Sunday, August 9, 2015

HERB Crush: Chill Out with Motherwort

It's not often I mention an herb that isn't related to helping heal or nourish the skin. In my recent experience working with motherwort herb; however, I discovered so many new, amazing herbal interactions. I couldn't keep my findings to myself, so I just had to share.

I've recently had the pleasure of working closely with motherwort herb from wildcrafting to drying to nutritional and medicinal use; and in my opinion everything about this herb is awesome!

For the overworked, exhausted, high-energy, intense, analytical, high-strung sorta person; nature created motherwort juuuust for you. All jokes aside, it's pretty easy to get overloaded these days and over-extended (whether raising children, paying bills, running errands, dealing with the loss of a loved one... work, school, family ahhhh!!!), seems as though everyone is wearing too many hats these days.

Think about it, stress can wreak havoc on the skin causing acne, wrinkles, blotchyness, dryness or dark circles. It also exhausts internal organs, energy and body systems (but that's another blog post).

Nevertheless, when you're feeling overwhelmed, motherwort is a great herb to help check and balance stress. It's like the loving embrace that only a mother can give, hence the name.

Motherwort Herb
CREDIT: D. Gordon E. Robertson
The characteristics and its aesthetics are rather exquisite, as it's native to Asia, but now grows wild here in Michigan and throughout North America. This herb belongs to the mint family (genus) and is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine when addressing women's reproductive and heart maladies. It is not to be mistaken as a minty tasting or fragrant herb, as the tea is bitter... VEERRRRRRRRRY bitter. I mean think of the most bitter thing you've ever eaten and its probably three times more bitter. But don't let that scare you off as it's very effective. I often add a little cinnamon and/or carob powder to make it more palatable.

Motherwort also is often used to help balance adverse PMS and menopause symptoms. It can help reduce menstrual pain, ease irritability, produce blood flow (good for menstrual cycles that are a little delayed), and improve mood. It is often used when addressing heart-related issues, as it's been known to help regulate blood circulation and induce a state of calm for hypertension.

In my personal experience with the herb, I've mixed the dried leaves with just a tad bit of kava kava in tea and felt a non-sedative sense of calm, and overall mood lift.

There is so much more I could say about this herb, but I to encourage you to get to know motherwort for yourself, something tells me you'll be "glad" you did. As always, please keep learning and researching for yourself. Here's another great source 
to get you started.

If you've had motherwort tea, tincture, syrup or have had this plant in any other capacity; please post your experience below. I'd love to hear how this plant worked for you. Cheers to motherwort! 

Avec Amour!