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Names: Lion's tail, Lion's ear, Lion's tart, throwwort, lion heart, motherwomb, heartwort; Agripaume, Agripaume cardiaque, Herbe battudo (French); Agripalma, Melissa salvatica (Italian); Aartgespan, Hartgespan (Dutch); yakumos (Japanese); ikmoch'o (Korean); Hjartstilla, bonassla; akta hjartstilla (ssp. cardiaca), ullig hjartstilla (ssp. villosus) (Swedish); Lovehale (Norwegian); Almindelig Hjertespand (Danish); Nukula (Finnish); Echtes Herzgespann, Herzgespann, Echtes Lovenschwanz (German); Lovehale (Norwegian); Scerdecznik pospolity (Polish); Agripalma, marihuanilla (Spanish)
Properties: emmenagogue, astringent, carminative, cardiac tonic, diuretic, antispasmodic, antirheumatic
History: the early Greeks gave motherwort to pregnant women suffering from anxiety. This use continued and gave the herb the name mother wort, or "mother's herb." Its other prominent action is on the heart, giving it the species name cardiaca or the Greek kardiaca, or heart. Leonurus comes from the Greek leon for "lion" and ouros for "tail", as the plant was thought to resemble the tail of a lion. There is an old tale about a town whose water source is a stream flowing through banks of motherwort. Many of the townspeople lived to be 130 years old and recall one who reportedly lived to 300 years. In Europe, motherwort first became known as a treatment for cattle diseases. Colonists introduced motherwort into North America.