Botanical name: Leonurus sibiricus
Other names: Siberian Motherwort
Marijuanilla (‘Siberian Motherwort’) is native to Siberia, China and Southeast Asia and was first described in the ancient Chinese Book of Songs (ca 1000-500 B.C.E.). In China, the aerial parts are used for heavy or painful menstruation, postpartum bleeding, menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea, malaria & hypertension.
It is also revered in China for longevity – there is a legend of a man who went to live in a remote valley full of Motherwort and he lived for 300 years. Research has now added weight to this legend – extracts of Leonurus sibiricus have been shown to protect cells from oxidative DNA damage as well as stimulating DNA repair. Studies have also shown it to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity. Animal studies of related species found clear sedative and narcotic effects.
The flowers are also used by Hindus in India for pujas (devotional offerings). Marijuanilla was also introduced to Mexico and North America where it is used to aid in childbirth, treat women’s ailments and delayed menstruation, as well as externally for rheumatism. This is perhaps where it got its name Marijuanilla, or ‘Little Marijuana’ – partly due to its similar appearance to Cannabis and also due to its similar effects when smoked.
The dried leaves are smoked as a Marijuana substitute. 1-2 g is typically sufficient for a joint, and no toxic dosage has been found. The effects are described as mildly narcotic or cannabis-like.
Preparation: As a tea – 1-2 tsp per cup, steep 10 minutes, drink as needed. Smoke on its own or in a blend with other herbs.
References: Christian Råtsch (1998), The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants, pp. 396-98.
Isabell Shipard (2003), How can I used herbs in my daily life? , pp. 220-21.
Marijuanilla Common Uses
Avoid in pregnancy.