Motherhood isn’t always easy. Sometimes you need a little boost, a bit of support. Of course the help of family and friends is important, as is a supportive community. But for the day-to-day challenges and triumphs, I call on the plants to help me out.
It’s easy even for a postpartum-brained lady like myself to formulate a mothering tincture…because the star herb has Mother in its name, Motherwort! I wrote about lovely motherwort in 2008 in this post, if you want to learn more about it’s medicinal side.
Actually, there are two stars in this formula; the other being peony. I find that peony is an intensely womb-connected plant and quite motherly itself.
Rose elixir, chamomile and a bit of licorice finish out the comforting, nurturing blend. Yum!
- .3 Motherwort
- .3 Peony
- .3 Rose elixir
- one dropperful Chamomile
- half dropperful Licorice (just a dash to harmonize the whole blend)
I take 3 drops to 1 dropperful one to three times daily or as needed.
Why the small dose? I do this because I’m not looking for a medicinal, therapeutic dose, so why take a medicinal dose? It is instead more of a supportive, energetic dose (more on that later).
Motherwort is truly an herb for mothers, and excels at treating the uterus as well as the heart. My midwife uses it in an energetic dose of about 3 drops or so when mothers are feeling doubtful, confused, or not confident about their role as a mother. It is an herb of the heart (hence the species name Cardiaca) and regulates the cardiovascular system and mediates worry affecting the heart.
“In ancient days, motherwort’s traits were described in such quaint language as ‘dispelling melancholy vapors from the heart,’ and ‘calming the trembling of the heart'”.
Peony is another herb with a strong mothering and uterine connection with a strong propensity to soften tension, whether physical or emotional. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it is a Blood nourishing herb and is softening and motherly, all great qualities to employ after childbirth and life with a newborn baby.
Scott Kloos of Cascadia Folk Medicine says that from a psycho-spiritual level, peony is an herb which embodies being completely and unconditionally accepted by the Divine Mother. From my class notes from a 2013 class by Scott:
“Peony tells us that the more we see others in their wholeness and beauty, the more we see that in ourselves.”
Doesn’t that sum it up? Peony is also indicated for crying, either too much or for when one needs to but can’t seem to let it out, and I have yet to meet a new mother who hasn’t had her share of tears?! This is just another example of how peony releases tension.
I’ve been fond of rose and chamomile for quite some time. Two common sweet yet complex flowers. Common & complex – I like it! Both are easy to grow and harvest, profoundly therapeutic and yet gentle for babies, pregnant and nursing mamas.
Rose is without a doubt, a herb to ease the heart. Rose is like a hug, wine, and chocolate rolled together, Chamomile is more suited to easing the mind through that profound yet forgotten part of our mind, the enteric nervous system. Through its sweet coated bitterness, chamomile calms the mind through the gut. Chamomile has a special affinity to babies,