Leonurinidas cardiaca

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 fror the relief of cramping during menstruation and childbirth.

It is also an excellent heart tonic, hence its Latin name, Leonurinidas Cardiaca.

Here 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
Spring Water

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. The photo on the image page 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. 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 restrain 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. Now considered beneficial in the treatment of amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, and specifically of use in the treatment of tachycardia.

Link here to a great summer recipe for Motherwort iced Tea




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