Ritual Herbs - Motherwort
Element Associations: Water
Planetary Associations: Venus + Moon
Astrological Associations: Leo
Chakra Associations: Heart
Magical Properties: Instills Optimism, Confidence, and Forgiveness, Counter-Magic, Protection, Blessings
Healing Properties: Anti-arrhythmic, Hypotensive, Sedative, Vasodilator
Botanical Name: Leonurus cardiaca
Motherwort connects to the element water, which makes it great for moon work because the Moon holds sway over the rhythms of bodies of water on this planet. Also helps regulate menstrual cycles, which are often closely tied to the cycles of the Moon.
A member of the mint family, Motherwort is an herb native to Europe, but can now be found growing in nearly any temperate climate. Its botanical name is derived from the plant's visual similarity to a lion's tail as well as its association with the heart. Leon-Lion, ouros-Tail, Kardiaca-Heart. Its common name is inspired by its traditional use by the Greeks as an herb to calm the anxieties of pregnant women or new mothers. Due to its nature, however, this herb can be problematic when used prior to the late stages of pregnancy, as it is frequently used to induce menstruation in folks whose cycles are in some way delayed or inhibited- whether this is due to stress or other causes.
Motherwort has a relaxing effect on the smooth muscles, making it effective in alleviating menstrual cramps, for one. The heart is also composed primarily of smooth muscle, allowing motherwort to ease the strain on the heart that may be caused by tachycardia, heart palpitations, and heart disease ( pg. 268 of The Modern Herbal Dispensatory).
Magically, motherwort is used to increase confidence, vitality, optimism, and forgiveness. In some traditions, motherwort is used to specifically bless and protect one's family, especially when kept with family photos. Its protective nature and affinity for mothers make this an effective herb for the protection of pregnant women and mothers. Sometimes used in counter-magic, motherwort can be used to deflect and protect oneself from any undesired magical working or effect.
Exercise caution when using this herb while pregnant, experiencing thyroid issues, blood-clotting issues, or on any medications acting upon the thyroid. Do not use in combination with any other herbs that act on the heart, or herbs that cause drowsiness.
**Always consult a physician before using herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medication(s). These herbs, resins, roots, flowers, and powders are meant to be used for spell and ritual work.
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