives. Step Two: Remove leaves and flowers. Motherwort grows strong and tall and she could use a bit of space as she will extend additional shoots up throughout the season. The herb increases the blood flow to the pelvic area. This herb is best consumed or tinctured while it’s fresh, but the flowers and leaves can also be dried for later use. A glycerite tincture is very similar to an alcohol-based tincture, except food grade vegetable glycerine is used to make it instead of vodka. The ideal time to harvest motherwort is in early to midsummer, just as the plant is beginning to flower. I usually harvest motherwort in late spring or early summer. You may also be able to purchase seeds or plants from local nurseries or farms that specialize in medicinal herbs. Motherwort is categorically a mint that has a very bitter taste. ABC Herbal Medicine This is a special course for the aspiring herbalist who would like to have me "by your side" teaching you how to identify, harvest, and buy 52 healing herbs. But you can also harvest the large, soft leaves in the pre-flowering stage. An old legend states that there was once a town whose spring ran through a patch of Motherwort. Motherwort is a plant. It is sometimes used to relieve asthma, bronchitis, and other lung problems, usually mixed with mullein and other lung herbs. Definitely a must have if you are looking for a gift for your pollinators. Believed to have been brought to North America in the 19th century by colonists, and has now naturalized widely throughout the continent. In rare instances, spider mites can damage the leaves of the plant. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. It Relieves Menstrual Cramps. Motherwort has long been used in herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant, and it attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden. Start cold stratified seeds in flats a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. Roughly chop enough fresh motherwort to loosely fill a sterilized quart jar; do not stuff the jar. Watering. You will notice that the leaves suddenly seem to look thin and brown, and you will have to wait until next season to harvest more. How to take the motherwort tincture Even better, it is also very rarely affected by pests or disease. Perhaps the easiest way to acquire motherwort is to find a patch already growing in your yard or a friend’s yard, and cut some divisions. Cover with a tight lid and set aside in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily to agitate the mixture. Use caution when harvesting this prickly herb, the flowers arise from sharp clusters that can puncture the skin. This tends to happen during prolonged periods of drought. See our TOS for more details. Learn how to make an Herbal Extract out of Motherwort! Germany’s Commission E, an official government agency similar to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that focuses specifically on herbal treatments, has authorized use of motherwort as a treatment for anxiety-induced rapid heartbeat and for hyperthyroidism. High quantities can cause nausea and taking motherwort may have an adverse interaction with other medications. To make any of these infusions, begin by preparing the herb. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. General growing info Top . Once your motherwort has dried fully, which should take no more than a few hours, remove the leaves and flowers from the stems, and store them in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dark pantry. Since the flowering stage is considered the best time to harvest the plant to make a tincture, I’m ready to go with my snippers and 100 proof vodka. It is also a common weed along roadsides and in neglected gardens. A dearth of well-designed human studies documenting its safe and effective use means we still lack sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims. Once the herb has finished flowering, it quickly loses its vitality. (If harvesting motherwort yourself, you may wish to wear gloves as the leaves can be spiky.) Like alcohol, glycerin is a useful medium that may be used to extract and preserve the active chemical compounds of herbs. It self-sows readily where it is happy. Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. Preliminary research suggests that it can bind to TSH receptors, and prevent the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to the active form T3, essentially slowing down thyroid function. Motherwort should be harvested when in full bloom. This hardy perennial can grow in many different conditions, but for best results, look for a spot with well draining soil, and amend beds or containers with compost before planting. It also has a unique leaf structure. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. It is also adaptable to most soil types, though moist, rich soil with a slightly alkaline pH of 7.7 is ideal. They should take about a week to sprout, and strong seedlings can be thinned to 2-3 feet apart. If powdery mildew develops, remove infected parts of the plant and destroy them. Trimming. Hang in small bundles or spread out on a screen in a warm, dry place. Motherwort has an interesting range of historical indications. Groves says motherwort pairs well with lemon balm, another herb indicated for hyperthyroidism, particularly in an herbal formula for treating Graves’ disease. Motherwort can be brewed as a tea for medicinal purposes, but its intense bitterness makes this a less than pleasant option. You can read more about dividing perennials here.

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