Mugwort, as the name suggests, has mystical and unusual qualities. In Witchcraft tradition, Mugwort was used to invoke lucid dreaming, astral projection, and alter one’s state of consciousness. Witchcraft aside, Mugwort has very beneficial qualities both spiritual and medicinally.
Used by Hippocrates and the highly acclaimed scholar Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church and Sibyl of the Rhine, Mugwort is not to be underestimated in its power to heal. Containing highly potent detoxifying properties, medicine men and women of the old world, and monks and nuns of ancient times have used Mugwort for its power to destroy human ails both physically and mentally.
Mugwort has been used traditionally to “make dreams more interesting”. Stimulating parts of the brain involved in dreaming, Mugwort can assist with lucid dreaming. It is also an effective liver herb, boosting the liver’s ability to metabolize excess fats, of which an excess of fat in the liver can cause congestion. Helping to remove toxins out of the body means less stress on the endocrine system (which houses the pineal gland). In Druid mythology, Mugwort was thought of as a magical herb that led one to experience third eye awakening and enlightenment.
Botanical name – Artemisia vulgaris
Nickname – Verlot’s Mugwort
Nickname – Chrysanthemum Weed
Nickname – Old Uncle Henry’s Herb
Nickname – Sailor’s Tobacco
Nickname – St. John’s Green
Common name – Mugwort
Paiute name translation – Dream Plant
Mugwort was used to make an ale called “gruit” which was traditionally served in a mug. In Old English, wort means plant or herb. Hence the name “Mugwort”.
Chemical constituents slightly differ but most people assume that Mugwort and Wormwood are the same plants. However, Wormwood is a slightly rarer type of Mugwort and is a protected plant in the U.K.
There are over twenty types of Mugwort. Knowledge of Mugwort and it’s beneficial properties were written about in the 3rd century BCE by Lou Hao and it is also mentioned in the 11th century by the Chinese writer Su Shi.
Typically used for pain relief, the treatment of fever, parasites in humans, menstrual pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms and as a diuretic agent among many other uses. Mugwort is a staple of traditional medicine and is well-documented herb in Ayurvedic texts. The therapeutic use of Mugwort oil has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and is still used today. Mugwort is used in a process known as moxibustion, which is an important part of the Chinese medical system.
Used extensively in Chinese, Indian, Greek, Roman and traditional American medicine, Mugwort is much more than an unsuspecting weed. Mugwort is a valuable addition to many traditional medical systems along with having a medicinal revival as modern day scientific studies prove Mugworts various health benefits.
Arthritic Joint Pain
Moxibustion is a process whereby burning of cigar-shaped sticks of dried Mugwort on certain points of the body promotes pain relief in joint conditions such as arthritis, easing of joint discomfort and can improve joint mobility. and functionality. A New Zealand Medical Journal study in which 110 participants who were suffering from osteoarthritis were subjected to this ancient Chinese method of Moxibustion / burning dried Mugwort, reported the test group to have reduced pain by 51%, whereas the placebo group only had a reduction of pain by 24%. The positive effects of Moxibustion were not permanent but the positive results suggest a possible alternative treatment for arthritic symptoms.
Mugwort is choleretic in nature, which means it is a substance that can increase the volume of bile the liver produces, as well as increasing the amount of solids that are secreted. The role of bile is mainly to facilitate fat digestion. This helps the liver to both release and transport toxins which benefit overall toxicity levels in the body and general health due to bile being a naturally produced laxative which cleanses our system and in particular the digestive system. The secretion of bile is of great help to the whole digestive and assimilative process, and as we are what we eat – we are what we digest. Mugwort is also a cholagogue which means that it can stimulate the flow of bile from the liver. Mugwort is bitter to the taste and has been used for thousands of years as a digestive aid, which can also calm down stomach acidity, reduce the incidence of heartburn, dyspepsia which is the sensation of being very full, even though not much food has been ingested, and with no visible bloating. Dyspepsia can also cause pain, mainly in the upper portion of the tummy, and Mugwort has been successful in providing relief of this temporary condition.