by Faye Sakellaridis
If herbs have archetypal personalities, motherwort's is all in the name. At over 5 feet tall, with soft pink miniature blooms and long striking leaves, this matriarchal herb towers over other herbs. In this Herbal Academy of New England blog on motherwort, Rebecca Swartwood eloquently depicts the duality of nurturing fierceness that motherwort possesses:
Motherwort presides over the garden as a watchful, protective matriarch. She shows her love with fierce protection in the way she swaddles her delicate seeds in sharp armor, keeping them safe until they have matured and can spread themselves near and far.
She owes her suggestive name to the ancient Greek practice of giving motherwort to pregnant woman who suffer from anxiety. Swartwood's description of present day experiences with motherwort indicate that this herb does indeed bring about a potent alleviation of tension and anxiety, with the sort of loving touch only a mother can bring:
Herbalist Robin Rose Bennett writes that motherwort “invokes openness, acceptance, and peace” (Bennett, 2014, p. 321). In my own experience working with this plant, I’ve found that to be absolutely true. Last year at my herbal class I tried a flower essence of motherwort for the first time. I took a few drops on my tongue, and wandered down to a nearby freshwater stream. I stripped down, found a perfect spot to bathe, and immersed myself in the silky water. Motherwort’s gifts of softness and fierce self-love washed over me with the cool water. My body felt protected, safe, and thoroughly cleansed.
Learn more about what motherwort can do for you over at Herbal Academy of New England.