Mugwort herb, or the Latin name Artemisia vulgaris, has a long and rich history in culinary, medicinal, and magical uses as an herbal remedy. Mugwort is one powerhouse of an herb that has been used since ancient times for cooking, beer-making (before hops), magic, medicine, smudging, protection, dreamwork, protection against diseases and misfortunes and more. It’s genus name is Artemisia since it was dedicated to the Greek moon Goddess Artemis whose Roman name is Diana. It has a long history of use in China, Japan and throughout Europe. Native Americans value the plant as well. Mugwort is found in North America, Asia and Europe, including Great Britain, but has naturalized through much of the world. In North America, the mugwort herb plant is mistaken to be a weed, since it is very hard to get rid of. It is a tall-growing hardy plant, between 3 and 6 feet when mature with stout stems. It can be considered a common wild growing shrub, as it is found in hedgerows, ditches, alongside roads, in waste places, and amongst fields of many farming crops. It is not very showy or attractive. Mugwort enjoys weedy areas and waste places where the soil has been disturbed and there is plenty of sunlight. This product page is for Organic Mugwort Herb, Cut and Sifted, 1 ounce, from Croatia.
Mugwort Herb, Organic
Other Common Names for Mugwort:
Mother Herb, Witch Herb, Muggons, Maidenwort, Motherwort, Mother of Worts, Mucgwyrt, Dream Plant, Cronewort, Common wormwood, wild wormwood, Felon herb, St. John's Plant (sometimes confused with St. John's Wort), Chrysanthemum weed, sailor's tobacco, gallwood, broom herb, moxa, Artemis Herb, Naughty Man, Old man, Old Uncle Henry, cabbage fly, fat hen, Sagewort, Molush, sagebrush, black sage. NOTE: even though some people confuse wormwood with mugwort, it is NOT the same herb.
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Mugwort Magickal Properties / Uses:
Mugwort is also known as the mother herb and witch herb, and enhancing all forms of dreaming, divination, protection, and prophecy. Lacking the notoriety of its cousin, wormwood, mugwort is relatively unknown outside metaphysical communities today, because it is mostly used for its magickal properties. Mugwort's magickal uses are unlimited. No plant has greater associations with magic, no plant can better help you achieve your own maximum magick powers. Mugwort does not give you psychic ability, instead it uncovers what is hidden within. It will help you discover psychic gifts you never knew you had.
The name "dream plant" comes because mugwort is believed by many Indian tribes to improve people's dreams, making it more likely for them to remember them and interact with them for spiritual purposes. For this reason, mugwort is often burned as incense to ensure positive and spiritually meaningful dreams. Mugwort is one of the greatest dream enhancing herbs. Drink a strong infusion of mugwort tea before bed if you are seeking prophetic or vivid dreams. To make a tea - infuse one cup of hot (not boiling) water with at least two teaspoons of dried herbs or three to five teaspoons of fresh herbs for five to ten minutes. You can add honey or something else to improve the taste.
Also regarding dreams, mugwort is often used as one of the main ingredients in sleep pillows, and it said to bring the dreamer more vivid and lucid dreams. Mugwort will help you remember your dreams as well and help achieve shamanic trances. Dried leaves and flowers should be used to stuff dream pillows and sewn. In addition to mugwort, try adding some lavender, chamomile, and valerian, both to the dream sachets and tea. Put a few fresh leaves under and around your pillow for more intense, memorable dreams. You could also bathe with an infusion of mugwort before bedtime or to cleanse yourself for a ceremony.
As a powerful protection herb, it can be made into a smudge stick and used to ward off negative energies/spirits. In ancient times it was hung over doorways for protection, it will stop unwelcomed visitors, so hang a sprig of mugwort near the doors in your home. Native Americans also used it in cleansing rituals and sweat lodges. Some Native American tribes believed wearing an amulet of mugwort around the neck as you slept would provide security from nightmares and angry spirits. Native Americans equate mugwort with witchcraft. They believed that the rubbing of the leaves on the body are said to keep ghosts away, and a necklace of mugwort leaves is said to help protect against dreaming about the dead. Some Miwok people also wore mugwort leaves to keep away ghosts and evil dreams. Mugwort can be used in all protection spells, but especially for travelers (both physical and psychic), clearing energies, banishing evils. Mugwort placed in mojo bags and carried on you will provide protection and fortify you with strength. Mugwort is said not only to protect, but to reverse hexes. It is said to ward off possession and the evil eye.
