Mugwort is an alluring herb that has so many traditional and modern uses that its indications can get a bit muddled. It has the reputation of being a “dream” herb, helping to stimulate the mind and encourage vivid dreaming. It has been used both historically and modernly as a smudge, to remove negative energies. Because of its dream-inducing and energy-clearing applications, mugwort has a reputation as a “witchy” or magical herb; but, as you will find in the monograph, it also offers myriad medicinal uses, like reducing pain and inflammation, promoting digestion as a bitter, and so much more.
Artemesia vulgaris doesn’t grow wild in Colorado where I live, but it does grow well as a garden plant. For some reason, common mugwort, which we discuss in this issue, did not make it into my herb garden until about two years ago. Before then, and today, I tend to use Artimesia ludoviciana, A. frigida, A. tridentate, and A. arbuscular more than A. vulgaris. These all grow locally and abundantly near me and have their own little corner in our garden. I have been working with Artemesias for years for pain, arthritis, and stiff joints. Its diffusive nature helps to ease and sooth pain, while bringing circulation to the affected area. The local native Artimesias are much more aromatic than mugwort, and they’re better suited to topical use, or as an antiparasitic/anti-microbial. Mugwort has a gentler aroma, and effect, and is much better as a tea than my local varieties.
In this issue, we discuss both the modern and traditional uses of mugwort, and the ways people use it for dreams, drinks, and more!