Many cultures have used motherwort to honor their goddesses of fertility because of the herb’s association with the moon and Venus. It was often an herb featured in lunar rituals. Considered a protective plant, it was especially useful in spells to guard pregnant women and their unborn children. Many women would keep a sachet of motherwort concealed with photos of family to protect and bless loved ones. Planted around the home or hung from doorways, it kept away unwanted guests, both physical and supernatural. Motherwort burned as a smudge would drive “wicked spirits” from the house. Leonurus was also used as counter-magic to reverse a curse.
Hindu lore suggested making a tea of motherwort and adding it to the laundry when washing socks and undergarments to impart protection and bring peace to the home. Japanese folklore tells of a town whose main water source was a stream fed by rainwater trickling through the hills of motherwort. The inhabitants of the village drank daily from this stream and were bestowed with extraordinarily long life – up to 130 years of age. Esotericism believes that an incense of motherwort and mugwort can aid in astral projection, as well as promote inner trust, healing, and confidence.