Burn mugwort as an incense for astral projection. Mugwort will also protect your spirit as it explores, and it will amplify your ability to relax and enter trance states. Mugwort can be used as a sacred smoking or smudging herb for protection, purification, conjuration, and divination. Use a wetter bundle for darker, more intensely smoldering smoke.
Mugwort is effective at cleansing divination instruments, crystals, altars, and other sacred artifacts. Place mugwort leaves in a ceremonial bowl and allow the light of the full moon to charge this water over night. In the morning, strain the water, and this can be used to clean sacred spaces and tools. Add mugwort leaves near your tarot cards and scrying mirrors. Place mugwort around your crystal ball as you gaze, and on your third eye during mediation. You can even use long sprigs and slender branches to make a scared circle to perform spell work in. Drinking a strong cup of tea, smoking, or burning mugwort is helpful before practicing any form of prophecy.
Mugwort, the primary sacred Anglo-Saxon (Old English) herb, was used in their Nine Herbs Charm which mentions mugwort (Mucgwyrt), is an charm recorded in the 10th-century. It is one of the sacred herbs of Woden (furious God of the wild hunt) invoked, recorded in the 10th century in the Lacnunga, "Remember, Mugwort, what you made known? What you arranged at the Great proclamation? You were called Una, the oldest of herbs, you have power against three and against thirty, you have power against poison and against infection, you have power against the loathsome foe roving through the land."
All varieties of Artemesia are sacred to the Goddess Artemis, lady of the moon, who gives comfort (or death) to women in labor, as well as blessings on the hunt, and fertility. Mugwort is also tied to Diana and Hecate, patron of herbalists and midwives. There is evidence of mugwort in ancient Egypt, where the smoke was an offering to Isis. Mugwort has roots that pre-date modern written history so not all of its ancient past is well known. Mugwort makes a beautiful offering placed on your altar for any of these goddesses, and others as well. Mugwort is primarily feminine in nature, connected with the elements of earth and water, along with Venus and the Moon.
A sprig of mugwort should be placed in the room of a person who is dying since it is a bridge between the worlds. This herb has a powerful magical presence and is an aid to anyone who knows of its gifts. Mugwort makes a nice strewing herb as well, especially on the summer Solstice, throw mugwort around the home for a blessed year. Try growing Mugwort to learn from and enjoy the sacred, ancient energy.
Mugwort Medicinal Properties / Uses:
Mugwort has many medicinal properties that include easing the symptoms of or helping to heal stomach and intestinal conditions such as colic, diarrhea, malaria, epilepsy, hysteria, motion sickness, constipation, kidney stones, headaches, infertility and other female problems, cramps, digestion, and as a laxative, distress, worm infestations, fungal infections, bacterial infections, arthritis, coughs, colds, flu, vomiting, and more. Mugwort, along with other bitter herbs, are used to stimulate gastric juice flow and aid digestion to reduce acid reflux and other conditions. It is said to have cleansing abilities, as an antidote to opium toxicity, to help circulation, as a mild sedative, mild anti-inflammatory, nasal decongestant, and a gentle insect repellent. The plant is used in the ancient Ayurvedic medicine of India for heart problems, stress, and other ailments. In traditional Chinese medicine, mugwort is used in a form called moxa, in which the soft downy hairs are gathered from the mugwort and compressed to be burned on or near the skin. It is believed that moxibustion of mugwort is effective for many ailments from colds to digestive problems, arthritis, and possibly even breech births. Mugwort is so ancient and widespread that you can find it in most herbal apothecaries (in some form) around the world. It's many uses include antiviral, antibacterial, anthelmintic, antiemetic, psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, neurosis), constipation, menstrual problems; pregnancy and lactation, infants and children, bleeding disorders, anticoagulant medications.
