Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
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Mugwort Madness

After having a long discussion with a friend who wanted to pull every last little root of Mugwort from her yard because she was so frustrated with it's regrowth and noxious habits, I decided to educate everyone on its wonderful properties. Here is information I have gathered through the years from my Materia Medica on the wonderful herb Mugwort. To many, this herb is a pretty annoying weed but  . . if you read on, you may not want to be so hasty to pull it and disregard it.

I will caution, if you have it growing wild in high amounts, you may want to wear a dusk mask if you decide to mow it down. I say this because Mugwort can be used to induce dreams and I have heard many, many, many (and I say this over again because it is true!!!) stories of people cutting it down and then suffering from outrageous and even frightening nightmares and dreams.

Hope you enjoy the info I have collected, some of which has also been passed down to me from my Grandmother and her ancestors. I love this herb, it has such a history and is loaded with folklore!!

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Mugwort - AKA: Artemisa, Carline Thistle, Chiu Ts'Ao, Ai ye or Hao-shu, Common Mugwort, Douglas Mugwort, Felon herb, Sailor’s tobacco, Wormwood, Cronewort, St. John’s Plant, Wild Chrysanthemum, Cingulum Sancti Johannis, Moxa, Armoise, Chrysanthemum Weed, Muggons, Naughty Man , Old Man , Old Uncle Henry,  Artemis Herb

Description: life cycle - perennial, reproducing by seed (rare in north) and rhizomes stems - upright, tall, become woody in late season leaves - alternate, deeply cut, lobes with sharp points, upper surface smooth (sometimes slightly hairy), undersides appear fuzzy or velvety, white to gray hairs flowers - heads of greenish-yellow disk (tubulate) florets; leafy panicles above. Sepals are absent, sometimes replaced by a structure of hairs and scales called a pappus. Small dry fruit develops below the pappus containing a single seed that is dispersed by wind or animals. Each head consists of several to many small flowers attached to a disk shaped, conical, or concave receptacle. For identification and classification, the flowers are considered either disk flowers (those with a tubular structure and found in the center disk) or ray flowers (with a flat, petal like corolla distributed around the margins). other - chrysanthemum scent when bruised or crushed. Common Mugwort has leaves lying upon the ground, very much divided, or cut deeply in about the brims, somewhat like Wormwood, but much larger, of a dark green color on the upper side, and very hoary white underneath. The stalks rise to be four or five feet high, having on it such like leaves as those below, but somewhat smaller, branching forth very much towards the top, whereon are set very small, pale, yellowish flowers like buttons, which fall away, and after them come small seeds, enclosed in round heads. The root is long and hard, with many small fibers growing from it, whereby it takes strong hold on the ground; but both stalks and leaves do lie down every year, and the root shoots anew in the spring. The whole plant is of a reasonable scent, and is more easily propagated by the slips than the seed. Perennial herb native to Africa, temperate Asia, and Europe, widely naturalized in most parts of the world. Found growing on hedge banks and waysides, uncultivated and waste land. Cultivation - Mugwort prefers slightly alkaline, well-drained loamy soil, in a sunny position. Blooming is from July to October. Mugwort is closely related to Common Wormwood (Absinthe). Often grown in Moon gardens.

Uses: Mugwort leaves are edible, young leaves are boiled as a pot herb or used in salad, they aid in digestion although said to have a bitter taste. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used in the treatment of all matters connected to the digestive system, it increases stomach acid and bile production, eases gas and bloating, improving digestion, the absorption of nutrients and strengthening the entire digestive system. It is used in alternative medicine to expel intestinal worms, nervous and spasmodic affections, asthma, sterility, functional bleeding of the uterus and menstrual complaints, and diseases of the brain. As a gargle for sore throat, a wash for sores and a poultice for infections, tumors and to stop bleeding. The leaves have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, streptococci, E. coli, B. subtilis, and pseudomonas. A weak tea made from the infused plant is a good all-purpose insecticide. The fresh or the dried plant repels insects. Also used to induce dreams and is used as a sleep aid. The infused oil can be used as a massage oil to increase circulation. Apply compresses of Mugwort Oil to areas of the body which are blue in color or cold to the touch, such as varicose veins where the flow of blood is restricted or stagnant. Helpful for bringing 'summer forces' during the winter-time, or for winter-like conditions of the body: cold hands and feet, and hardening or stiffening conditions like rheumatism. Helpful for those who need to balance a predominance of 'moon' qualities (such as emotional and psychic sensitivity) with solar clarity and embodied physical warmth. Recommended by many midwives during labor and delivery, and for facilitating lactation. It has a mild nervine action in aiding depression and easing tension, insomnia and nervousness. Mugwort is also used to bring on delayed or suppressed menstrual cycle and may help to regulate menstrual cycles. The leaves can also be rubbed on the skin as an antidote to Poison Oak. In a clinical trial, crushed fresh mugwort leaves applied to the skin were shown to be effective in eradicating warts. A traditional Chinese herbal therapy of burning moxa sticks or cones containing Mugwort over inflamed and affected acupuncture points of the body. It stimulates the blood and energy of the affected areas and removed prior to the skin burning. Knowledge of acupuncture points is recommended. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the successful use of moxibustion in reversing breech birth positions. The study found that 75% of 130 fetuses had reversed their position after moxibustion treatment of the mother. The technique is said to stimulate the acupuncture point known as BL67, located near the toenail of the fifth toe, stimulating circulation and energy flow and resulting in an increase in fetal movements.

