There's this plant that grows in our area that is just prolific (sagebrush) - shows up in pastures, on rocky hillsides - it really seems to prefer dry, rocky soils, and just thrives. We also have sagewort, which is really similar, but much leafier and more tender. It can form bushes, but often hugs the ground, and you may not notice it until you smell it.
After reading up on mountain sagewort, it looks like the Plains Indians used to use it to relieve menstrual pain, though in large enough quantities it can cause digestive upset. It's gone to seed and dried out at this point in the season, so I was harvesting the buds today. It's really fragrant (pleasantly so), so I thought it would be nice in little satchels in our dressers, I may pass a few out as gifts this holiday season.
I noticed as I was stripping the little buds from the stems that it seemed to have a sort of soapy taste - a bit of the dust go on my lips, and it was just kind of that weird, unpleasant taste.
Anyway, I digress...I was wondering if anyone else knew of any uses for this plant? I'm not one to medicate for menstrual pain in general, but it definitely smells nice - I was thinking of finding some leafier plants and making wreaths out of them to hang around the house, then maybe use the dried leaves again down the line when they lose their open fragrance.
You can find a lot of people in my area that make them and sell them (mostly to tourists in the summer) for a few bucks.
If you're thinking of gifts, you could make some pretty smudge sticks then print (or even better, hand write) up a little thing that talks about the history and benefit of smudging.
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
Buhner says that all Artemisia have some antibactial and anti microbial qualities, they are not as systemic as the ones he specifically mentions. He does not refer to the Artemisia scopulorum. He says they are used for killing parasites in blood and liver and antitumor agents.
They are used to reduce fever, used on infected wounds and skin infections, for GI tract infections and others uses. Most studies have been for using essential oils where the aerial parts including the flowers have been used. He gives recipes for treating malaria.
He says that it is a good herb to have growing in your garden. Best harvested in the fall as the Artemisinin level are higher and it is found in both flowers and leaves.
I feel that you will need to research your variety Artemisia scopulorum more. But that this herb is one to have on hand.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
That is so good to know, thank you Anne! It is incredibly fragrant right now, I've been pulling the buds like crazy, and will likely venture out to the woods to collect some more before the snow finishes them off soon.
I got one little pouch of it in my dresser drawer, and my clothes smell so nice now. I'm going to find a finer fabric to use though, little bits of it are getting everywhere.
I guess I had better keep some on hand for medicinal use as well, and do a bit more research on this particular variety. I feel very lucky, it grows like crazy all over the place here.