Monday, August 6, 2012

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)

This week I wanted to provide some research that I did while at school at Just for Health School of Reflexology and Healing The program changed my life in the best way possible.

Trigger Word(s): harmonizes menstruation, root for epilepsy, stagnation, elimination
Botanical Name: Artemesia vulgaris
Common Name: Mugwort
Other Names: Artemisia, cudweed, felon herb, mother of plants, moxa, naughty man, sagebrush, sailor’s tobacco, Saint John’s herb, silver sage, whiter sage, wombwort
Family: Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
Part Used: Herb
Native to Asia but cultivated worldwide, Mugwort is an aromatic perennial growing from 2 to 5 feet in height. Its stems are grooved and hairy with leaves that are alternate, pinnate and serrated with 5 to 7 lobes. The flowers are many greenish yellow spikes with an aroma of sage or camphor. When cultivated, the soil must be well drained with moderate water in partial shade to full sun (Mars, 2007).
CLASSIFICATION and CLASS DESCRIPTION IN EWH: eliminating à promote menstruation and relieve amenorrhea (Holmes, 2006).
CLASSIFICATION IN CM: relieves stagnation (Holmes, 2006)
Taste: Bitter, acrid (Tierra, 1988)
Temperature: Slightly warm (Tierra, 1988)
Moisture: Dry (Mars, 2007)
Direction: sinking
Element: earth/water (Mars, 2007)
Planet: Earth (Cunningham, 2000)
Strength: medium-strength remedy with moderate chronic toxicity (Holmes, 2006).
Body System(s): reproductive, nervous, digestive
Bitter tonic: Mugwort supports digestion through bitter stimulation as well as through its carminative action of its volatile oils (Hoffmann, 2003).
Emmenagogue: Allows the blood to move by addressing stagnation of the blood and Qi (Holmes, 2006).
Nervine tonic: Its mild nervine action appears to be due to its content of volatile oils (Hoffmann, 2003). 
Major Chemical Constituent(s):
Volatile oil: linalool, 1,8-cineole, β-thujone, borneol, α- and β–pinene; sesquiterpene lactones: vulgarin; flavonoids; coumarin derivatives; triterpenes (Hoffmann, 2003).
Chinese Syndrome(s): uterus Qi stagnation with constraint, liver and stomach Qi stagnation, external wind-heat, internal wind, bladder damp-heat (Holmes, 2006)
Western Disorder:
Digestive tract: indigestion, epigastric bloating, appetite loss, liver congestion, gastric dyspepsia, chronic nervous vomiting, intestinal parasites (Holmes, 2006).
Musculoskeletal system: rheumatic conditions, muscle spasms (Holmes, 2006).
Nervous system: epilepsy, tremors, seizures (Holmes, 2006).
Reproductive system: irregular menstrual flow (Hoffmann, 2003), painful periods, amenorrhea, long cycles, spasmodic dysmenorrheal, harmonizes menstruation (Holmes, 2006).
Type of Preparation: Tincture                                     Dosage: 1 to 4 ml 1:5 in 25% alcohol, three times a day (Hoffmann, 2003).
Type of Preparation: Infusion                                     Dosage: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb and infuse for 10 to 15 minutes in a covered container. Strain and drink three times a day (Hoffmann, 2003).

Mugwort may cause an allergic response to individuals that are sensitive to the Asteraceae family (Hoffmann, 2003). In large doses or when used for extended periods of time, Mugwort may negatively affect the nervous system (Mars, 2007) due to its content of thujone (Holmes, 2006). It is also contraindicated during pregnancy and while nursing (Mars, 2007) because it is a uterine stimulant (Holmes, 2006).
Drug and/or Herb Interactions:
                None reported
In European herbalism, mugwort root is used effectively to treat epilepsy. It reduces the number of seizures or can cure them all together (Holmes, 2006). 
In magical traditions, mugwort has many uses. When stuffed into a pillow and slept on it can give you prophetic dreams, and when placed bed side it can assist in astral travel. As an infusion it can be drank before divination, or used as a wash for crystal balls and magic mirrors. The leaves can be placed at the base of crystal balls to aid in psychic workings or worn in ones shoes to give strength during long walks or runs (Cunningham, 2000). Legend says that John the Baptist wore Mugwort when he took to the wilderness for protection (Mars, 2007).
Cunningham, Scott. (2000). Cunningham's encyclopedia of magical herbs. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Hoffmann, David. (2003). Medical herbalism: the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Holmes, Peter. (2006). The Energetics of western herbs. Boulder, CO: Snow Lotus Press, Inc.
Mars, Brigitte. (2007). The Desktop guide to herbal medicine. Laguna Beach: Basic Health Publications, Inc.
Tierra, Michael. (1988). Planetary herbology. Twin Lakes: Lotus Press.

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