Motherwort, the woman’s herb – forms and application

Motherwort – The woman’s herb

Motherwort is similar in appearance to chamomile, but despite the strong resemblance, the difference in its healing properties could not be greater. Its name is the long-known medicinal plant, because it was used in the past to induce childbirth.

Precisely because of this effect, pregnant women should refrain from taking it today. The risk of premature birth is too great. Apart from this exception, however, Tanacetum parthenium is a true women’s herb.

Menstrual cramps, symptoms of menopause and after childbirth. In all these situations the application increases the well-being and alleviates evtl. Complaints.

Motherwort as a remedy for migraine

One of the most important uses of motherwort is as a painkiller. It is used especially for headaches and migraines. In the past it was already popular for these complaints.

Unfortunately, when the pharmaceutical industry developed new active substances and drugs, motherwort was almost forgotten. Experience shows that motherwort can be an alternative without side effects.

About 10% of the German population suffers from more or less severe forms of migraine. At 13%, women are affected more often than average.

Even if the disease, which usually begins during puberty, cannot be completely cured, motherwort significantly reduces the symptoms. Regular use can be useful, especially for severe attacks with the symptoms that doctors call aura.

After taking parthenolide daily for 3-6 weeks, women report that migraine attacks are significantly less frequent and less intense. The daily dose in corresponding studies was 100 – 300 mg.

Regeneration of nerves also possible

Another field of application of motherwort is nerve regeneration. Specifically, several studies have already shown that parthenolide – the main active ingredient of feverfew – can stimulate nerve healing in neuropathy or polyneuropathy.

Especially in relation to the treatment of other diseases such as cancer, this nerve damage occurs as a side effect in connection with chemotherapies. Another trigger for nervous disorders may be diabetes mellitus.

Feverfew and leukemia

First scientific researches investigate the effectiveness of parthenolides in cancer. Promising results of studies show that parthenolides may be suitable for the treatment of leukemia.

The active ingredient attacks the cells already in the spinal cord and additionally enhances the effect of chemotherapies.

Motherwort – Also for men?

As already written, motherwort is a traditional women’s herb. Nevertheless, men can of course also benefit from taking the herb. Migraine, leukemia and nervous disorders are not limited to one sex.

What are the forms of motherwort?

Motherwort is offered in different forms. In trade, capsules and tinctures are most common. Capsules are extract standardized to the active ingredient parthenolide. The dosage is therefore simple and capsules can also be easily taken when traveling or on the road in everyday life.

Tinctures, with the exception of homeopathic mother tinctures, are also highly dosed. They make up the second largest share of commercially available motherwort preparations. Another popular application is tea. This is made from the dried leaves and can be purchased mainly from online retailers.

Does the herb also thrive in the garden?

Motherwort has not only excellent healing properties, but also looks good. Because of the frequent confusion, the plant is actually often called “false chamomile”. The external appearance makes motherwort an eye-catcher in the flower bed.

The long flowering period from June to September does the rest. The perennial grows up to 80 cm high and because of its popularity as an ornamental plant, there are now various cultivated forms in a variety of colors.

By the way, the home-grown motherwort can also be easily made into tinctures and tea. However, doctors advise to use ready-made products for therapeutic measures, because only in this way a sufficient content of active ingredients is guaranteed.

If you enjoy gardening and would like to continue using the medicinal plant, you will find recipes for home-made tinctures here.


Even though motherwort used to be used almost exclusively for women’s complaints and to ease childbirth, both sexes can of course benefit from the medicinal plant. Mainly the extracts of the herb are used against migraine.

Even if the disease cannot be cured completely, experience shows that the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks decreases significantly after a few months if taken regularly.

Other interesting applications of motherwort are, on the one hand, the healing of nerve damage and the accompanying use in cancer – especially leukemia. Although research in these fields is far from complete, initial results are promising.

Motherwort is also a beautiful ornamental plant, which can beautify the flower bed in the garden. Plants grown in the garden can be processed into preparations, but should not be used for therapeutic purposes due to the fluctuation of active substances.

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