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July / Lammas 2002


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Herb of the Month


 by Pearlmoon
 Mugwort: Artemisa Vulgaris
 Other Names: Muggins, Muggert Kail, Fat Hen,
 Sailor's Tobacco,  Motherwort, Smotherwood, Gallwood, Docko,
 Felon Herb, St. John's Herb
 Planet: Venus
 Element: Earth
 Gender: Feminine
 Deities: Artemis and Diana 
 Magickal Properties: Astral projection, Strength,
 Protection, Healing, Divination, and Clairvoyance.
 In medevil times this herb was called Motherwort.
Witches used and  still use mugwort as a medicine. It was believed
 that rubbing the leaves over the body pervented hauntings.
Also wearing it around the neck prevented dreaming of ghosts and possession by evil spirits.
  It was also used to flavor beer before hops were used.
Magickal Uses
Used in a dream pillow, it can invoke prophetic dreams.
When steeped in water to make a tea it is used to wash crystal
balls, scrying mirrors and scrying bowls.
Set a few leaves under a crystal ball to enhance visions.
Hang a sprig over doorways or windows to keep evil spirits away.
 Growing and Cultivation
 Viable seeds are rarely produced in North America.
 Mugwort is propagated mainly by rhizomes or the root system.
 Once planted it spreads rapidly and is difficult to control. So if
 you want this one in your garden and you don't want it to take over,
 it's important to have deep sound borders around it.
It can grow up to 6 feet tall and  the leaves can be up to 2 to 4 inches long. Mugwort looks alot like chrysanthemum. You can tell the difference by the white or light gray hairs or a whitish downy on the under side of the leaves with  the tops being a dark green. It is also similar to ragweed but ragweed lacks the distinctive sent of mugwort. If
 planting seeds, plant in fall or early spring. I would advise planting in small flats rather than directly into the soil. This way you can control
 them better. Once they start they will grow rapidly, and can be
 difficult to control as I stated earlier. When harvesting, cut off a
 few sprigs and tie into a bundle and hang to dry  in a cool dry
 area. As with all leaf harvesting they should be cut off before the
 buds of the plant begin to bloom.
 Medicinal Uses
 Mugwort can be used as a digestive stimulant in cases of
 constipation. A compress of the tea can be used to speed the healing
 of bruises. It can promote menstration and uterine circulation.
 Mugwort tea can be used to promote a calming effect before bedtime
 or as an aid for motion sickness. Also used as an  alternative for
 expelling parasites like intestinal worms. Use as a gargle for a
 sore throat. The leaves have an antibacterial action. When made into
 a poultice the leaves can be put over small wounds to aid in
 healing. Also used as an insect repellent.
 Mugwort is toxic when used in large doses or overa prolonged
 period. Never use with children. Prolonged contact with skin over
 time may cause irritation. Never use during pregnancy as mugwort
 causes uterine contractions, hence, possiable miscarriage. Always
 always remember, before starting any herbal supplement, talk to your
 doctor first.
 1 teaspoon dried mugwort leaves
 1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers
 1 teaspoon dried sweet woodruff leaves
 Combine all ingredients and add 1 teaspoon of mix
 to 1 cup boiling
 water. Steep for 10 to 15 min. Strain. Drink hot
 before going to bed
 or when you just want to relax. May also mix
 mugwort with pasion
 flower and lobelia instead of chamomile and
 woodruff for same
 Combine equal parts of dried mugwort leaves with
lavender flowers,
 chamomile flowers and hops. Mix well. Sew together
 a 12X12 inch
 piece of light weight cotton fabric, leaving one
 end open to add the
 mix. Once the mix is added sew the last end
 closed. Place near your
 pillow when you go to bed.
You May also use this mix in a fragrant potpourri
 by adding 1/2 part
 orris root to retain the sent.
Try making a wreath or a spray of dried mugwort
 flowers. It adds a
 lovely sent to any doorway or room.