Actions: antibacterial, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, haemostatic, nervine, purgative, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic, cleansing toxins from the blood Cautions: Should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause a miscarriage. Excessive doses can lead to symptoms of poisoning, but nothing is to be feared from normal use.

Folklore: In Native American folklore Mugwort was also a Witchcraft medicine, rubbed the leaves on ones body to keep ghosts away or wearing a necklace to prevent dreaming of the dead. In the Middle Ages a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John's Eve to gain security from evil possession. Mugwort derived its common name from being used to flavor drinks like beer before the introduction of hops. The Name Artemisia is from the Goddess Artemis (1st century AD) who inspired the plants genus name. In the Middle Ages, there were many superstitions connected with Mugwort. It was rumored to preserve the traveler from fatigue, sunstroke and evil spirits. It was believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of Mugwort in the wilderness for protection. Mugwort oil can be used as anointing oil for its connection to Artemis and the lunar cycles. Anglo-Saxon tribes believed that the aromatic mugwort was one of the nine sacred herbs given to the world by the god Woden. Mugwort is considered a magical herb, with special properties to protect road-weary travelers against exhaustion. The Romans planted mugwort by roadsides where it would be available to passersby to put in their shoes to relieve aching feet.

Magical: Mugwort is a versatile sacred herb. It can be used for spiritual cleansing, protection, healing, and consecration, and it can aid dream work, trance, and intuitive development. Associated with the Full Moon and with the Summer Solstice since ancient times, Mugwort also is suitable for rituals year round. It can be used as a ritual tool in many ways. A garland crown, or ritual head wreath, can be easily fashioned from one or more freshly cut Mugwort stalks. Dried wreaths hung on or above doorways, are wonderful house blessing charms. Make a smudge stick from thoroughly dried sprigs of Mugwort leaves. Wave the burning smudge stick back and forth to move the smoke around to consecrate the ritual place and participants. Fresh or dried leaves, flowers, and sprigs of Mugwort can be used as an offering in personal and group rituals. Leave Mugwort offerings at a shrine, place on the ground, or cast into a sacred fire. Use dried, sturdy, mature stalks that are at least 1/4 inch thick to make a scared wand. Dip the Mugwort aspersing wand into a chalice or bowl of ritual water, and then flick water droplets onto the place, ritual objects, or participants for consecration. Dried Mugwort stalks can be burned in combination with Oak and other sacred woods in ceremonial fires. Dried Mugwort leaves and flowers also are good additives to sacred fires. Make a Mugwort sachet or pillow, smell its fragrance as you do an affirmation to bless sleep, guide dreaming, and aid dream recall and interpretation upon awaking. For use in scrying, place some Mugwort potion in a dark colored ritual bow and meditatively gaze into it in subdued light. In addition, Mugwort also can be used as a sacred flavoring in ritual brews and foods. At the culmination of a home blessing rite, hang a fresh Mugwort sprig above the main door into your home for protection and good fortune. Hang a Mugwort sprig or wreath above your bed to bless sleep and dreaming. Fill an amulet bag with Mugwort, energize it, and wear it around your neck for healing, spiritual growth, and intuition. Put a pouch of Mugwort in the glove compartment of your vehicle or hang a Mugwort amulet bag from your rear view mirror to bless your travels. In addition, Mugwort can be combined with other ingredients in making amulets and charms for a variety of purposes. Grow Mugwort in a ritual garden. Create a year round ceremonial circle with a Mugwort hedge. Grow Mugwort next to your home to bless and protect it. Meditate and commune with living Mugwort for relaxation, healing, and inspiration. Place Mugwort in the shoes to gain strength during long walks or runs. For this purpose pick Mugwort before sunrise, saying: Tollam te artemesia, ne lassus sim in via. Mugwort is also burned with sandalwood or wormwood during scrying rituals, and a Mugwort infusion is drunk (sweetened with honey) before divination.The infusion is also used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors, and Mugwort leaves are placed around then base of the ball (or beneath it) to aid in psychic workings. According to ancient tradition, when carrying Mugwort you cannot be harmed by poison, wild beasts or sunstroke. In a building, Mugwort prevents 'dark elves' and 'evil things' from entering, and branches of Mugwort are used in Japan by the Ainus to exorcise spirit's of disease who are thought to hate the odor. In China, it is hung over the doors to keep evil spirits from buildings.Mugwort is also carried to increase lust and fertility, to prevent backache, and to cure disease and madness. Placed next to the bed it aids in achieving astral projection. GENDER : Feminine. PLANET : Venus. ELEMENT : Earth. DEITIES : Morrigan , Artemis, Áine POWERS : Strength, Psychic Powers, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Healing ,Astral Projection

Peaceful Blessings and please think twice before ridding your garden of Mugwort!!!   :)

 
 
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