365 Frankendael day 15

Today a dusk walk through the woods. The Hawthorns of Frankendael are finally opening their flowers, Lily of the Valley flower stems (poisonous look alike of Ransoms) arch elegantly above their neighbours, Moorhen chicks shelter beneath Meadowsweet and beloved Motherwort is growing bigger and bolder by the minute.

Motherwort is an extremely useful perennial herb which grows in compact clumps, rather like Mugwort but is a little more modest. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca, NL: ). Since learning about it through Susun Weed, I always have a bottle of tinctured Motherwort close to hand. This plant is a member of the Labiate family (mints) but tastes completely different to the mint most of us are used to. It has a very strong scent when you brush your hands up through the plant, has square stems, as with all Labiates. It is extremely bitter and distasteful when taken as a tea. All parts of the plant are medicinal. It has an age old reputation for its heart strengthening abilities and for its value in calming nerves, restlessness and irritability. It is an emmenagogue so shouldn’t be taken whilst pregnant, thought it has much value to women postpartum, to mothers in general and to women with period pain. The tincture is the easiest and most palatable way to take it.

Motherwort instills a feeling of groundedness. Ten drops of tincture, in a glass of water, can bring me back down to Earth in a few minutes when I feel the world is spinning out of control. Historically, Motherwort was used as a common treatment for heart problems such as palpitations and for fevers where the body & mind needed to be kept calm. It is now almost forgotten for such purposes but, thanks to our ancestors, many garden escapes have naturalised throughout Europe. This plant in Frankendael is possibly a garden escape from the old Landhuis. I am very pleased it is there.

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