Still more from the other day, wandering aroun the frozen tundra at Frances Slocum: motherwort, distinctive in any season and a medical heavyweight.
What is Motherwort?
Motherwort is an herbaceous plant scientifically known as Leonurus cardiaca and bears other common names like lion’s ear and throw-wort. This herb is typically collected before the seeds form, but all of the aboveground parts of the plant can be used for traditional medicine and natural applications. Native to central Asia and parts of Europe, motherwort is now considered an invasive species and grows primarily on roadsides and undisturbed areas of land. This herb has a number of uses, largely due to its impressive level of antioxidants and active ingredients, including flavonoids, terpenes, tannins and various vitamins.
The top benefits of motherwort include its ability to relieve menopausal symptoms, soothe symptoms of heart conditions, and increase appetite, among others.
•Naturally treat heart conditions, such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure
•Traditionally used to soothe anxiety and tension
•Treats fast/irregular heartbeat and abnormal breathing which affect heart health
•Boost women’s health, including delayed labor and delayed afterbirth
•Balance hormones related to menopausal symptoms and delayed menstruation
•Soothe post-partum complications
•Improve sleep issues, such as insomnia and restlessness
•Improve overall thyroid health
•Eliminate symptoms of shingles and other skin infections
•Reduce excess flatulence
•Help to break fevers
•Improve respiratory ailments
•Treat edema and water retention
•Stimulate the function of the kidneys
•Boost appetite following injury or surgery
I know it looks like a Calder mobile but it’s mr. buttonbush.
Buttonbush is deciduous shrub that belongs to the madder family. It originates from North America. Buttonbush can be found in wet habitats such as marshes, shorelines, ditches and areas near the rivers and pond. It grows on saturated, sandy, loamy and alluvial, slightly acidic soil, exposed to direct sunlight. Buttonbush is one of the first plants that will appear in areas destroyed by floods (pion…eer species). It is often used in the projects of restoration of wetlands due to ability to survive in 3-feet deep water. Other than that, buttonbush is cultivated in ornamental purposes.
Buttonbush produces oval or elliptical, dark green, glossy leaves. They are oppositely arranged on the branches or gathered in whorls. Buttonbush discards leaves at the beginning of the autumn.
Flowers of buttonbush are arranged in the form of dense, globular clusters that look like white fuzzy puffballs. Flowers develop at the end of the branches and they contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Buttonbush blooms during the spring and summer (from June to September). Flowers are rich source of nectar which attracts bees, butterflies and moths, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of buttonbush is reddish-brown, round-shaped capsule filled with two seed. Fruit ripens during September and October.
Buttonbush propagates via seed and cuttings.
Scientific name of buttonbush is Cephalanthus. Name originates from two Greek words: “kephalos”, which means “head”, and “anthos”, which means “flower”, and it refers to the unusual, roundish shape of the flower heads.
Wood ducks, mallard ducks and geese like to eat seed of buttonbush. Twigs and leaves of buttonbush are important source of food for white-tailed deer.
Even though buttonbush represents valuable source of food for the wildlife, entire plant contains substances that can induce intoxication of cattle and humans.
Many songbirds build nest among dense branches of buttonbush. This plant also provides shelter for frogs, salamanders and insects.
Native Americans used inner bark of buttonbush to induce vomiting and cleansing of the body. Buttonbush was also used in treatment of kidney stones, sore eyes, rheumatism, headache, fever, bleeding, muscle inflammation and toothache.
First European settlers used bark of buttonbush in treatment of malaria (as a substitute for quinine, well-known and commonly prescribed drug for malaria).
Buttonbush can be cultivated in ornamental purposes, as a garden plant, near the ponds or as a part of water gardens.
Buttonbush is often cultivated near the ponds and streams because of its strong root system which prevents erosion of the soil.
Buttonbush is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.