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Leonurus cardiaca

Leonurus cardiaca                      Common name:  Motherwort
Family: Lamiaceae

Part used:  Aerial parts

Constituents: Alkaloids (leonurine, betonicine an d stachydrine), flavonoids, (apigenin, kaempferol, quercitin), iridoids, tannins, volatile oils, ursolic acid, vitamins A & C

Medicinal actions:  Sedative, nervine, nervous system tonic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, hypothryoid, diaphoretic, cardiotonic, anti-arrhythmic, vasoconstrictor, circulatory stimulant, hypotensive, hepatic, laxative, antispasmodic, mild uterine stimulant and emmenagogue.


Medicinal use:  Is most indicated in nervous debility with irritation and unrest. The hypotensive action is due to its vasodilatory effect, which also serves to increase circulation to the reproductive organs. Leonurus, as a gentle cardiotonic, is specific for cardiac disorders of nervous origin (i.e. tachycardia secondary to anxiety). Will also promote blood flow to female reproductive organs and balances hormones affecting the menstrual cycle as well as hyperthyroidism.


  • Alkaloids increase uterine contractions. Stachydrine is oxytocic & sedative. Leonurine is uterotonic, sedative, hypotensive, and cardioactive.
  • Glycosides are antiseptic, nervine, anti-spasmodic, and hypotensive.
  • Ursolic acid is anti-viral, anti-tumor, cytotoxic and inhibits Epstein-Barr.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 tsp/cup water, 1-2 cups TID. Tincture (1:5, 45%),  4-6 ml TID. Capsules: 250 mg/cap;  1-2 cap TID.

Toxicity: No adverse effects expected within recommended doses.

Contraindicated: Pregnancy, menorrhagia.

Interactions: None reported. Theoretically interact with heart and cardiovascular therapy.

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