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mugwort

 
Cassie Langstraat
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found this article through our good friend Marjory Wildcraft's newsletter.

7 Uses For Mugwort

I had never heard of mugwort before this. Ya'll tried any of these uses? Or have any uses of your own?




 
duane hennon
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hi Cassie

when I'm out walking I pick some mugwort and crush the leaves and put it under my hat
as my head heat up the oils are spread out around my head to keep away gnats and mosquitoes
if the insects are really bad I put an additional crushed sprig behind each ear
this not only works but helps cultivate my mystique among the neighbors!
 
Cassie Langstraat
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ahh! what a great trick! I'll keep that in mind. mystifying neighbors is ALWAYS a top priority of mine.
 
Zach Muller
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Ive had a mugwort plant for years now, and just one is certainly enough to have all the tea you smudges you need in a year. The plant is associated with st. John and pre 1700 there was a "st johns eve" the eve before july 5th when the mugwort was harvested. On this date it was supposedly most magically potent. In the book 'backyard medicine' Julie and matthew seal tell an account where the mugwort was made into wreaths and worn around the neck of people and cattle. Hedge fires were lit and the cattle were forced through and the men and boys jumped over the flames. It was thought that the mugwort and flames would protect from evil spirits for the coming year.
Some people do not like the form it takes late in the season, tall, falling over, and generally scruffy looking. It has no problem being chopped off at a few inches and will readily regrow next year.
I dont do the wreath of fire ceremony, but i do keep the plant just outside my front door along with datura and a few others. If a plant shows up in my dreams i usually plant it somewhere close to the house.

I dont need any enhancement of my mystery with my neighbors...haha i am already a fish among crabs so to speak, but i will pop some under my hat next time there are bugs bothering.
 
Cris Fellows
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I have a lovely mugwort out back. Thus far I have only used it in teas. In fact I am drinking a blend now. I am gonna try the mosquito reducing mystique enhancing use and gonna go gather some tomorrow to make smudge sticks.
 
Rachel Hart
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Hi,

When I was on a strick macrobiotic diet, to heal my basal cell; my macrobiotic counselor had me eat some mugwort once a week.
It was part of the healing process. It was in the form of mugwort mochi.
Here is a link to it: http://www.kushistore.com/Mitoku-Mugwort-Mochi-DF011.htm
(I do not know, if foods from Japan are contaminated from the nuclear power plant, still stewing out nuclear waste in Japan but to be on the safe side, I do
not buy anything from Japan anymore.)

I would make a miso soup for part of breakfast and the recipe called to grate about 1 tablespoon of the mugwort mochi on top
of the soup when it was ready to serve.

The macrobiotic counselor didn't tell me, what it's medicinal properities where.

 
Michael Newby
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Check out these Mugwort Cakes that they eat seasonaly in the Yangshuo area of China.

Bet you those pack a medicinal punch!

Yangshuo-delicacy-mugwort-cakes-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for Yangshuo-delicacy-mugwort-cakes-1.jpg]
Mugwort Cake
 
Marvin Warren
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Hey Cassie,

I'd say the article, like many of its kind, is a bit over-the-top, but I'm glad to hear people are having good results with its bug-repellant properties; I'm curious to hear whether anyone's had any luck with poison ivy or oak, I've never heard that use and am a bit skeptical.

That said, I've heard lots of stories of lots of vivid dreams related to its use as an incense (I don't use the word 'smudge' as several American Indian people have told me that they find the word offensive) and dream sachets. Personally, after a month or two of vivid nightmares involving lots of violence, I composted the incense bundle I had gathered and kept by my bed; don't know why it took me so long, heh. One other person I've met has had night terrors from keeping it as a dream sachet under her pillow--this can be a surprisingly strong plant!

I've heard clinical herbalists express skepticism about wormwood's use as an antiparasitic, let alone mugwort; I wouldn't count on it. Great digestive bitter, though, and I love the idea of brewing beer with it and possibly yarrow and some other pre-purity-law bitters.

Does it grow wild out by you? It's quite weedy here, and forms large stands, kind of like its aster-family cousin goldenrod. I've considered harvesting it to sell in incense bundles. I love the smell, but would feel bad if anyone had my experience with it! If you don't have it in abundance, I'd guess you have plenty of Artemesia tridentata (sagebrush) out in Montana, and that's got many of the same qualities, maybe a bit more strongly antiseptic, probably not so much for dreaming, but you could certainly try it.

Also super-curious what those mugwort cakes are like! They sound intense!

 
Peter Ingot
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In the balkans wormwood/mugwort is infused into wine (called Pelin in Bulgaria). I believe it is usually artemisia vulgaris, not artemisia absinthum that is used. It seems to give less hangovers on the whole, although the cheap sweet pelin wine is generally regarded as something to be drunk out of a brown paper bag Wormwood infused into stronger alcohol makes a crude absinth which can be improved by a second distillation. It contains thujone, a narcotic chemical which has been compared to marijuana. The use of wormwood in alcoholic drinks seems to me to be similar to the use of hops, which are a close cousin of marijuana (and I don't think it's coincidence that it's the fragrant female flowers of hops which are used! smell some freshly picked hops and you'll know what I mean). The main reason for hops in beer is their anti bacterial properties, which make the beer last longer, but they also seem to be sedative.

