Other names: lion’s ear, lion’s tail, throw-wort

Scientific name:  Leonorus cardiaca

Common names:    Lion’s tail, Lion’s ear, Lion’s tart, throwwart                                      

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Raktodrone, Guma, Juma, Jajura

Arabic names:    ذنب الأسد (dhanabu l’assad)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Labitae

Approximate number of species known: 

Common parts used: Flower, leaf, entire herb


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: Up to 5 feet 

Actions: antispasmodic, astrigentl, cardiac, emmenagogue, hepatic, laxative, sedative, stomachic, tonic

Known Constituents: ridoid glycosidesditerpinoidsflavonoids(including rutin and quercetin), tannins, volatile oils, and vitamin A

Constituents Explained:

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Other common names include Throw-wort, Lion’s Ear, and Lion’s Tail. The latter two are also common names for Leonotis leonurus. Originally from Central Asia it is now found worldwide, spread largely due to its use as a herbal remedy.  L. cardiaca has a square stem and opposite leaves. The leaves are palmately lobed; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points and while the upper leaves are more latticed. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and it blooms between June – August. The flowers are small, pink to lilac in colour often with furry lower lips. The plant grows to about 60-100 cm in height. It can be found along roadsides and in vacant fields and other waste areas.


It is a perennial plant where the stem arises from the root stock and grows upto 2 to 3 feet high, erect and branched, principally below, the angles prominent and they are purplish in colour.The leaves, are deeply and palmately cut into five loves, or three-pointed segments, and by the prickly calyx-teeth of its flowers. They are reticulately veined, the veinlets prominent beneath, with slender, curved hairs. The uppermost leaves and bracts are very narrow and entire, or only with a tooth on each side, and bear in their axils numerous whorls of pinkish, or nearly white, sessile flowers, six to fifteen in a whorl. The motherwort flowers normally blossom in clusters or groups. Calyx is tubular, bell-shaped, with 5 rigid teeth. The corollas, though whitish on the outside, are stained with paler or darker purple within. They have rather short tubes and nearly flat upper lips, very hairy above, with long, woolly hairs. The two front stamens are the longest and the anthers are sprinkled with hard, shining dots. The plant has a pungent odour and a very bitter taste. 

Originally from Central Asia, it is Erect and leafy, it has several stems that are hllow with grooves.  Sometimes the square stems are red or violet.  

The leaves are opposite (picture) with 3-7 lobes (picturesa) and serrated margins.  The leaves have long petioles???? The leaves are green on top, and are whit eand hairy underneath.  The flowers are small and are pink or white. They grows in small whorls??? in axils??? the upper lip fuirry???.   The calyc (picture) has 5 teeth that are sharp. Tends to grow in waste places or along fences or paths.

Traditional Use:

A herb that is used sometimes only second in popularity to hawthorn for the heart.  It is commonly applied for heart palpitations. Attention is often drawn to the fact that the second word ‘cardiaca’ points to its role as a cardio vascular tonic, and the first word ‘mother’ for its use in female conditions.

Its role as a female tonic includes use to promote regular mesnstration, and induce a menstrual cycle if the menstrual cycle is absent due to a state of imbalance in the body.  Has been used during pregnancy to relieve false labour pains. Has been used as a tonic during pregnancy.1  

Has been used for the liver, and the urinary tract.1    Further use for this has been insomnia, cramps, the respiratory system to regulate menstruation and to assist in childbirth.

It grows in much of Europe and North America.  Very occasionally cases of dermatitis are reported on contact.

The effect on the heart muscle, is believed to be because of the alkaloide leonurine.  It is a vasodilator which has a relaxing effect on smooth muscles. 

Clinical Studies:

Leonurus cardiaca L. (Lamiaceae) is used traditionally for its sedative, hypotensive and cardiotonic effects. Due to the lack of clinical data regarding its effect in patients, a study was carried out to assess the clinical efficacy of Leonurus oil extract (LOE) in patients with arterial hypertension stages 1 and 2, accompanied by anxiety and sleep disorders.

Fifty patients were treated for 28 days with 1200 mg LOE per day. Positive effects of LOE on psycho-emotional status and arterial blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension were observed 1 week earlier than in patients with stage 2 hypertension.

According to the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, a significant improvement in the symptoms of anxiety and depression was observed in 32% of patients, a moderate improvement in 48% and a weak effect in 8%; 12% of patients did not respond to therapy. 

Side effects were minimal in all groups. Leonurus oil extract may therefore be a potentially effective therapeutic agent for patients with arterial hypertension and concurrent psycho-neurological disorders.


 Shicov AN, Pozharitskaya ON, Makarov VG, Demchenko DV, Shikh EV. “Effect Of Leonurus Cardiaca Oil Exctract In Patients With Arterial Hypertension Accompanied By Anxiety And Sleep Disorders.” 2011 April



Herb Name:  Motherwort

Other names: 

Mother’s wort,

Lion’s tail,


Latin name: Leonurus cardiaca

Family: Lamiaceae

Common part used: 

The whole above ground plant is used.

Motherwort also called leonurus, lion’s tail, and heartwort, has been used to treat heart disease and depression for thousands of years. Today motherwort is recommended by herbalists for treatment of heart palpitations and anxiety, and to encourage normal menstrual cycles.  

Motherwort contains lionurine and stachydrine, alkaloids that not only help lower blood pressure but also have a sedating effect on the central nervous system, which supports motherwort’s traditional use as a treatment for depression anxiety. 

The tranquilizing effects of this herb may benefit those experiencing anxiety as well as those having trouble sleeping. Motherwort may indeed benefit women who are trying to induce menstruation, but those that are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should avoid motherwort altogether

Medicinal Uses: Diaphoretic, antispasmodic, tonic, nervine, emmenagogue. Motherwort is especially valuable in female weakness and disorders, allaying nervous irritability and inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system.

As a tonic, it acts without producing febrile excitement, and in fevers, attended with nervousness and delirium, it is extremely useful.

There is no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart, and that it is good against hysterical complaints and especially for palpitations of the heart when they arise from hysteric causes, and that when made into syrup, it will allay inward tremors, fainting, etc.