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Learn about Mugwort

Botanical name: Artemisia vulgaris
Other names:

Mugwort the universal herb

Mugwort was considered the ‘universal herb for protection and prophecy’ throughout the ancient world. Dedicated to Artemis and Diana, Mugwort was used for pain and healing, psychic powers and lucid dreaming. In ancient China and Japan, Mugwort was hung in open doorways to exorcise the spirits of disease. The ancient Europeans did the same with Mugwort to ward off evil spirits. These two separated cultures also believed that the supernatural powers of Mugwort were revealed by mermaids who came from the sea to present Mugwort for the good of humankind.

Mugwort, artemisia vulgaris

What mugwort is used for?

Mugwort is used throughout ancient medicine in many places. Mugwort taken by the tongue may help relieve digestive problems, menstruating irregularities, and swollen skin. It can also be used to sedate the brain, tonic the laxatives and the kidneys. It can relieve itching, is an effective insect repellent, a great culinary herb used in Asian cooking can also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Why do you smoke mugwort?

Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris Herb Properties: Many ancient cultures drank Mugwort for dreaming. The medication produces mild psychotropia in your sleep. Qualities for smoking: This herb offers light, sweet aroma. Mugwort was used as the staple ingredient in beer before Hops was introduced. The Mugwort plant was also known as Sailor’s Tobacco, as it was used as an alternative when sailors ran out of tobacco at sea.

mugwort, essential oil, insect repellant

Mugwort, the travellers herb

Also known as the ‘traveller’s herb for protection’, Roman soldiers placed Mugwort inside their sandals for endurance on long marches. One Roman general recorded that his men marched 10 miles further, as well as faster, when on Mugwort.

Why drink Mugwort tea?

Mugwort tea was usually drunk before divination rituals and also burnt as a ‘transporting’ incense. Also known as the visionary herb, Mugwort is used today for increasing psychic powers. Native Americans also burned Mugwort as a ‘smudge’ to purify the spiritual and physical environment. Mugwort tea was used and still is used by women for late periods (and, as it relaxes the uterus, also for natural terminations).

Mugwort tea recipe (Herbal Tea)

Herbal Tea Preparations:  1-2 tsp/cup of Mugwort. Steep with boiling water covered for 10 minutes. Once known as ‘sailor’s tobacco’, it may also be smoked as a tobacco or cannabis alternative.

Does Mugwort ease menstruation?

In modern herbalism, Mugwort is used to stimulate and ease menstruation assist digestion and liver function. Mugwort also expels parasites and relaxes the nervous system.

Mugwort lucid dreaming

Mugwort leaves may be smoked for a dreamy, relaxed effect. Mugwort may be smoked or drunk as a tea at night to induce colourful and lucid dreaming. Mugwort can also be placed under pillow slips for astral travelling and fanciful dreams.

Does mugwort grow in Australia?

Mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) is widely naturalised in Eastern Australia and can be regarded in some areas as weeds due to its underground rhizome competing with other vegetation in the search to find more space.

Why is Mugwort illegal in some places?

Some places consider Mugwort an invasive species. It grows very fast, which can cause legality for growing it in some places.


The main use of Mugwort is in a technique called moxibustion. This involves burning Mugwort over a specific part of the body based on what the practitioner is trying to achieve. Practitioners also commonly use moxibustion during acupuncture to increase the effectiveness of this ancient Chinese practice. There is some evidence to suggest that moxibustion may be able to help prevent or correct breech births, which might, in turn, help reduce the need for as many cesarean deliveries.

What are the Digestive benefits?

Mugwort may also be effective for a number of digestive complaints, including:

  • low appetite
  • colic
  • indigestion
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • travel sickness
  • stomach acidity

However, much of the evidence to support these claims for Mugwort’s use is anecdotal.

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