Botanical name: Artemisia vulgaris
Artemisia vulgaris | herb info from the Happy Herb Company

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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!).

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. 


Ray’s Rave:

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."




Precautions / Contraindications: 

WARNING: As mugwort relaxes the uterus it should never be drunk, smoked or even touched by expectant mothers... DO NOT USE IN PREGNANCY!!! Mugwort is potentially allergenic to people sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.

This is a modified excerpt from Ray Thorpe's book: Happy High Herbs

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Happy Herb Company does not invite reliance upon, nor accept responsibility for, the information provided here. The Happy Herb Company makes every effort to provide a high quality information for educational and entertainment purposes however neither The Happy Herb Company nor any of its affiliates give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. Users should confirm information and seek medical advice. 

Leave a comment below


Submitted by Suzan (not verified) on

I feel blessed that i have come across your web site! I have been experiencing insomnia for months. Mugwort seems like a very beneficial herb that i could use daily.
Thank-you so much in sharing this unique herb. I cant wait to buy some.

Kind Regards


Submitted by bigjoe (not verified) on

I haven't tried it yet but I will wen starts ta grow in spring

Submitted by ann (not verified) on

just be careful, i read it can take over and "outshine" the other herbs/ plants.

Submitted by Bianca (not verified) on

Just like people to know,although mugwort is great for quitting smoking and insomnia,it shouldn't be used regularly,as it prevents a person from experiencing deep sleep mode. Although it enhances dreams,it leaves your mind in rem sleep without achieving a deep sleep. Other site suggest not to use on a school or work night,as the effects of not achieving a deep sleep,just lucid dreaming,will make you sleepy and drained the next day. Other sites suggest,having breaks of using mugwort,so you can achieve deep sleep to regain your energy and to prevent feeling tired during the day.

Submitted by Tammy (not verified) on

it works, I had some tea last night and had the most fun interesting lucid dreams I've had for ages

Submitted by Samwise (not verified) on

Thanks to having a happy herb shop only an hour away it means I can now get access to mugwort - one of the best herbs ever! The only problem I have found is that because it is pre-cut it is hard to make into a tea without a plunger - some whole leaves would be amazing

Submitted by bianca (not verified) on

you can find mugwort all along the bushes and in the country and sometimes in the city in the americas

Submitted by Paul Keegan (not verified) on

what amount to give to Horses cattle Camels for Worms ?

Submitted by Ray on

Animals are smart, they choose what they want themselves!

I find that they nibble on a little and leave it for later nibbles. If you have fresh growing mugwort just put a couple of branches over their fence - they will nibble on it.

If you have purchased it you'll probably need up to 100g of fresh mugwort in their food per animal.

Yours Ray

Submitted by Acupuncture Norwich (not verified) on

What a wonderful article - absolutely love it! Now I know why I love using Moxa so much in my 5 element acupuncture treatments and why my patients all love it so much too!! ;)

Submitted by Coco (not verified) on

Is this harmful otherwise if you aren't pregnant?

Submitted by Niall on

"Mugwort is potentially allergenic to people sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae family."
- Hofmann, Medical Herbalism (2003) p531.

There are occasional reports of contact dermatitis caused by touching mugwort.

Besides that, mugwort is generally not a harmful herb :)

Submitted by Zack (not verified) on

Yes mugwort can be harmful to the liver if taken in excess so it's best to use in moderation. Other than that, no not to my knowledge.

Submitted by jeff norman (not verified) on

I am assuming that I should not plant this in any pasture that a pregnant goat might browse in? Or does it only relax the human uterus?

Submitted by Niall on

If you want to take maximum precaution you could refrain from planting it where your pregnant goat is likely to come across it. However in Ray's experience his animals only eat a small amount of it when he gives it to them, so we expect there's little chance that you'll have a problem.
Happy herbal regards to you and your goat :)

Submitted by vicci (not verified) on

Thankyou for ur fab web page....I suffer from Fibromyalgia and as a result,painful body and insomnia.I also suffer very bad with my back so looking forward to trying this mugwort.will let u know how it goes x

Submitted by Amelia on

Thank you for your comment, I hope that Mugwort will bring you some relief. You may also be interested in trying Mulungu which is very good for insomnia and has been known to have some pain relieving properties (note that Mulungu should not be taken in cases of very low blood pressure and you should not operate machinery or drive after taking itm), or St John's Wort which has a restorative effect on the nervous system. All the best, let us know how you get on.

Submitted by Fran (not verified) on

I suffer for the same thing did you find any relief and how did you use it, a tea or smoke it or what? Cheers.

Submitted by Jade (not verified) on

Hey! I know mugwort shouldn't be taken by expecting mothers, but do you know if it has any negative effects on those who are taking birth control? I know there are some herbs that render it ineffective for the time being. Thanks so much!

