Herb of the Week: Mugwort

Artemesia vulgaris is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but can be found in North America and is abundant here on our farm. She is a member of the daisy/aster family. It has a soft silvery underside to its leaves and smells sweet when crushed. It can be used as a strewing herb or aromatic to be hung in srays throughout the house. (Watch for a freshening powder in the shop that can be used on carpets, hard floors, and soft furnishings)

A bitter herb, it is used as a digestive in the form of tea or pot herb. Mugwort also encourages the flow of bile from the liver. It is the colourant in mochi, and was widely used in beer-making before the widespread use of hops.

Also used to bring on menses when flow is scant, and as a nervine helps the body to relax and release tension.

Saining sticks made with mugwort

In folk practice, it is the number one saining herb (akin to smudging) in British/Scots/Irish/Welsh and other northern European traditions. It is a ward against evil and poison. Smoking the herb is said to induce trance states and can be used to help the user to remember dreams. It is mildly psychoactive.

Well known in acupuncture as Moxa, used to warm the needles when needed.

Planetary association: Moon and Venus (women’s cycles, reproduction, flow)
Elemental Association: Wood (for growth and renewal)

CAUTION when using this herb internally not to ingest too much because it contains thujone which is toxic to humans in large doses and potentially fatal. Pregnant persons should AVOID its use as a tea or culinary herb due to its tendency to bring on uterine contractions.

Herb of the Week: Mugwort

RenaissanceMama

Just a woman trying to leave this place better than she found it. Farmer. Teacher. Creator. Cook.

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