Sunday, March 29, 2015

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Mugwort

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Mugwort. Includes FREE BOS Page!

Folk Names: Artemis herb, Artemisia, Muggons, Old Man, John's Plant
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Earth
Powers: Astral Projection, Prophetic Dreams, Protection, Psychic Powers, Strength
Magical Uses and History: Mugwort is a member of the Artemisia family, a family of botanicals named after Artemis, protector of women, fertility, creativity, witchcraft, and psychic ability.  Due to its association with Artemis, mugwort was often used to aid in childbirth and relieve womanly problems but was also thought to cause hemorrhaging if used too often. Mugwort is deeply associated with midsummer and St. John's Day, from which it derives many of its folk names. During midsummer celebrations in Germany, mugwort was fashioned into a girdle to protect against bad luck, witches, sorcery, and the Evil Eye. On the night of Midsummer, the girdle was tossed into the fire to burn away all ill will and bad luck, particularly disease. It was also common to find mugwort hung in houses or placed in sheds on Midsummer's Eve to protect people and livestock against evil spirits, witches, and faeries, especially in England. Furthermore, a "coal" of mugwort, which likely refers to a dead or rotten root mass, was dug up at midnight on midsummer and used as a protection amulet for the rest of the year from a number of diseases. Across the way in France, mugwort was harvested and worn during midsummer to protect against aches and pains.

Apart from its use in midsummer celebrations, mugwort was generally used throughout the year for protection. It is one of the herbs featured in the Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, where mugwort is said to aid in protecting against illness, disease, and venom. As such when carried on your person it is through to guard against harm by poison, wild beasts, or sunstroke. In Belgium, a potion of mugwort was given to those suspected of being bewitched and a cross of mugwort was made for general protection. Sometimes these mugwort crosses were hung in barns and henhouses to protect milk and eggs from being spoiled by witches. Some folklore also suggests that a decoction of mugwort picked on Midsummer was applied to the utters of cows barely producing to remove witch curses. In Germany, mugwort was placed under the pillows of the sick to heal them and protect against further illness. However, if the person could not sleep it was an omen of death. Due to its general protective abilities, mugwort can be used in much the same manner today as it was used historically. Hang mugwort in your home to protect against negativity, bad luck, and ill will and prevent unwanted guests from entering your home. Use mugwort in protection spells and rituals, or create a wash to wipe down entryways and floors for the same purpose. It can also be burned to cleanse and protect your space.

Apart from its use in protection magic, it was also used by travelers to increase stamina and prevent aches and pains. Roman soldiers placed mugwort in their shoes to protect their feet against fatigue. If you wish to use mugwort for this purpose, pick some leaves prior to sunrise while saying "Tollam te artemesia, ne lassus sim in via." Scottish folklore also attributes mugwort to good health. In a folktale about a mermaid watching a funeral procession, the mermaid is quoted saying, "If they eat Nettles in March and drink Mugwort in May, so many fine maidens would not go to clay." Both nettles and mugwort have natural healing abilities and are full of vital nutrients, so it comes as no surprise that such a combination was believed to prolong one's life.

There is some folklore that suggests mugwort can also be used in love spells. Widows were said to wear sprigs of mugwort to attract new love, while other folklore suggests young maidens placed sprigs between their breasts to attract a suitor. In Ancient Greece, mugwort was used to gain love and friendship, sometimes being hung in the bedroom to ensure a happy marriage.

Finally, mugwort is deeply associated with dream magic and astral travel. Mugwort is a mild hallucinogenic when smoked or applied to the skin and therefore can be used to induce an altered state of consciousness prior to astral travel or hedge riding. Mugwort is a common ingredient in modern flying ointments for this reason, and some sources suggest mugwort may have been used in historical flying ointments as well. As a tea, mugwort relaxes the nerves and opens the third eye, making you more open to receiving messages from the Otherworld. It also stimulates dreams and aids in falling asleep, so it can be used during dream recall. 

Mugwort can be used in a number of spells including:
     Astral Projection
     Dream Magic
     Protection Magic
     Love Spells
     Hedge Riding

Medicinal Uses: Mugwort can be used where ever a digestive stimulant is needed. When taken internally, it stimulates the production of bitter juices while also providing carminative oil. The volatile oil in mugwort, which contains cineole and thujone, has a mild nervine action that can aid in depression and easing tension. It can also be used to aid in menstrual flow although it can cause severe uterine contractions so women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should NOT take mugwort internally. Furthermore, children should not take mugwort. As a rule of thumb, if you are not old enough to menstruate, you are not old enough to ingest mugwort.

Preparation and Dosage: Leaves and roots can be harvested between July and September and dried. To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water into 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb and infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to 3 times a day. Mugwort is very bitter, so you may want to sweeten it with honey. For a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters up to three times a day. Do NOT use mugwort essential oil, often named "Armoise." The volatile oils are extremely concentrated and not safe for use. It is potentially neurotoxic.

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  1. May I ask, can you make Mugwort into a balm ??

    1. Yes. In fact, many dream balms on the market contain mugwort.

  2. Do you grow your own or can you share where you prefer to purchase mugwort?

    1. I don't grow my own as of yet. Georgia is not the best climate for growing mugwort. I usually purchase mugwort from a Georgia based company called Raven's Nest Herbals. They are always at our Renaissance Festival, and they make the best tea blends. Another great, and much larger company, is Mountain Rose Herbs. I highly recommend both. Thanks for reading!

  3. I grow Mugwort in my NC garden here in the mountains. I can send some if anyone needs some.


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