In Hunan province China, a few months back, I saw very large bunches of wormwood/mugwort for sale everywhere for a single day only. None of my educated, urban, English speaking friends knew why. I guessed it was a quasi-religious tradition, but possibly with a practical function such as repelling cockroaches. Some of the bunches were simply left outside people's front doorways. Despite communism, Chinese folk religion seems to be thriving.

In South Korea I saw a peculiar remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. Small tubes of compacted herbs, like little cigars, which I was told contained wormwood, were placed on the affected area and lit. The smoke, strangely, mostly disappeared down the center of the tube, the traditional doctor seemed to be saying that it was absorbed into the skin. I was wondering if everyone present was getting high. The smell of the smoke was...interesting.

As regards the wormwood cakes, Glebionis segetum (corn marigold or corn daisy) is often eaten in the far east, and its Korean name is regularly mistranslated as "mugwort". I suspect this may be what is in the mugwort cakes, but I could be wrong. It is only mildly bitter.
 
Michael Newby
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Peter Ingot wrote:
As regards the wormwood cakes, Glebionis segetum (corn marigold or corn daisy) is often eaten in the far east, and its Korean name is regularly mistranslated as "mugwort". I suspect this may be what is in the mugwort cakes, but I could be wrong. It is only mildly bitter.


I don't have any personal experience with them but the page does mention an involved cooking process with one of the reasons being to reduce the bitterness of the mugwort.
 
Dave Perry
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I've had good success with using Mugwort for preventing poison oak reactions. When I'm out backpacking and get close to poison oak I always look for some Mugwort near by. I've found it generally grows in the same area as poison oak. I make an infusion, bring a pot of water to a boil and then pour the water over a pot of freshly picked Mugwort and let soak. I also include some Oak leaves if I can find them. After the water cools I pour the infusion over the skin where I think I may have come in contact with the poison oak. This works if you can prepare the infusion within an hour or so of coming in contact of the poison oak. I believe it helps dissolve/wash the oil from the poison oak off the skin so it doesn't cause the skin to become irritated. I've used this approach probably 6-8 times and never got the poison oak rash that I normally get if it comes in contact with me and I do nothing to clean the skin.
 
andrew curr
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I made a strong tea to dose my sheep against Haemonchus and got reasonable results when treated each second day for about a week i suspect self medication may be more efficiant when treating large numbers of stock!
 
John Polk
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Here is JL Hudson's description:
Mugwort.PNG
[Thumbnail for Mugwort.PNG]
 
Sarah Bedwell
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Mugwort is great for animal parasite control. Goats will eat it by choice if given occasional access to it. (For the ultimate in natural animal care see Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy).

It's used a lot in Chinese medicine too. If you've ever had acupuncture with a "moxa" treatment, that's mugwort.

At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, the mugwort seeds are full of the most wonderful aromatic oils. I often put a big bunch of it in warm part of the house just for the uplifting scent. Then I use it dried for smudging and insect control.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Ahh! Wow! Thank you guys so much for sharing all your experiences. I am learning so much!
 
leila hamaya
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i really like mugwort, i use it in small amounts in tea. it's a nice tall element in landscape too, super easy to grow.

i am currently growing - common mugwort, chinese mugwort in a fedge, wormwood, and theres tons of volunteers of the native california mugwort (artemisia douglasiana) growing up here --->>




^^ thats thimbleberries and our native california mugwort
 
Annie Daellenbach
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Mugwort is one of my favorites, along with nettle. They usually can be found growing side by side, so if you happen to catch the sting of nettle while harvesting (on the knee, on the wrist past the glove...) mugwort makes an instant poultice (just crush a leaf and squish the juice on the nettle sting.) certainly helps dry up poison oak too, another charming example of the antidote growing beside the poison.
I had an herb teacher warn our class to take care while drying mugwort in the house as it will cause 'vivid colorful dreams that may wake you right up!' And in my experience it is true - very vivid, lucid dreams. Not bad, just... intense. I have had many other people tell me they also noticed bigger dreams when mugwort was near. Makes you appreciate how powerful plants are, that they can so specifically affect us through aroma alone!
I spend a lot of time walking the woods and creeks, and always take a leaf if it's available. The pungent smell is lovely and anytime I find it while venturing out into a new place it feels welcoming, ah... there's mugwort. I notice the phenotypes change by locale, Big Sur has it's own distinct mugwort, and the Santa Cruz type is consistent throughout this area, I've met the northern California type, different but still mugwort - it's easy to id once you've smelled it. The Japanese type is quite tall and with narrower leaves, and is used in moxabustion. A good plant ally for sure.
Thanks for the article Cassie
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