Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grow Your Own Medicine: Mugwort

Have you ever considered the "medicine" available to you, grown in your own backyard (or farm). From Basil to Coneflower and even Thyme, there are so many reported health benefits of many common (and not so common) herbs and flowers.

Growing Mugwort
Mugwort seeds germinate best with a cold treatment. Some herb gardeners will sow the herb seeds directly out in the garden in the late fall for germination the next spring. Others with mix the herb seeds with dampened peat moss and place the Mugwort seeds/peat moss mixture in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks before planting.  
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. Once they start they will grow rapidly, and can be difficult to control.
Germination: up to 21 days
Days to Maturity: 80 days or more
 Benefits and Uses of Mugwort
I'll let you in on a little secret...Mugwort is a smokeable herb.
While I don't smoke, I have read a lot about LEGAL smokable herbs such as Mugwort and Chamomile.

From Smokable Herbs:
In herbal medicine, this herb has been used to treat cardiovascular problems, feelings of unease, malaise, unwellness, abnormal bleeding, high-grade fever, cold, cough, purging the stomach of impurities, flatulence, bloating, intestinal parasites, indigestion, malabsorption of nutrients, epilepsy, fits, cerebral palsy, burning, chronic pain, itching, wart, rash from poison oak, loss of appetite, chronic stomach complaints, rheumatic disorder, nervous problems, spasms, sterility, asthma, abnormal menstrual bleeding and other menstrual complaints, and brain disease. It also strengthens the digestive system. It also expels pinworms in the intestine.

Mugwort has many medicinal properties such as stimulant, antibacterial, purgative, anthelmintic, nervine, antiinflammatory, hemostatic, antiseptic, expectorant, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, carminative, digestive, diaphoretic, and cholagogue properties. Because of these properties, it is also used to thin blood. Mugwort is used in the treatment called moxibustion where it is attached to acupuncture needles. It works on the affected area by releasing heat. This technique is very effective in treating breech babies to change their cephalic position during delivery.

Even though it has so many medicinal properties, it should not be used by lactating women as this herb can pass through milk to the infant. Since the leaves are bitter in taste, they are used as a bitter flavoring agent in foods to season meat, fish, and fat. It is also used on roasted goose which is done for Christmas. It is used by the Chinese and Japanese in many foods such as juices and rice cakes. It has many essential oils such as thujone, wormwood, and cineole. Mugwort also contains derivates of coumarin, triterpenes, and flavonoids. This herb has found its use as an insect repellent too to eliminate moths from fields and gardens. It is also used as a smudging herb for divination.

From Back to the Basics:
Health Benefits of Mugwort 
Mugwort can be used as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, haemostatic and to promote healthy digestion. 

Mugwort can also work to relax and sooth anxiety and stress.  Additional benefits include relief of exhaustion, nervousness, and mild depression. 

For women, Mugwort can help stimulate or regulate menstruation and can be used for painful menstrual cramps.

We have DIY Mugwort Tincture Kits at Mary's Tincture Shop!

Tincture kits include:
1 - 32 ounce Glass Jar with lid, 1 - 2 ounce Amber Bottle with dropper top,
 2 customizable labels, 1 ounce of Organic Herbs (additional herbs available)

and Detailed Instructions

Disclaimer: Should not be taken if pregnant or nursing. Not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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Unknown said...

I love learning about herbs.

AngieOuellette-Tower said...

Hi Mary, I can't seem to find the linky code for tomorrows Tuesday with a Twist (I sent you an email from my gmail account)

Sisterlisa said...

I got my mugwort plant from a stream in Northern California. I keep it in a small pot so it doesn't get too big. Some days I forget to water it and it starts wilting, but within an hour of watering it, it pops back up. Very hearty plant! Mugwort's smoke smells just like marijuana. I've never smoked it, but some folks say it gives a slight "floaty" effect. Helps calm the nerves.

Becca said...

Wow, that is a lot of health benefits. I'd never before heard of mugwort. Thanks for sharing this at the Healthy Tuesday hop!

Deborah Davis said...

It was so enlightening to learn how beneficial mugwort can be. There are so many great reasons to grow this multi-functional herb, so thank you for sharing mugwort with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I appreciate it!