Motherwort-You can see the deep red of the stalk.

Oh, Mother, bless our being

Oh, Mother, bless our being

Oh, Mother, bless our being

We are fully wise

Within your heart

Within your womb

Within your heart.

I began to write about motherwort as a way of writing about the folk method of herbal crafting. The messy, simple, common way to craft a tincture from fresh herbs into a tonic medicine for healing. (That is included here in my essay.)

And then, I spent time with the motherwort in my garden. Her wisdom entered deeply and penetrated my life in a way that I could not forget her message.

I photographed the motherwort, her blossoming whirls of pink flowers, her gray green leaves and her red stalk. I was drawn in by her presence.

And I began to read about motherwort in herbals from my bookshelf. And I found wisdom and stories that intrigued and drew me even deeper into her mythos.

Motherwort’s Beautiful Flowers

I am out in my garden and it is a mid-summer day. I am sitting near the motherwort plants and looking at them. What draws me in at first is the flowers, then the stalk of flowers and then as I look closer, the deep red stalks. I am breath

ing and listening to see what motherwort has for me. I feel anxious at first, really wanting some thing from this plant. And then I begin to relax. (Very much like what would happen if I took 10 drops of motherwort tincture.) Motherwort begins to share. She asks me, “Do I want to go up or down?” I think about this for a minute and then reply, “Down”. She confirms that this is a good choice…”Get on the ground first before you can go up. She says the deep red of the stem connect with womb energy. No matter what remedy you are utilizing it for, it will connect with womb first. Down to the womb, then you can ascend to the heart and head.”

I receive this message and I can’t forget it. “Womb wisdom….down on the ground, down to the womb.”

As I researched motherwort, I found some very old references to this plant as a

Motherwort’s Beginning

protection against, “wykked speritus”. I remembered what Susun Weed had said about motherwort being used to cure “hysteria” in women. The most ancient traditions of women being powerful connectors with spirit came into my mind. This “wykked speritus” was really the simple, generative, loving force that women hold in their wombs and hearts and hands.

Motherwort was most likely a power plant for women. This wicked (meaning wise), spirited way of being was innate in women. Motherwort can help bring us back to our true nature, bringing focus to our womb energy so that we can “get on the ground” and do what is needed.

In reading several herbals, I read about many ways that motherwort works to heal…a protector, a longevity herb, an herb who’s message is, “all will succeed”…a bitter herb that has a calming and grounding effect…an herb for the generative organs, a protector of uterine health…an herb for the heart, calming, tonifying…an herb for healing grief, heartache and loss…an herb for calming anxiety. All of these ways, are ways of the mother.

You can easily grow motherwort in your garden. Once you have a few plants, she will continue to seeds more plants here and there every year.

Motherwort ~ Shamanic Listening:

  • Find a place to be with the motherwort, in your garden, or in the wild.
  • Notice your breath and then imagine that the breath you are breathing is the oxygen that motherwort is offering. As you breathe out, give your breath away to motherwort.

    Motherwort in Flower

  • Breathe for awhile, 21 breaths is good.
  • As you breathe, look at the different aspects of the motherwort. And also, connect in with your womb space, and then your heart and then your spine.
  • Be present with what motherwort has for you.
  • When this is complete, give thanks.


Motherwort Tincture:

I harvest the motherwort when its stalks are in full flower. I ask her permission. Each person has to find their own way with this process. I have found over time that the motherwort shows me where to make the cut, which plants to harvest and when to stop. I take time. I listen. And then after harvest, I am filled with gratitude and share this with motherwort.

I gather the flowering stalks in a bag, usually. And when I am done, I bring this to my table and I cut up the motherwort, stalk by stalk, into small pieces. I put the pieces of motherwort into a jar and pack it lightly. I fill the jar about 2/3 to 3/4 full. And then I pour 100 proof vodka over the motherwort, filling the jar to the top. In recent years, I have used organic vodka. (60% alcohol). I put a lid on the jar and label it with name and date.

Then I wait…At least six weeks. And then I strain this tincture that I have made through a strainer and a cloth. I use a clean dish cloth, that I have cut up into large squares.

Down on the ground, down into your womb, you are beautiful, whole and perfect.

May it be in Beauty.

***This is a song given to me by the wild rose down on our land.

Herbals that I read when researching this essay:
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve
Energetics of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes
Opening Your Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs by Gail Faith Edwards
Down There-Sexual and Reproductive Herbs the Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed
Breast Cancer? Breast Health the Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed
DIY Bitters by Guido Mase & Jovial King
The Herbal Handbook by David Hoffman