Motherwort is especially valuable in the treatment of female weaknesses and disorders, allaying nervous irritability, inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system[4]. It is also seen as a remedy for heart palpitations, it has a strengthening effect, especially on a weak heart[254]. The antispasmodic and sedative effects promote relaxation rather than drowsiness[254]. The leaves are antispasmodic, astringent, cardiac, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, tonic and uterine stimulant[4, 9, 21, 46, 165, 222]. They are taken internally in the treatment of heart complaints (notably palpitations) and problems associated with menstruation, childbirth and menopause, especially of nervous origin[238]. Although an infusion can be used, the taste is so bitter that the plant is usually made into a conserve or syrup[244]. An alcoholic extract is said to possess superior action to valerian (Valeriana officinalis)[240]. The plant has been found effective in the treatment of functional heart complaints due to autonomic imbalance, and also as an anti-thyroid treatment, though it needs to be taken for several months for these effects to be noticed[244]. The whole herb is harvested in August when in flower and can be dried for later use[4]. It should not be prescribed in the earlier stages of pregnancy or where periods are heavy[238, 254]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[9]. It is used in the treatment of heart complaints, amenorrhoea, menopausal problems and flatulence[9]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort for nervous heart complaints (see [302] for critics of commission E).