I fell in love as soon as I met Mugwort. Even the name Artemisia vulgaris has me dreaming of this special herb! This herb gained its botanical name from Artemis, the Greek goddess of fertility, hunting and the forests. Mugwort is part of the Artemisia family of hardy shrubs and herbaceous plants that also includes commonly known herbs such as Wormwood, Sagebrush and Tarragon. These plants thrive in semi-dry temperate climates, and can most certainly make a great addition to your herbal garden with the proper care.
Artemisia vulgaris is commonly used for digestion and nutrient assimilation, boosting immunity, regulating the nervous system and balancing the menstrual cycle. It is deeply relaxing and has gentle psychoactive properties that can assist with inducing dreams and deepening spiritual awareness.
Mugwort has been used for thousands of years, and is an extremely important herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the practice of Moxibustion. Moxibustion is the practice of using powdered Mugwort that is formed into a thick incense wand and centered over acupoints on the body to help promote the flow of qi, alleviate illness, as well as assisting in altering the position of a breached baby during childbirth. In this practice, the heat from the moxibustion wand is held closely above the skin until the heat gently penetrates the skin, while the smoke fills the air and deeply relaxes all participants.
There are so many beautiful avenues to explore when getting to know this plant ally. This herb can be steeped medicinally to assist the stomach with digestion and nutrient assimilation or enjoyed as a light, warm cup of tea to uplift yourself when experiencing feelings of depression and help to regulate the nervous system from prolonged stress. Using a Mugwort-infused oil before bed can help relax your nervous system for sleep and invoke dreams, astral projection and lucidity, all while keeping your skin hydrated! Tinctured Mugwort can be utilized as a quick remedy on-the-go during times of menstrual dysregulation to help alleviate symptoms of dysmenorrhea and menopause. However, Mugwort is not recommended during pregnancy, as it is an emmenagogue and has the potential to trigger uterine contractions and induce menstruation.
My favorite way to work with Mugwort is to wrap it and burn it as a smudge! I really enjoy experiencing the relaxing qualities of the herb in partnership with its cleansing smoke. Artemisia vulgaris is a lovely friend when wanting to connect your intuition with the spiritual realm, or for a ceremonial cleanse. Let this incredible plant guide you deeper into your wisdom as the veil of the spirit world thins this Autumn season. Or, add this herb into your daily mix to help yourself experience less stress, better digestion, and a stronger immunity!
Cara’s Weaving Wisdom Incense Blend:
- Charcoal disk
- Heat proof container
- 0.25 oz Mugwort
- 0.25 oz Lavender
- 0.25 oz Sage
- 0.25 oz Cedar
- Optional: 4 drops of Star Tulip or St John's Wort flower essence
Weigh out all herbs and combine together. Add flower essence if using and mix thoroughly. Light the charcoal disk and place in a heat safe container. You can try placing sand at the bottom of an abalone shell and placing the disk on top, or using a cast iron incense burner. Place a small amount of your incense blend onto the lit charcoal and watch as the smoke dances into your surroundings. Feel free to keep adding more of the herbal mixture onto the charcoal as your herbal incense transitions into ash.
Make sure to keep a close eye on your charcoal disk while it's ignited-it gets extremely hot and will burn through anything that is not heat safe. Make sure to tend to your incense burning carefully each time you are using a charcoal disk.
Fun tip: After you are finished with burning your incense, you can take your ash and mix it into a bit of salt to create your very own protective black salt!