Herbal Spotlight: Mugwort (Guest Post)
Since we now have herb bundles in stock that is mixed with mugwort, we found it fitting to have a post focusing on this powerful herb. Luckily, our friends over at The Old Way wrote an article about mugwort back in March 2017. We hope you enjoy this short, informative article as much as we did!
Common mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a member of the Asteraceae or Compositae family, which also includes daisy, sunflower, ragweed, and a huge variety of other flowering plants. Mugwort generally grows 3-6 feet tall, with purple tinged stems, green-grey leaves with silvery undersides, and small clustered flowers usually blooming July-September. The plant grows happily in poor soil with decent sunlight, and can often be found along roadways or trashy abused land. Its root systems are hearty and extensive, and intentional cultivation of the plant can easily turn into a weedy infestation of the plant if it is allowed to go to flower. Mugwort is best harvested just before it flowers, and hung upside down to dry or used fresh.
A common witch-plant, mugwort can be smoked or burned (as incense) to promote astral projection, lucid dreaming, trance, and other altered states of consciousness. Some folks out there claim that keeping mugwort under your pillow (or inside your pillow) or hanging above your bed can help a dreamer become lucid, but other practitioners say mugwort must be burned to unlock its magickal qualities. Personally, I agree with the latter and have found the smoke of the burning plant to be most useful. I think there are more effective tools and practices for achieving various levels of consciousness within the dream-plane, and keeping mugwort under your pillow is more likely to aggravate allergies than anything else (due to its relation to ragweed). It can also be burned as a smudge to discourage trouble-making spirits, or hung above entrances to the home to prevent their entry.
Mugwort has been used across many cultures and history for many medicinal and spiritual reasons. Chinese medicine has very specific uses for the plant, some of which involve acupuncture or precise burning of the plant in contact or very-close proximity to the patient's skin. Mugwort can be used in decoction, tincture, or compress to help regulate menstruation, even to induce menstruation or in abortive/contraceptive contexts (in conjunction with other plants) as it can promote contractions. However, it has also been used to prevent miscarriage and ease excessive menstrual bleeding--this seemingly contradictory use is often seen with herbs used to regulate menstruation. It has mild sedative and antispasmodic properties (useful for seizure prevention), and has been used to stimulate appetite and ease some stomach issues. It is worth noting that prolonged or excessive use can cause nervous problems or liver damage, and using mugwort for more than 7 consecutive days is inadvisable.
All information presented here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA (or similar regulatory agencies) and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or illness. Results may vary person to person. It is advisable to consult with your health care provider before using any herbal product.