Mugwort is one of those beautiful native plants that graces the sides of many roads and is somehow so easily overlooked, which is a real shame given the statuesque looks and aromatic nature of this beautiful plant! This year I resolved to get to know this enchanting plant better, as it has popped up on my radar quite a few times over the last few years and given that it self seeds regularly in my garden, more time spent getting to know her seemed appropriate!
Mugwort is a tall, stately perennial that grows up to 1.5 metres tall – tall enough to hide behind, with the really well grown specimens. It can be a bit of a garden thug, taking over large corners of the garden and self seeding readily, but given how useful this lovely plant is, I find it hard to lament this fact!
Mugwort drunk as a hot tea is a brilliant greenish yellow colour, aromatic and soft, with more sweetness coming through. The flavour is really very appealing indeed – for me, this is pretty much an ideal herbal tea to drink regularly just for the sake of its own flavour, let alone its medicinal properties! Sweet and aromatic, this is a comforting, warming, uplifting tea to consume. It seems to target the stomach and lungs, warming and soothing, and also puts a curious pressure over the third eye region – not unpleasant, just intriguing, and perhaps not surprising given it has some links with prophecy, divination and intuition, all things that are linked in their turn to the third eye area. With the tea I enjoyed, there were some tannins that came through after a few sips, but nothing obnoxious.
The tea left to infuse for longer and drunk cold is an even more vivid green colour, more subtly scented but still with that sense of warmth to it. There is still that sense of internal heat upon drinking the tea, but it is more the sense of a quiet hearth fire. My eyesight felt clearer, and everything seemed to gain a diamond like clarity, the spaces between things seeming filled with a soft, diffuse light. Truly magical indeed!
The tincture, taken as a 5ml dose, lights a warm fire in the belly, certainly aids in digestion and fans the inner flames into being – perfect for someone of a more phlegmatic temperament! It also works well for those of a more sanguine or choleric type, bringing restful sleep. It seems to amplify the relaxing properties of a single glass of wine, bringing greater ease and relaxation, and even helping someone prone to insomnia get a better night’s sleep, which is quite interesting given how warming the plant is!
I’ve brought a load in to dry as well, partly to get a sense of how much water is in the plant, and partly so that I can make some sleep pillows from it. On the table I also have some mugwort and sage smudge sticks which are steadily drying down, and I even had a go at making some mugwort aromatic water. This has a subtle fragrance of mugwort’s volatile oils, but is far from overpowering. I’d be inclined to use it for anything requiring greater intuition, and probably also for clearing and cleansing crystals and ritual objects to do with divination.
More on mugwort soon, once I’ve had another experiment with this lovely, graceful herb! I’m resolved to really learn this plant, trying as many different remedies, recipes and medicines as I can, and I intend to report back as I go!