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Mindfulness Garden Games
by Joann Calabrese
author of Growing Mindful
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Lessons of Motherwort

Happy New Moon! May 7, 2024
motherwort in spring

The motherwort in my yard is already a foot high. This lovely perennial herb belongs to the mint family.  However, unlike many other mints, it does not have a strong fragrance and it won’t take over your yard. The plant is impressive, standing tall with serrated leaves gently sloping downward away from the stem. Tiny prickly purple flowers develop later in the season, where the leaves and stem connect. And then later in the summer, the flowers transform into hard scratchy seed pods.

If you invite motherwort into your garden, you will have a plant that can provide healing to body, mind, and spirit.

Healing Properties

The common name motherwort, as well as its botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca, tell you a lot about the plant.

“Wort” of course refers to a healing plant, and motherwort has been a healing plant for mothers for hundreds of years in European and Chinese herbal traditions. It is recommended for a variety of women’s health and reproductive issues (although it should not be used during pregnancy.)

The Latin botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca, refers to the heart, and this is another area where motherwort shines. It is known to support heart health and also reduce stress and anxiety. Herbalists recommend hawthorn as a tonic for a variety of heart issues, often pairing it with hawthorn berries.

It is easy to harvest a plentiful supply of motherwort leaves and flowers from only a few plants. I get multiple harvests each season for making motherwort tincture. (Tisanes made from the plant are quite bitter and so tincturing is the recommended method for using the plant.)

Lessons from motherwort

Some of the many lessons of motherwort come from its energetic properties. First of all, it is aligned with serenity. This lovely plant does not call out to you with flashy flowers or foliage. It simply exudes a calm and steady presence in the garden, much like its healing properties. It can be a reminder to take a breath and center oneself.

Motherwort
Motherwort

Another energetic property of motherwort is courage. The botanical name reflects the idea of being lion hearted or courageous. Please remember that being courageous does not mean fearless. Being courageous can mean feeling fear but moving forward anyway with purpose. Including motherwort in our gardens can remind us to embrace lion-heartedness in fulfilling our own purpose and following our hearts. We can remain calm and steady as we proceed.

Not everyone is a mother, but all of us have projects and dreams that we are nurturing into existence. Motherwort can help us find the energy and courage to keep moving forward in our chosen direction.

Lastly, motherwort’s tiny yet prickly flowers and seed pods remind us about boundaries and staying strong if others try to sway us from our path.

Leonurus cardiaca is a plant that vibrates with courage, serenity, and inner strength. We can consciously align ourselves with those attributes when we invite this plant into our garden and into our lives.

About this Blog Post & and Global Healing Circles
Luna in the grapevines

This post is part of my lunar blog series.  For the time being I’ll be posting on each new moon (not the new and full moon as I did the last few years because of some other writing projects). I’m posting this blog early because I’ll be traveling for the eclipse.  Usually, blogs will post each new moon and will be related to plants and ideas featured in my book,  Growing Mindful.  or on other topics related to mindfulness, gardens, and intentional living. For more details and a list of past lunar blog posts, click here. 

An invitation to healing circles. One of my new projects this year is partnering with other graduates of the IIQTC (Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi) to offer virtual HeART of Body Compassionate Self Care Practice Circles based on qigong and tai chi. Check out the information here: Global Healing Circles or contact me if you need more information.

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