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 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 the herb for the good of humankind.
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.
Mugwort was once the staple ingredient in beer before Hops was introduced. It was also known as Sailor's Tobacco, as it was used as an alternative when sailors ran out of tobacco at sea.
Mugwort tea was usually drunk before divination rituals and also burnt as a ‘transporting’ incense. Also known as the visionary herb, Mugwort is still used today for increasing psychic powers. Native Americans also burned Mugwort as a ‘smudge’ to purify the spiritual and physical environment. The herbal tea was, and is still used by women for late periods (and, as it relaxes the uterus, also for natural terminations without the trauma, pain or guilt – it was just a late period!).
THEREFORE PREGNANT WOMEN MUST NEVER USE MUGWORT OR BE IN ANY CONTACT WITH IT!
In modern herbalism, Mugwort is used to stimulate and ease menstruation, assist digestion and liver function, expell parasites and relax the nervous system.
The 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. Also placed under pillow slips for astral traveling and fanciful dreams.
Mugwort is one of the power herbs that got us more than interested in the positive effects of herbs. How amazing that some Mugwort leaf placed under the pillow will not only induce colourful and lucid dreaming, but dreams of prophecy and meaning as well. For those skeptics out there – try it! One morning you will wake up after dreaming of something and you’ll witness its manifestation that very day. At the very least, you will experience colourful, medieval, astral, meaningful, pleasant, adventurous, and/or lucid dreams.
Smoking the herb directly into the lungs or as an evening incense assists these lucid dreams. Drinking the calming, liver cleansing tea before sleep seems to keep you longer in a conscious dream state (REM sleep).
Mugwort is also excellent for placing in your dancing shoes, boots, joggers or sandals to relieve aching feet or sore leg muscles. The carrying of Mugwort reminds one to remain calm and to appreciate the reality of the now, that precious present moment of eternity. Another revealed ‘secret’ of Mugwort is that it can be smoked for pain relief and can also be applied externally as a poultice for pain relief, boils, carbuncles, abscesses or tropical ulcers. It even makes an excellent bath additive for relieving tired limbs, rheumatism and gout. Mugwort is the one herb used in moxa healing, especially favoured by Chinese doctors. You can do your own emergency moxa by rolling leaves of Mugwort into a cigarette and hold the burning end near a painful area. It works!
Mugwort gives power to us, the people. It is also an excellent herb to burn for meditation and peace.
Mugwort is also used to reduce the side effects of commonly smoked herbs. Interestingly, Culpeper of the 17th century also claimed that 'Mugwort juice is a special remedy for excessive opium use ...' (yet to be trialled!). We grow Mugwort for our farm animals as a natural wormer, thus avoiding toxic chemicals for that purpose. Interestingly, they chew a little from time to time ... animals instinctively know what's good for them. Meanwhile we dumb humans continually allow ourselves to be exploited by the greed of others."