Submitted by Amelia on

Hi, thanks for your comment. I don't think Mugwort has an effect on hormone production so it should not interfere with the pill. It is a strong liver tonic and emmenagogue - meaning that it will encourage menstrual bleeding, and as you mentioned, should on no account be taken during pregnancy for that reason. It can help balance irregular periods. I find it a great herb for PMS!

Submitted by Ritz (not verified) on

Is it unsuitable if you suffer from heavy periods?

Submitted by Amelia on

In traditional European herbalism Mugwort is believed to act as an emmenagogue (promoting normal menstrual flow) and a menstrual cycle regulator. In Chinese medicine this herb has been used for millennia for general menstrual health, including for heavy periods and mid-cycle spotting. Mugwort is a great womens herb.

Submitted by Dee (not verified) on

Make sure you're not allergic to it. I found out I was when tested for other allergens.

Submitted by Desiree (not verified) on

Can this be used for human deworming? I have suffered for many years with intestinal worms and have had no luck at totally eradicating them despite trying conventional and some unconventional methods and being scrupulously clean. I believe this may be due to retroinfection. Thanks in advance

Submitted by Amelia on

Hi, thanks for your comment.

Mugwort has been used for centuries as a treatment for intestinal parasites, and also skin parasites such as ringworm. It can be combined with other antiparasitic herbs such Black Walnut. Make sure that you are supporting your liver, as a parasitic infestation can take its toll on liver function. Milk Thistle is a great detox aid, and will boost your liver function. Many of our shops carry an awesome product called &;Herbal Fibre Blend&; which combines many powerfulantiparasitic herbs. Do you live near a Happy Herb shop? Check our locations here. Our friendly staff are a fountain of knowledge on herbs for health! All the best.

Submitted by natural Medicine (not verified) on

Thanks to having a happy herb shop only an hour away it means I can now get access to mugwort - one of the best herbs ever!

Submitted by Alana (not verified) on

Very informative site. Didn't know it was dangerous for pregnant women. Good thing I came across this site!

Submitted by Dapthania (not verified) on

I used to live in Broomfield Colorado when I was pregnant with my 4th child. I was given Mugwort by an herbalist in Boulder that told me to make tea with it and drink it on my due date. I wrapped the Mugwort in cheescloth and tied it and steeped it in hot water to make a half gallon of tea. I drank it with honey. It tasted strange but not unpalatable. After about and hour I felt very hyper and cleaned my entire apartment and still had energy to spare. That night about 1 am I felt a kick and it woke me. I got up and went to the bathroom and thought I was urinating myself but soon realized my water had broke. This was my only non induced pregnancy. It was wonderful and I regret that I had not learned about Mugwort sooner. It is true that you should stay away from it until it is safe to have the baby. It is powerful medicine. It sure beats laying in a hospital with an i.v. in your arm.

Submitted by Amelia on

Thank you for sharing your story about Mugwort, it can indeed be a very powerful medicine as you have experienced! Your story proves how important it is for woman who are not at full term of their pregnancy to keep well away from Mugwort. We would recommend that a pregnant woman at any stage in her pregnancy should consult with a healthcare professional before using Mugwort and indeed most other herbs, although there are many that can be of great benefit post-partum and during breastfeeding. We have an article on the website about this very subject here!

Submitted by MsToth (not verified) on

Does Mugwort help relieve anxiety and stress?

Submitted by Amelia on

Due to it's nervine (it is soothing to the nervous system) and mild sedative properties, Mugwort can be beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety. You might also have some very interesting dreams is you drink Mugort tea in the evening before bed.

Submitted by Alex (not verified) on

So someone helping me with my severe back pain gave me this in the form of an essential oil. It has worked ok on my back. However after placing it on my back I had touched my face while at my computer without washing my hands and got some oil on my face. This gave me some sort of high and went away as soon as I washed it off. Was that harmful? How did that happen?

Submitted by Amelia on

Hi, I personally have no experience with Muwort oil. Mugwort does have mild sedative and nervine properties, so inhaling a concentrated essential oil of Mugwort may have imparted some of the pleasant characteristics of this excellent healing herb! It should be quite harmless I imagine. However, make sure any pregnant female friends you may have steer well clear of that oil bottle.

Submitted by Rhen (not verified) on

I understand Mugwart shouldn't be used during pregnancy, but is it safe to use if nursing? Thanks

Submitted by Amelia on

I wouldn't recommend Mugwort during nursing, mostly for the fact that it can give some pretty wild dreams - the active components would go through to your milk and it might be a bit much for a wee bubba! However we have a great article recommending herbs to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding (to increase milk supply, in case of colic, for engorged breasts and cracked nipples) check it out here.

Submitted by Isla (not verified) on

Is it ok to drink mugwort tea when breastfeeding?

Submitted by Amelia on

We wouldn't recommend it, please see reply above your comment and click on the link to read our blog about herbs for pregnancy and breastfeeding.