This month I am writing a recipe which is from Benedictine monks. It is a simple herb tea boiled in wine.
The monks of yesteryear used motherwort in wine to help mothers reduce labour pains.
This herb is useful for the relief of cramping during menstruation and childbirth. It is also an excellent heart tonic, hence its Latin name, Leonurinidas Cardiaca.
Motherwort RecipeHere is the simple recipe. You will need:
20 to 100 Motherwort budding tops
a large bottle of Blanc de Blanc (French white wine)
a pinch Winemakers' Vitamin C crystals
When you pick the tops of Motherwort- the monks only used tight white buds and their two top leaves - check to see that the buds are tight- they should have a whitish cast and no pink or violet apparent.
Don't forget to wear gardening gloves, when clipping the fine tops. Motherwort can cause contact dermatitis.
The photo (left) shows Motherwort at a little
past prime for budding tops, or the buds at the top have become separated into
florets and are a bit leggy. Images of Motherwort can be seen on Flickr:
Fully Open Motherwort Flower Macro
The second image shows the florets as white but beginning to show pistils. Ideally, the buds are whiteish, but a little tighter and not that fuzzy.
These should be ready by about mid May in the Ottawa Valley or South - East Ontario region. They may be very early bloomers down South, I don't know.
A check with the local or favourite Gardening magazines' experts will suffice to inform you before Spring of this year, unless your Spring starts in January of 2001!
Pick and wash the tops in Spring water. The Spring water that comes bottled has less added chemicals than tapwater (or one hopes).The Doctors prefer this type of wash, since it is more pure. I give my Motherwort to Doctors and Hospitals every year.
Boil the tops and greens for twenty minutes, or until they are limp and a pale olive colour. Strain well into a large, well-steamed jug and add the Vitamin C.
Mix and re-strain while pouring through a funnel into piping hot clean pint-sized containers.
These may be small bottles for friends and the type of bottle with an added eye- dropper would be useful.
When offering yours (even to Doctors- they are awfully adventurous!) be sure to note well that Motherwort should be taken only one drop per day, and not in large quantiities!!
Seal these tightly and label well, making sure wine, motherwort, vitamin C and dose are clearly evident.
The European species L. Cardiaca was once commonly grown in herb gardens. It has been used for birthing, menstruation, bronchitis, diarrhorea , asthma and rheumatism.
It is now considered beneficial in the treatment of amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, and specifically of use in the treatment of tachycardia.
(From my garden experiments I have produced two types of perfumes which may be more beneficial to older women to assist in preventing prolapse, and I often include it as a regenerative agent in tiny amounts added to skin cream (foot cream, hand lotion).
I also make a stimulating tea blend which may particularly stimulate pancreatic action favourably. These are my unscientific experiments, however. I may include some recipes later- but at the moment they are in an unfinished book)