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Mugwort - Herb of Sacred Dreaming #herbalwisdomwednesday

artemisia vulgaris mugwort mugwort recipes

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has been used as a sacred and healing herb for many cultures throughout many generations. Though popularly known these days mainly for it's quality of enhancing lucid dreaming, Mugwort has a virtual panacea of healing properties. Mugwort makes a wonderful addition to the diet and offers a unique herbaceous bitter flavor that has seen it used in many culinary recipes and the leaves make a fun addition to a green salad! Fun fact: Mugwort was used prior to Hops in the making of beer!

As with all Artemesias, Mugwort is a member of the Asteracea (Daisy) family. It's a hearty plant whose varietals can grow in many different types of conditions but Artemesia vulgaris has adapted particularly to compact, rocky soil we find so often in the Northern Hemisphere which is likely why it has spread so far. Like many Artemesias, the leaves are often very green on top with a silvery-green with somewhat woolly hairs on the underside; though sometimes both sides will be quite green. We do have a native varietal here in California (Artemesia douglasiana) that has many of the same medicinal properties.  It is best to harvest this plant before the flower buds fully bloom in the late summer/early fall.

"A hot infusion of mugwort is a strong diaphoretic (i.e. it induces sweating), and can be used to break fevers. Mugwort encourages mucus secretions in dry membranes of the sinuses and lungs. It also acts as a uterine stimulant (emmenogogue) for women who experience slow, cramping menses. Do not use during pregnancy or if experiencing excessive menstrual bleeding.

A cold infusion of mugwort is effective for chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers. It protects the cells of the esophagus and stomach from harm caused by excessive secretions of acids. It should be avoided during acute flare-ups of the stomach ulcers, since it is more appropriate as a long term treatment for chronic conditions. The cold infusion will also improve the breakdown of dietary fats in the liver. If one is binging on fried foods, cheeses, or other rich foods, the blood becomes more viscous and tends to coagulate more easily.

Mugwort improves the quality of the blood, and enhances the ability of the blood cells to repel each other, thus encouraging the smooth flow of blood through the capillaries. It also cools liver heat. The tea, poultice, or salve can be applied topically as an anti-fungal and anti-microbial.

Topical use is also helpful for the treatment of sprains, hyperextensions, and bruises. Mugwort pillows may be placed near sleeping quarters to stimulate and intensify one’s dream state. It should not be used near children’s beds as it can cause nightmares"

***Caution: avoid use during pregnancy and lactation. Internal use can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and should be avoided accordingly. Mugwort can heighten one’s dream state.**"
-Christa Sinadinos



Recipes:

Mugwort is so amazingly useful that it's hard to decide on which recipes, so here are just a few to give you an idea of how to use this wonderful plant.

 

Mugwort Vinegar:
*makes a great digestive tonic

2 cups Mugwort leaves (by volume)
16oz Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Optional: You can add any other herbs you like to this mixture for a more rounded flavor.  Rosemary, chives, garden sage, ginger, parsley, thyme, oregano, etc. would all be wonderful!

Preparation:
Place herb in a glass quart jar and cover with the ACV. .Seal the bottle and let sit in cool dark place for a 2-6 weeks. Taste as you go along, the flavor is strong and permeates the vinegar quickly, you may like it sooner than later! Once you’re happy with the flavor, strain off the herb (or leave in if you like!).

 

Clear Space for Dreams Smoke Cleansing Bundle:

Freshly harvested aromatic herbs (Mugwort, Sage, Cedar, Lavender, etc)
Natural Fiber Thread
Scissors

Preparation:

Gather your herbs and flowers into a bundle, as though you were intending to make a small bouquet. If you’ve chosen to add flowers to your bundle, you might want to keep them on the top of your bouquet so your bundle will look pretty. Tie your thread super tight at the bottom end of your bundle. Carefully wrap your bundle, keeping the thread as tight as you can, because as your bundle dries it will lose some thickness and the thread will loosen. Tie thread off once more at the top of the bundle, and hang it to dry. It will likely take a few weeks to dry but check frequently especially if you live in a moist environment like we do...you don't want your beautiful bundle to mold!


 

Mugwort Soup:
by Backyard Forager

1 medium onion, roughly chopped
olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 cups tender, young mugwort leaves, roughly chopped and lightly packed
1/2 cup milk (unsweetened, unflavored nut milk is a good substitute)

Preparation:

Sauté the onion in olive oil until it’s translucent and soft.

Add the vegetable broth, potato pieces, and two cups of the chopped mugwort leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer until the potato is soft.

Add two more cups of chopped mugwort leaves and the milk, and simmer on low for ten minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly. (Enough so that if it splashes you, it won’t hurt!) Then, process the soup to make it smooth. You can either use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a food processor or blender. Re-heat the soup before serving.
 

Artemis Dreams Potpourri Blend
by the amazing Jessica Shepherd

1 cup Mugwort leaves

½ cup Hops flowers

¼ cup Marjoram herb

1 cup Lavender flowers

½ cup Rose Petals

½ cup Lemon Verbena whole leaf (optional)

20 drops of Lavender essential oil

10 drops Ylang ylang essential oil

5 drops of Clary Sage essential oil

Instructions:
Combine the herbs and mix well, then add in essential oils and mix things around again. I like to let this sit in a sealed bag or jar overnight to infuse the scent throughout the herbs. Then stuff into small cotton drawstring bag(s)and keep by the bedside for fragrant dreams and peaceful sleep. You can also store the blend in a pretty glass jar and simply uncork or unscrew the lid to diffuse the fragrance whenever you choose—this is always a great gift!


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