Making Tincture

by Corinna Wood

Motherwort goddess 450x600Open up a Wise Woman medicine chest and chances are, you will find motherwort tincture.

Easy to grow in a garden, motherwort often finds her way into the paths and new beds. She is is in the mint family—relax, though, she’s not like peppermint. Motherwort spreads by seed, and not by creeping roots.

Like all plants in the mint family, motherwort has square stems, opposite leaves and double lipped flowers. Motherwort's leaves, though, are maple shaped. And unlike most other mints, Motherwort is not aromatic and is quite bitter to the taste—some say it tastes like chocolate!

Botanically Motherwort is known as Leonurus cardiaca which translates to lion-hearted! She is well known as an ally for the heart and circulatory system.

Motherwort is also indicated for three common health issues for women*: menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and hormonal related mood swings. A fast acting tonic and calmative, she can be used in acute situations. Motherwort offers a bit of Mom’s shoulder to lean on—even 20-30 drops usually takes the edge and intensity off within a half hour.

Like most mints, the optimum window for peak potency is in the early flowering stage. In the Blue Ridge mountains that is usually in May.

To make your own motherwort tincture, follow these four easy steps:

  1. Harvest the top third of the plant including the buds and flowers and connecting leaves and stems.
  2. Stuff a jar full of the plant material and pour 100 proof vodka to the top.
  3. Cap it and let it sit for 6 weeks.
  4. Strain out the plant material and the tincture will be almost black.

Now you have your bottle of motherwort to stock your medicine chest!

*Note that one of the actions that allows motherwort to support women with menstrual cramps is that motherwort increases blood flow to the uterus. Therefore, motherwort is contraindicated for menopausal women with very heavy bleeding or flooding.


2016.6 c stones bio head shoulders lo resCorinna Wood is founder and director of Southeast Wise Women. Her early initiation into the herbal world included an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed. For the last 25 years, Corinna has been practicing and sharing the Wise Woman Tradition, based in honoring of women and the Earth. Through two decades of teaching, as well as founding Red Moon Herbs in her home community, Earthaven Ecovillage, Corinna has opened countless hearts to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies.

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