In a literal translation of its Chinese name, yi mu cao, motherwort means "benefit mother herb," and indeed the leaves are popular among Chinese women as a treatment for menstrual difficulties. When seeking the best variety, look for thin stems and pure green coloring. In traditional Chinese medicine, motherwort is classified as acrid, bitter and slightly cold.
Taken internally for:
Chinese motherwort is available as leaves or powder in Chinese pharmacies, Asian food markets and some Western health food stores.
Combinations: The herb is often mixed with red peony root, dong quai and aucklandia to regulate the appropriate timing of the menstrual cycle and alleviate the pain and discomfort of menstruation. Herbalists prescribe a combination with imperata to treat edema associated with the kidney disease nephritis. And a mixture containing Chinese motherwort, polygonati, pyrrosia leaves and musk mallow seeds is used to treat kidney stones and bloody urine. Check with a Chinese medicine practitioner for information on dosages and additional combinations.