Yi Mu Cao – Leonurus heterophyllus – Chinese Motherwort – “Benefit Mother Herb”

Nature: acrid, bitter, slightly cold

Enters: Heart, Liver, Bladder

Actions: Promotes blood circulation, dispels blood stasis; regulates the menses; reduces masses; promotes urination, relieves swelling and edema.

• Blood stasis: irregular menstruation, slow flow, amenorrhea with lower abdominal pain, lochioschesis and abdominal pain after childbirth, infertility, immobile abdominal masses, premenstrual abdominal pain.
• Edema with scanty urination, especially with hematuria.
• Acute systemic edema, especially when accompanied by hematuria.
• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao.
• Benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer, testicular pain.
• Contracts the uterus.
• Opens the coronary arteries, treats coronary artery disease.
• Lowers blood pressure.
• Generally contraindicated in pregnancy.
• The Western (L. cardiaca) and Chinese species appear to be very similar. However, there’s not much in the Chinese literature on its use for heart problems, while this is a central focus of the herb in Western herbal medicine, second only to its OB/GYN uses, and evident by its species name. The Western species has also been attributed calming effects. It may be, as Thomas Avery Garran suggests in his book “Western Herbs According to Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” that the Western species is generally therapeutically broader and superior.
MLT: Also for acute and chronic nephritis; postpartum uterine bleeding; incomplete involution of uterus; myocardial infarction: increases circulation to the coronary artery, lowers heart rate, improves microcirculation, prevents platelet agglutination.
• Cook 27g Yi mu cao with 9g Dang gui and take in 3 doses to help restore the womb after childbirth.
K&R: (L. cardiaca) Cardiotonic; stimulates oxytocin; antispasmodic; mild diuretic.
• Fire yin.
• Precordial pain, palpitations, cardiopathy, heart disease.
• Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea; contracts and clears the uterus postpartum.
• PID – improves circulation in the lower abdomen.
• Relieves edema from nephritis; hematuria from renal calculi.
• Insomnia; goiter; epilepsy.
• Recent use in China as a morning-after contraceptive.
• Lowers blood viscosity and platelet aggregation rate.
• The extract is used for headache, insomnia, vertigo, peripheral circulatory paresthesias.
JC: (L. cardiaca) Emmenagogue, heart tonic, diaphoretic, tonic, nervine, antispasmodic, aperient, hepatic, diuretic.
• May be the best heart tonic known. Calms and supports the heart and nerves, may be used in large doses. Beneficial as a healing tonic in recovering from debilitating fever where other tonics are inadmissible.
• Chest cold, cramps, pains: foment over affected area and take internally.
• Delayed menstruation: give the syrup in hot water. When normal flow is re-established, take cold as a tonic.
• Influenza, severe colds, low fevers: give as hot as can be taken until the patient perspires freely.
• Acute and chronic heart problems (palpitations, endocarditis, pericarditis, intermittent pulse, etc.), epilepsy, nervous exhaustion, spasms, twitching, chorea, neuralgia, spinal disease, indigestion, liver affections, vaginitis (douche).
PCBDP: Chinese studies show anti-platelet aggregation action, lowers blood lipids, inhibitory effects on pulsating myocardial cells.
RW: (L. cardiaca) Antithyroid: for hyperthyroidism, palpitations, tachycardia.
MW: (L. cardiaca) Doctrine of signatures: has “goose tongue” leaves – a signature for rhythm – for the heart – palpitations.
• Also a good spinal remedy – for spinal irritation.
Hsu: Stimulates the uterus, increases flexibility and tonicity of uterus (much weaker than pituitary hormones); diuretic; hypotensive; antibacterial.
DY: Slightly nourishes blood – just enough to not damage the blood when used to dispel stasis.
• Must be used in relatively high dosage (15-30 or more).

Dose: 9-60g (to 120g for edema in glomerulonephritis)
Chong Wei Zi: the seed
• Sweet, slightly cold.
• Dispels blood stasis, but is also astringent and tonic; cools the liver; brightens the eyes.
• For excessive menstruation/uterine bleeding.
• Liver heat: for red, painful, swollen eyes, pterygium.

Dose: 3-9g

4 comments on “Yi Mu Cao – Leonurus heterophyllus – Chinese Motherwort – “Benefit Mother Herb”

  1. dinah ponce says:

    Where could i buy this herbal medicine? I am from cebu, Philippines.
    Please advise.

  2. Can it delay your period?

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