Tradtional Indications

Motherwort is astringent, antispasmodic birthing aid, carminative, cardiac tonic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, gentle uterine stimulant, hypotensive, nervine, relaxant, sedative. Motherwort is especially valuable in the treatment of female weaknesses and disorders, allaying nervous irritability, inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system. It is indicated for cardiac debility, tachycardia and amenorrhoea. Leonurus is an excellent heart tonic, and research has shown that it calms palpitations, tachycardia and irregular heartbeats. It is a specific remedy for tachycardia caused by anxiety, and may be used in all heart conditions associated with anxiety and tension. The alkaloid leonurine produces central nervous depressant and hypotensive effect. The glycosides have a short-term ability to lower blood pressure. Leonurus is valuable in the stimulation of suppressed or delayed menstruation, and to ease dysmenorrhoea, especially where there is anxiety or tension involved. It may be used to ease false labour pains, and the infusion, taken after childbirth, will help restore the uterus and reduce the risk of postpartum bleeding. The alkaloids encourage and ease uterine contractions. It is also helpful during the menopause. It should not be prescribed in the earlier stages of pregnancy or where periods are heavy. The infusion or diluted tincture may be used as a douche for vaginal infections and discharges. Other indications include diarrhoea. In Germany the plant is used as an adjuvant in treatment of an overactive thyroid gland. (1)


Leonurus cardiac is used traditionally for its sedative, hypotensive and cardiotonic effects. Positive effects of Leonurus cardiaca extract on psycho-emotional status and arterial blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension were observed. (2)

A study examining the effect of Leonurus cardiaca herb extract and some of its flavonoids on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in the heart, found that, since partial uncoupling of mitochondria, respiratory inhibition, and decreased ROS production are proposed as possible mechanisms of cardioprotection, our results imply that L. cardiaca herb extract could be a useful remedy to protect cardiac muscles from the effects of pathogenic processes. (3)

Leonurus cardiaca has a number of interesting biological activities, for example, sedative and hypotensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities. A study examining the analgesic effects of Leonurus cardiaca in Mice concluded that Leonurus cardiaca possesses central and peripheral antinociceptive actions. (4)

1. PFAF. Leonurus japonicus 2019.
2. Shikov AN, Pozharitskaya ON, Makarov VG, Demchenko DV, Shikh EV. Effect of Leonurus cardiaca oil extract in patients with arterial hypertension accompanied by anxiety and sleep disorders. Phytotherapy research : PTR. 2011;25(4):540-3.
3. Bernatoniene J, Kopustinskiene DM, Jakstas V, Majiene D, Baniene R, Kursvietiene L, et al. The effect of Leonurus cardiaca herb extract and some of its flavonoids on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in the heart. Planta Med. 2014;80(7):525-32.
4. Rezaee-Asl M, Sabour M, Nikoui V, Ostadhadi S, Bakhtiarian A. The Study of Analgesic Effects of Leonurus cardiaca L. in Mice by Formalin, Tail Flick and Hot Plate Tests %J International Scholarly Research Notices. 2014;2014:5.