Mugwort is used to regulate menstrual cycles, bring on delayed or irregular menstruation, increase blood flow, and reduce the pain associated with them, to relieve painful menstruation. For promoting the monthly flow, Chinese women make a confection of the leaves of Mugwort mixed with rice and sugar, which, when needed to overcome arrested monthly fluxes, or hysteria, they "eat as a sweetmeat".
Mugwort has a powerful effect on the female reproductive system, because of this it is dangerous for pregnant women. Even for those who are not pregnant, mugwort should not be taken steadily for more than a week at a time, taking at least a week break in between uses, in order to reduce the chance of unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Mugwort can cause uterine contractions and it has been used in ancient times to cause abortion. Due to this, no one who thinks they may be pregnant should use mugwort, as it may cause a miscarriage. And also because of this, mugwort has historical use in assisting labor. A knowledgeable midwife would have used it in ancient times to strengthen contractions and quicken a difficult, long labor. In Wales, mugwort was tied to the left thigh of a woman having a difficult labor. But it was believed that if the mugwort was not immediately removed after the birth, she might hemorrhage. For women entering menopause it can make the transition easier, and help cool hot flashes and balance temperature.
Mugwort's sedative properties have been used to aid epilepsy. The plant, without doubt, is decidedly anti-epileptic, its remedial effects being straightway followed by profuse and fetid perspirations. Portions of old dead roots are found at the base of the herb, which go by the name of "coals," and are thought to be preventive of epilepsy when taken internally, or worn around the neck as an amulet. It is similarly useful against the convulsions of children in teething.
A dram of the powdered leaves taken four times a day has cured chronic hysterical fits, which were otherwise intractable. It has also been used as a stimulant to lift depression. Its most frequent use was for the digestive system to expel intestinal worms and treat liver and digestive disorders. Bruises and chilblains were also treated by a poultice of mugwort. Mugwort was also used as a medicine herb to cure headaches it has also been used to treat nausea, even arthritis. It is also useful against gout by boiling the tender parts of the roots in weak broth, and taking this frequently. While at the same time, the affected limbs should be bathed and fomented with a hot decoction of the herb. An ointment, made of the oil of Mugwort with hogs lard, disperses hard knots and kernels about the neck and throat.
In Japan, it was used for curing rheumatism, the Japanese, young and old, rich and poor, indiscriminately, are said to be singed with a "moxa" made from the mugwort. Its dried leaves are rubbed in the hands until the downy part becomes separated, and can be molded into little cones. One of these having been placed over the site of the disease, is ignited and burnt down to the skin surface, which it blackens and scorches in a dark circular patch. This process is repeated until a small ulcer is formed when treating chronic diseases of the joints, which sore is kept open by issue peas retained within it so that they may constantly exercise a derivative effect.
Leaves and flowers can be used in a tea, tincture, or even smoked to achieve relief from nervous conditions, and for stronger relief the root can be used in the same manner. The root is often taken as a tincture in small doses for stress, depression, irritability, insomnia, and even as an energy tonic. When used in a tea it is probably best combined with sweet herbs, such as lemon balm, which is also calming, and adds a nice flavor. Hyssop, mint, holy basil, and lavender would all be good additions.
Mugwort has a duel effect, at times it can calm, at other times it can energize. Added to the bath it can help muscle pain and calm the body, as well as cleanse the skin. You can make mugwort vinegar that can be added to the bath to treat yeast infections, and dabbed on acne or other skin inflammations. The fresh leaves can be made into a soothing poultice for bug bites and other minor irritations and injuries. Mixed with honey or vinegar and applied to bruises and minor wounds it will help them heal faster and keep the area clean.
Mugwort infused oil makes a wonderful anointing and healing oil that has many cleansing uses and is simple to make. For a simple infusion method, fill a jar with either fresh or dried chopped mugwort, and cover with your favorite oil (olive oil can be used but goes rancid quicker than other oils such as canola). Let the jar sit in a cool, dark location for a few weeks. Shake the jar a few times a day for the best infusion. Once the oil has the color and smell of the mugwort, simply pour into a cheese cloth to strain the herbs. Store the oil in a tightly closed bottle in a dark, cool location. It will last about 3-6 months.
