“The use of simple remedies can encourage us once again to take responsibility for our own health.”                 Penelope Ody, a well-known herbalist and expert in the field of herbal medicine.

Today we are highlighting a valuable herb: Mugwort, Artemesia Vulgaris

For me in the past 40 years, there has not been a winter without eating my morning pinch of mugwort to stave off the flu season Commonly found by the side of the road throughout the world. In many cultures mugwort is considered to be the ‘mother of herbs or the ‘woman’s herb’ because it is so valuable during the beginning of menstruation, throughout the birthing process, and at menopause. For the Pennsylvania Dutch it symbolizes the wise crone.

Acupuncturists burn dried mugwort near the body to relieve pain and to add heat and strength to the body. The Olympic Spa, in Los Angeles offers an incredibly soothing and rejuvenating herbal soak with mugwort. Welsh physicians in the 13th century burned it as incense to get rid of flies, and other insects. Even today gardeners burn mugwort to get rid of white flies, spider mites, and moths.

Some use the herb to calm emotional anxiety and to clear negative thoughts out of a space.  Ancient Chinese feng shui practitioners sprinkled dried mugwort in the house for the family’s protection. Named after Artemis, the Greek Moon Goddess who was thought to be the patron diety for women. Later Christianity changed the patronage to St. John the Baptist, because he carried a sprig of mugwort for his protection from evil.

To Native American the herb is known as white sage or wormwood. They use it to improve digestion and to act as a mild sedative or diuretic. Being one of the Native People’s spiritual herbs, it is commonly used in their sweat lodge ceremonies.