Mugwort
Artemisia vulgaris
Perennial
Flowers July-Sept.
Common Names / Habitat / Magickal Uses / Edible Uses / Medicinal Uses / Cultivation / Propagation

Common Names: Armoise, Artemisa, Common Mugwort, Common Wormwood, Douglas Mugwort, Fleurs St Jean, St John's Plant, Artemis herb, Felon herb, Muggons, Naughty Man, Sailor's Tobacco

Habitat: Common on hedgebanks and waysides, uncultivated and waste land

Magickal Uses:
Feminine. Venus. Earth. Deities: Artemis, Diana

Strength, Psychic Powers, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Healing, Astral Projection. Use a wash or the oil to consecrate or anoint crystal balls or any tool of divination. Produces visionary dreams and is a prime ingredient in dream pillows. Keeps one safe from dark forces. Protects children. Incense brings protection. Carried, it brings loved ones safely home from journeys. A tonic for the soul, it keeps us aware of our spiritual direction. Burn with sandalwood or wormwood during scrying sessions. A mugwort infusion sweetened with honey will enhance divination. Carried, it also increases lust and fertility.

Edible Uses: Colouring; Condiment; Leaves. Leaves - raw or cooked. Aromatic and somewhat bitter. Their addition to the diet aids the digestion and so they are often used in small quantities as a flavouring, especially with fatty foods. They are also used to give colour and flavour to glutinous-rice dumplings (Mochi). The young shoots are used in spring. In Japan the young leaves are used as a potherb. The dried leaves and flowering tops are steeped into tea. They have also been used as a flavouring in beer, though fell into virtual disuse once hops came into favour.

Medicinal Uses: Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Foot care; Haemostatic; Nervine; Purgative; Stimulant; Tonic; Women's complaints. Mugwort has a long history of use in herbal medicine especially in matters connected to the digestive system, menstrual complaints and the treatment of worms. It is slightly toxic, however, and should never be used by pregnant women since it can cause a miscarriage. All parts of the plant are anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, purgative, stimulant, slightly tonic and used in the treatment of women's complaints. The leaves are also said to be appetizer, diuretic, haemostatic and stomachic. They can be used internally or externally. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used in the treatment of nervous and spasmodic affections, sterility, functional bleeding of the uterus, dysmenorrhoea, asthma and diseases of the brain. The leaves have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, streptococci, E. coli, B. subtilis, pseudomonas etc. The leaves are harvested in August and can be dried for later use. The stem is also said to be antirheumatic, antispasmodic, and stomachic. The roots are tonic and antispasmodic. They are said to be one of the best stomachics. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The leaves, placed inside the shoes, are said to be soothing for sore feet. The compressed dried leaves and stems are used in moxibustion. Another report says that the down from the leaves is used.

Cultivation: Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position and a moist soil. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.2. Established plants are drought tolerant. Mugwort is an aggressive and invasive plant, it inhibits the growth of nearby plants by means of root secretions.

Propagation: Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, they can be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out in the spring. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about 10 - 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

From Horizon Herbs: Easy. The tiny seeds are best sown in flats rather than direct seeding, so you can keep track of the seedlings. Sow in fall or early spring. The plants are quite vigorous, and do not need special attention once established. Plant 2 feet apart. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall.

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