Motherwort Health Benefit August 5, 2013
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) Related Names: Throw-wort, Lion's Ear, Leonotis nepetifolia; Lion's Tail, Leonotis
leonurus, Family Lamiaceae, Duration: Perennial, Group: Dicot
Motherwort, originally from Central Asia, is now found worldwide. Motherwort is a vascular plant without significant
woody tissue above or at the ground. Motherwort has a square stem and opposite leaves. Flowers appear in leaf axils
and it blooms between June–August. Motherwort leaf & flower has a long history of use as a herb in different cultures
for stress, stomach gas, cramping, menopausal problems, and insomnia.
Motherwort (Leonuri cardiacae herba) consists of aerial parts of Leonurus cardiaca gathered during the flowering
period, dried at 35 °C and, according to European Pharmacopoeia 7th edition, should contain a minimum of 0.2%
flavonoids, expressed as hyperoside. 
Composition, Active Ingredients
Motherwort (Leonuri cardiacae) contains monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, nitrogen- containing compounds,
phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids, as well as volatile oils, sterols and tannins.  Particularly, extracts of
Motherwort leave contain labdane-type diterpenes. 
Leonurus japonicus, Leonurus cardiaca, Leonotis leonurus
Leonurine is a prominent pharmacologically active guanidine alkaloid, mainly exerting cardiovascular, hypotensive,
uterotonic, and neuroprotective effects. Nine samples of Leonurus japonicus aerial parts, two of Leonurus japonicus
fruits, four of Motherwort aerial parts, as well as one sample each of Mortherwort fruits, and Leonotis leonurus aerial
parts were examined. No leonurine could be detected in any sample of Motherwort. Leonotis leonurus and surprisingly,
seeds of Leonurus japonicus did not contain leonurine, either. However, leonurine was detected in aerial parts of
Leonurus japonicus samples, obtained from China and Japan. 
Motherwort Health Benefits
Motherwort (Leonuri cardiacae) may benefit people at risk of nervous heart conditions and digestive disorders.
However, they may also benefit people at risk of bronchial asthma, climacteric symptoms and amenorrhoea, as well as
externally in wounds and skin inflammations.  Studies have shown its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and
analgesic activity, as well as its potential benefits on the heart and the circulatory system.
Motherwort has been used in many conditions traditionally, and it has antioxidant activities. An in vitro study shows fluid
extract of motherwort manifested higher antioxidant activity compared to fluid extracts of maidenhair tree and hawthorn.
Triterpenoids of ursane class - ursolic acid, ilelatifol D, corosolic acid and euscaphic acid isolated from motherwort
showed antiinflammatory potential by suppressing respiratory burst activity and superoxide scavenging property by
using xanthine/xanthine oxidase system to produce superoxides in the cell-free system. 
Anxiety, Hypertension and Depression
Sedative and hypotensive activity has been demonstrated in clinical trials.  In the study, fifty patients were treated for
28 days with 1200 mg Motherwort oil extract per day. Positive effects of Motherworth oil extract on psycho-emotional
status and arterial blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension were observed 1 week earlier than in patients
with stage 2 hypertension. A significant improvement in the symptoms of anxiety and depression was also observed in
32% of patients, a moderate improvement in 48% and a weak effect in 8%; 12% of patients did not respond to therapy.
 Thus, Motherwort may have benefits on people at risk of anxiety, hypertension and depression.
Tachyarrhythmia and Cardiac Conditions
A refined Motherwort extract was applied intracoronarily in isolated rabbit hearts perfused according to the Langendorff
technique. This Motherwort exact acts on multiple electrophysiological targets, specifically I(Ca.L), I(K.r), and I(f),
observed both at whole organ and single cell level.  Further, according to a research article, lavandulifolioside, a
chemical from Motherwort has significant negative chronotropism, prolongation of the P-Q, Q-T intervals and QRS
complex, and decrease of blood pressure. 
Thus, Motherwort may potentially benefit people at risk of certain heart conditions. But, clinical studies are needed to
support this view.
In 2003, interviews were conducted in British Columbia, twenty-nine participants provided the information on the
remedies used for reproductive health in dogs and cats. The plants used for pregnancy support and milk production in
pets were raspberry-leaf, motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), flaxseed and ginger.
Motherwort Side Effects
Mild negative chronotropic, hypotonic and sedative effects can be attributed to the Mothewort (Leonuri cardiacae) and
preparations thereof.  In the study of reference , side effects of Motherwork were minimal in all groups.
This article is for reference only. Users must consult with their medical doctor before taking a herbal or nutritional
product or supplements.
 Wojtyniak K et al, Leonurus cardiaca L. (Motherwort): A Review of its Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. Phytother
Res. 2013 Aug;27(8):1115-20.
 Kuchta K, et al, Leonurus japonicus, Leonurus cardiaca, Leonotis leonurus: a novel HPLC study on the occurrence
and content of the pharmacologically active guanidino derivative leonurine. Pharmazie. 2012 Dec;67(12):973-9.
 Shikov AN, et al, Effect of Leonurus cardiaca oil extract in patients with arterial hypertension accompanied by
anxiety and sleep disorders. Phytother Res. 2011 Apr;25(4):540-3
 Ritter M et al, Cardiac and electrophysiological effects of primary and refined extracts from Leonurus cardiaca L.
(Ph.Eur.). Planta Med. 2010 Apr;76(6):572-82.
 Bernatoniene J et al, The comparison of anti-oxidative kinetics in vitro of the fluid extract from maidenhair tree,
motherwort and hawthorn. Acta Pol Pharm. 2009 Jul-Aug;66(4):415-21.
 Lans C et al, Medicinal plants used in British Columbia, Canada for reproductive health in pets. Prev Vet Med. 2009
 Agnihotri VK, et al, New labdane diterpenes from Leonurus cardiaca. Planta Med. 2008 Aug;74(10):1288-90.
 Ali MS, et al, Ursolic acid: a potent inhibitor of superoxides produced in the cellular system. Phytother Res. 2007 Jun;
 Miłkowska-Leyck K et al, Pharmacological effects of lavandulifolioside from Leonurus cardiaca. J Ethnopharmacol.