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aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Motherwort, Throw-wort, Lion's Ear
Botanical name: Leonurus cardiaca    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Lamium cardiaca, Leonurus glabra, Cardiaca stachys

Motherwort is an erect, leafy perennial herb from mint family which grows up to 2-5 ft tall. Flowers are small, pinkish, mauve or white, about 1.2 cm, hairy. They are borne in numerous dense interrupted whorls, in a leafy spike. Flowers are 2-lipped, upper concave, the lower 3-lobed. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped, variously cut, but mostly with 3-7 deep or shallow triangular, toothed lobes. Upper leaves may be entire or 3-lobed. Motherwort is native to Europe to Iran, but is found wild in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Nepal, at altitudes of 2400-3600 m. Flowering: June-August.
Medicinal uses: Motherwort is primarily an herb of the heart. Several species have sedative effects, decreasing muscle spasms and temporarily lowering blood pressure. Chinese studies found that extracts decrease clotting and the level of fat in the blood and can slow heart palpatations and rapid heartbeat. Another of motherwort’s uses is to improve fertility and reduce anxiety associated with childbirth, postpartum depression, and menopause. If used in early labor it will ease labor pains and calms the nerves after childbirth.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed on Govindghat-Ghangria route, Uttarakhand.

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