Health Guide


What is it?

Motherwort is an herbal medicine used to treat a fast heartbeat or problems with a woman's menstrual period (monthly period). It may also be used to help you relax.

Other names for Motherwort include: Leonurus, Lion's Tail, and Leonurus cardiaca.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Motherwort you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Motherwort. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Motherwort without talking to your doctor if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)), clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), aspirin, enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)), dalteparin (Fragmin(R)))


  • Before taking Motherwort, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you are taking large amounts of Motherwort, your doctor may have to change your heart medicine (2)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Call your doctor right away if you notice a change in your heart beat
  • Skin contact with the plant may cause a rash or the skin may become sensitive to sunlight and burn easy
  • Sleepy and relaxed


1. Bradley PR (ed.): British Herbal Compendium, vol. 1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992.

2. Chevallier A: The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, New York, NY; 1996.

3. Farnsworth NR: Potential value of plants as sources of new antifertility agents 1. J Pharm Sci 1975; 64:535-598.

4. Bremness L: Herbs. The Visual Guide to More Than 700 Herb Species from Around the World. Eyewitness Handbooks, DK Publishing, New York, NY; 1993.

5. Yeung HW et al: The structure and biological effect of leonurine - A uterotonic principle from the Chinese drug, I-mu Ts'ao. Planta Med 1977; 31:51-56.

6. Kong YC et al: Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonorus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med 1983; 3:185-188.

7. Michell J & Rook A: Botanical Dermatology. Greengrass, Vancouver, BC; 1979.

8. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al(eds): Leonurus cardiaca L. In: American Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

9. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse, PA; 1999: 439-441.

10. Zou Q, Bi R, Li J et al: Effect of motherwort on blood hyperviscosity. Am J Chinese Med 1989; 17 (1-2):65-70.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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