Traditionally used to treat palpitations and functional cardiac conditions of nervous or hyperthyroid origin and to strengthen heart function
Traditionally used for the relief of nervous tension
A nervine and cardiotonic with hypotensive properties, motherwort is a herb with a long history of medicinal use in several cultures of both East and West.
Classic British herbalist Mrs. M. Grieve provides an excellent summary of the therapeutic scope of this herb: "Old writers tell us that there is no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart, and that it is good against hysterical complaints, and especially for palpitations of the heart when they arise from hysteric causes... it will allay inward tremors, faintings, etc."
Herb expert Michael Castleman tells of the remarkable scientific research that corroborates the efficacy of motherwort: "In China, laboratory studies have shown that motherwort helps relax heart cells. Other Chinese research suggests that it helps prevent the blood clots that trigger heart attack. Russian researchers have also found that the herb contains compounds that reduce blood pressure."
Commission E, Germany's foremost herbal authority, has approved motherwort for the following uses: "Nervous cardiac disorders and as adjuvant for thyroid hyperfunction."
As widely published herbal botanist James Duke points out, "With a name like cardiaca, this herb might be expected to help heart problems, and science confirms that it does. Chinese studies show that it slows a rapid heartbeat, generally improving cardiac activity. It also helps tranquilize the nervous system, reducing the anxiety, nervous tension and stress that may accompany or trigger heart problems."
In his monograph on motherwort, leading herbalist David Hoffmann explains that, "Motherwort is... an excellent heart tonic, strengthening without straining. It is considered a specific for tachycardia (heart palpitations), especially when brought on by anxiety or other such causes. It may be used in all heart conditions associated with anxiety and tensionâ€¦ Motherwort has demonstrated cardioactivity in vitro. An alcoholic extract was found to have a direct inhibitory effect on myocardial cells."