The same process can be used to infuse an 80 proof or above liquor, such as vodka, to make a mugwort tincture. When making an alcohol tincture the herbs can be left to infuse for a longer period of time, even months, before you strain them. A tincture will last longer, at least 6 months to one year, and the higher the proof the longer it will last, up to a couple of years. Always make sure the herbs are completely covered by liquid in both methods during the infusion. Extra caution should be used with all concentrated herbal solutions, as they will be stronger than fresh or dried herbs, and should be used in smaller amounts.
There are many varieties of mugwort used across the world, all in the Artemisia family. The use between them is often interchangeable, and you should feel free to substitute if you have another Artemisia. Some examples would be Chinese mugwort (Artemisia argyi), Douglas mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana), Alpine mugwort (Artemisia glacialis), Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps), Norwegian mugwort (Artemisia norvegica), and there are many others.
Mugwort History and Folklore:
A wort is an old term for root or plant or herb, especially one of a useful nature. Also, mugwort has been a traditional use for flavoring beer since the early Iron Age before the wide use of hops, and you would drink beer in a mug - hence the nickname mugwort. The botanical name is derived from the goddess Artemis, one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt, Wild Animals, Childbirth, Virginity and Young Girls. Mugwort is known to heal the female reproductive system. A decoction of the fresh tops acts famously to correct female irregularities when employed as a bath.
The Old English word for Mugwort is "mucgwyrt". "Mucg-" could be a variation of the Old English word "mycg" meaning midge or a variation of the Old English “moughte” meaning a moth or maggot, both of these derivations possibly referring to its use since ancient times as an insect repellant. Wort comes from the Old English "wyrt" (root/herb/plant) which stems from the Old High German "wurz" (root) and the Old Norse "urt" (plant). Mugwort is called chornobylnik in Ukraine, and has given its name to the abandoned city of Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian). The name chornobyl means "place where Mugwort grows" in the related Indo-European languages. Another theory about the source of this plant’s name is from the Greek word moughte, meaning moth or maggot. Mugwort was known for its success in repelling moths.
In Holland and Germany, the plant acquired the name of St. John's herb because as legend has it when Saint John the Baptist took off into the wilderness, he did so wearing a girdle of mugwort. After that it was said that a crown made from mugwort leaves and stems was worn on St. John's Eve to provide safety from malicious spirits. Even now if gathered on St. John's Eve, mugwort made into a crown and worn to protect from possession, disease and general misfortune, and will be imbued with even greater powers of protection.
Roman soldiers are said to have put mugwort in their sandals to stop their feet from getting tired, and mugwort is well known as a herb for any wandering soul. The great Roman herbalist, Pliny the Elder said of mugwort, “The wayfaring man that hath the herb tied about him feeleth no weariness at all and he can never be hurt by any poisonous medicine, by any wild beast, neither yet by the sun itself”. A very impressive testament to this hardy herb.
In an old Scottish legend, it says a mermaid surfaced near Port Glasgow and saw the funereal of a young girl who died of Tuberculosis and exclaimed, "If they would eat Nettles in March and Muggins (Mugwort) in May, so many fine maidens would not die." Another similar legend claims a mermaid of Galloway came across a young man mourning over a very ill sweetheart, and the mermaid told the lad that mugwort flowers would be the cure, and indeed he juiced them and the maiden drank the juice, and the flowers did restore her to health. According to these tales mermaids actually relayed the virtues of mugwort to humanity. This connects to the fact that this herb is ruled by moon goddesses, who control the tides, and by extension the waterways.
Used since ancient times to repel insects, especially moths. It can be stitched into a pillow and kept in your closet or drawers to repel moths. The scent of mugwort alone is sufficient. Poultry and grazing animals enjoy this plant, and it may be the same Artemisia of Pontos lauded by the ancients as excellent for fattening livestock.
Mugwort is called Una (One) and the "oldest of herbs". There is mythology that suggests it is the mother of all herbs, and perhaps even the first cultivated medicinal and magical herb carried with man as he traveled and filled the earth. Certainly this is a herb that was even used by stone aged humans.