, ,

How to Use Mugwort for Dream Time and So Much More

Mugwort has peaked my interest ever since I learned about its lucid dream inducing abilities.  Also when I have started a meditation practice I became more interested in  dreamtime and how the brain enters higher states of consciousness.

In our society we don’t pay much attention to our dreams. To think that our dreams are something that is trying to send a message to us is fufu nonsense in our society. Some, including myself, barely have the ability to remember dreams. Our brains have been to wired by stress and caffeine that we have forgotten what it’s like to use our imagination. Tapping into these higher states of consciousness is something we are missing with the human experience in the modern world. We are in the dream state half of our lives. If we are having trouble recalling our dreams maybe mugwort is here to help us change that.

“A taoist monk said to me that there is no difference to me between daytime and nighttime except that at night I am not at the whim of the law of physics. At night is when I do my meditation, tai chi, qigong, and martial arts training. And I said while you’re sleeping? He replied “you call it sleeping, I am as lucid in my sleeping states as I am in my waking states and I use that time for self cultivation because the laws of nature are not the same in my dreamtime.” -Colin Hudon

Getting To Know Mugwort

Common Names: “mother of herbs” and many other names in foreign languages including Carline Thistle, Chiu Ts’Ao,  common mugwort, chrysanthemum weed, cingulum sancti Johannis, common wormwood,  altamisa (Spanish), amarella (Italian), beiai (Chinese), nagadamani (Ayurvedic), moxa (Japan), and many more. (Ekiert)

Elements: Fire & Water
Planetary Signs: Moon, Venus, Neptune
Zodiac Sign: Cancer, Libra, Pisces
Chakra: Third Eye
Meridians: Liver & Kidney channels
Magical Uses: cleansing, protection, psychic development, lucid dreaming, love, lunar magic, clairvoyance

History of Use for Lucid Dreaming

Mugwort has been used by shamans throughout many ancient civilizations in Central/South America, by Native Americans, TCM, and ayurveda. For astral projections, vivid dreams, divinations and to conjure the presence of divinities. They believed that digging up the roots and putting it under the pillow would induce prophetic dreams.(Ayales)

Artemisia’s and Calea Sacatechichi (leaf of God) were often used together in a smoke blend by the Myans. This was to create the lucid dreaming experience, it also heightens awareness, and works as a spiritual activation. They both have been used in ritual as “bano florales”, “banos medicinales” and “aqua de florida.”(Ayales)

Mugwort has been used as a dream herb for divination “ore omancea” and “irrogen” (to recall dreams) and is used for its oracle connection. Smudge, smoke cleanser, water limpias of any kind, tonics to remove pathogenic substances, good for the microbiome, blood function, immune function (Ayales)
The thujone content is the compound in wormwood that is hallucinogenic and it depends on how you distill (like in absinthe)  to create that affect. The form of extraction has been found to be damaging on the body  but it can be immune stimulating and oneirogenic with moderate doses. Taking small doses is recommended. Mugwort can be used in the same way. (Ayales)

Mugwort Moon Medicine

Also in the book called Pure Magic Mugwort is thoroughly discussed for its psychic powers. It promotes alignment with the moon, is especially powerful for women and even corrects imbalances in the women’s cycle, and promotes awareness of dreams, and helps you discover the magic buried deep with in you. And as you test your psychic abilities with mugwort it will also offer protection against evil spirts.
European folklore says that midsummers night brings mugwort to her highest power. Garlands of mugwort were woven and worn on the head while folks danced around the bonfire and thrown into the fire to protect against bad luck and malevolent spirits.

Mugwort Flower Essence Magic

The flower essence of mugwort is used therapeutically for tendency of fantasy, hysteria, inability to discern genuine psychic experiences from projection, no psychic filter, nightmares, blocked energy, in the spine or aura or chakras, misalignment of the spine. (Pearson) It also works to make the mind more receptive and aware of psychic information. Taking the herb before bed makes dreams clearer and more vivid so the essence develops your psychic skills so you can access spiritual guidance.
The genus Artemisia is named after the goddess of the moon in relation to the lunar association to the sub-conscious. Harold Roth, an occult herbalist said mugwort ” is like the sun shining in the dreamworld.” and highlights the duality of the sun and moon, yin and yang, masculine and feminine, fire and water in association to mugwort.

Other Medicinal Properties and Physical Uses

Energetics: Drying , warming

Traditional Chinese, Hindu, and European medicine also used mugwort to help regulate the gastrointestinal system and gynecological diseases in women. (Ekiert)
A bitter herb that is best as a digestive stimulant. Helps with stomach ailments such as dyspepsia/ gastritis, ulcers, gastric/ duodenal, intestinal inflammation, liver inflammation, bacterial/ fungal external infection, diarrhea amoeba/ girardeau, intestinal parasite, and amenorrhea (Kane, 2019)
It can reduce fevers help discharge mucus from lungs. And is an affective aid for COVID.

