Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several Eurasian plants of the genus Leonurus, especially L. cardiaca, a weed having clusters of small purple or pink flowers and spine-tipped calyx lobes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A labiate herb (Leonurus Cardiaca), of a bitter taste, used popularly in medicine; lion's tail.
  • n. The mugwort. See mugwort.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A labiate plant, Leonurus Cardiaca, which grows in waste places. It has sometimes been used in amenorrhea.
  • n. The mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris, formerly used for uterine affections.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bitter Old World herb of hedgerows and woodland margins having toothed leaves and white or pale pink flowers

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English moderwort : moder, mother, womb (from its use in treating diseases of the uterus); see mother1 + wort, wort; see wort1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mother +‎ wort.

Examples

  • “‘In the Court of the Inquisition, a motherwort was a person who assisted in apprehending and imprisoning the accused.’”

    Confession

  • Oh, no, thought Miss Trent, and only just managed, by a quick turn of the wrist, to avert a motherwort deluge.

    The Mistaken Wife

  • It suited Miss Trent, however, and she always found motherwort tea soothing.

    The Mistaken Wife

  • The Greeks used motherwort to relieve the pain from childbirth and as a tranquilizer.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • I'm going to be in the same boat as you soon but we can't afford it, so I'll be using motherwort a herbal narcotic excellent for mothers! and blessed thistle, a herbal antidepressant type thing that's excellent for lactation as well.

    Snap

  • Next, one would use blood-moving herbs such as motherwort Leonurus cardiaca, angelica, hyssop, hawthorn berries, and rose hips.

    THE NATURAL REMEDY BIBLE

  • But my personal favorite is ‘motherwort, an herb of the mint family, prickly, a bitter taste …’

    Confession

  • Gwenhidwy likes to drink a lot, grain alcohol mostly, mixed in great strange mad-scientist concoctions with beef tea, grenadine, cough syrup, bitter belch-gathering infusions of blue scullcap, valerian root, motherwort and lady's-slipper, whatever's to hand really.

    Gravity's Rainbow

  • -- Take the leaves of motherwort and thoroughwort, and the bark of poplar root; equal parts.

    Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889

  • Not less closely did such old garden weeds as motherwort, groundsel, chickweed, and wild mustard cling to the white man.

    Home Life in Colonial Days

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