As an antioxidant it can help you bounce back from heavy, greasy meals by helping the body metabolize rancid fats while protecting the liver from damage from free radicals. As a cholagogue, it stimulates the bile flow removing liver congestion. Especially when the the liver is backed up from lifeless, oily foods.

It is also an effective nerve tonic that eases tension and depression due to liver congestion, viruses, or sedentary lifestyle. Also is an emmenagogue. (Green, 33) And can stimulate a stagnant period, but be careful using it during a

Other various properties include hepatoprotective, antispasmolytic, antinociceptive, estrogenic, cytotoxic, antibacterial, and antifungal.  (Ekiert) And is used for Herpes type I & II.
Mugwort has essential oils that are also extremely useful in cooking and cosmetics.  (Ekiert)
Traditional Chinese, Hindu, and European medicine also used mugwort to help regulate the gastrointestinal system and gynecological diseases in women. (Ekiert)

In Chinese medicine mugwort is commonly used through a method called Moxibustion. Which is where they burn mugwort over acupuncture and ashi points. And has been proven to help with mild cases of arthritis. (Kim)

Mugwort can be used as a liniment for sprains, bruises and hyperextensions. Its a mild counterirritant, a topical anesthetic, anti- microbial and anti- Inflammatory (Moore, 2003).

How to Grow, Harvest, and Forage Mugwort

Where It Grows

Artemisia vulgaris grows in moderate climate zones across Europe, East Asia, the Americas, North Africa and Australia, though it is thought to have  originated in Europe and Asia and was brought to North America in the sixteenth century (Ekiert, 2020).

It is known as a herbaceous plant, that grows up to 2.5 meters tall, has stems that are brown at the lower end that will become woody with age, transitioning to green further up and purple at the tops.  The leaves tend to be 5-10 centimeters, set densely, alternately and primarily in the upper parts of the stems.  The bottom  leaves are feathery, have short petioles, and are divided into  segments, while the middle and upper leaves are smaller with a single or double pinnate arrangement.  The dorsal side of the leaves are darker green, while the ventral side will be whitish with tomentase.

When It Blooms

The flowers, which bloom from July to September, are small, yellowish or brown-red and are embedded in small baskets that form heavily branched panicles with numerous lanceolate shaped brackets at the top of the shoots. With fifteen to thirty flowers with numerous stamens in each basket, the inflorescence contains both ligulate and tubular flowers, with one study in the United States finding the breakdown to be 52%  ligulate and 48% tubular with 25-50% being female.

After flowering, small brown fruit, or achenes form with brown seeds that are covered in fine hairs.  Relying on these seeds for its propagation, Mugwort will produce up to 200,000 per year and combined with its ability to thrive in a wide range of pHs and various types of soils, it is no wonder that in many areas it is considered a weed.

Growing in many habitats from along roadsides to along rivers and in fields, it can easily colonize a site and can do so quickly thanks to its extensive root system.  This makes it an easy plant to cultivate and more immune to overharvesting, once established (Ekiert, 2021).

Harvesting Mugwort

The aerial parts, which die each year, are the most common part of the plant harvested and are collected  minus the woody stems when the plant first starts to flower.  If using the root, then the recommended harvest time is at the beginning of winter (Ekiert, 2021; Hoffman, 1998; Khalsa, 2008).

Products Available Containing Mugwort:

Discover more about plants with more herbal plant profiles here. Start your herbalism journey by diving in on plant at a time.

Work Cited

Ayales, A. (Director). (2021, January). Plants for The Mind, Pineal Gland, and Higher Consciousness[Video file]. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://theshiftnetwork.com/chc/40663/40756
Ekiert, H., Pajor, J., & Klin, P. (2020, September 3). Significance of Artemisia Vulgaris L. (Common Mugwort) in the History of Medicine and Its Possible Contemporary Applications Substantiated by Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies [Scholarly project]. In MDPI. Retrieved May 12, 2021, from https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/19/4415/htm
Green, J. (2002). The herbal medicine-makers’ handbook: A home manual. Berkeley: Crossing Press.
Hudon, C. (Director). (2021, May 4). Shamanism and Tea [Video file]. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKuFcQjVMZE&t=2739s
Illes, J. (2007). Pure Magic. San Francisco, CA: Weiser Books.
Kim, T. (2014, July 21). Moxibustion Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Multi-Centre, Non-Blinded, Randomised Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness and Safety of the Moxibustion Treatment versus Usual Care in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients. [Scholarly project]. In Archive. Retrieved May 23, 2021, from https://archive.org/details/pubmed-PMC4111481