The Herbal Wise-Woman Series
by Orenda Caldera
Self-care has never been more important than today. A little knowledge goes a long way. The goal of this series is to help everyone feel more confident and empowered to take care of themselves to the extent possible.
I have thousands of herbal and magickal references at my disposal as well as decades of personal experiences to share with you over the coming weeks. Some will be brief, some in depth, but the information will be stored on my website, on this FB site, and in the FB private group pages for continued reference. (Yep, there’s fine print: none of my posts are intended to serve as or replace medical advice. Do your own research, check for any contraindications, and make your own wise decisions from a place or knowledge and understanding).
As a master herbalist and healer, herbal and homeopathic solutions are my natural “go to”. Herbal choices can be based on many factors including:
- Modern-day scientific studies
- Centuries of tried and true anecdotal evidence
- Direct plant spirit communication
- Ancestral & Spiritual Inspiration
These certainly overlap, and should be cross-verified, especially when it comes to checking contraindications unique to each person’s situation (and, of course, there are times when traditional allopathic approaches should be evaluated as well).
Today’s Magickal & Medicinal Herb: Mugwort
Overview: Not only is Artemisia vulgaris (common name: mugwort) stunningly beautiful, it is a powerful aid to the physical body as well as the mental, emotional, psychic, and spiritual aspects of the human. She weaves her spirit through all aspects of our life to bring deep healing and balance. With so many benefits, why not start here!
Physical: Yes, you may know this plant as used in the ancient therapy of moxibustion which can stimulate the flow of chi, helps remove toxins as well as alleviates pain and inflammation among many other benefits, but that’s not all.
I enjoy Mugwort in my pipe when my lungs need a little help loosening and expelling mucus from a cold or flu or are just feeling stressed from all the smoke/smog in the air. She can also be taken as a tea or in capsule form, but I find it incredibly soothing as a smoke for this purpose. I know it sounds odd that inhaling smoke is soothing to the lungs, but it is. I sometimes combine her with friends, like Mullein leaf, but Mugwort is softer, sweeter, and smoother alone. Mugwort can act as a mild sedative, so best used before bedtime or when you're planning to stay home (“do not operate heavy machinery”). Among her many beneficial qualities, she promotes digestive health, acts as a mild laxative, helps ease anxiety, and is a wonderful liver tonic. She has also been used as a spice, added to beer and other beverages as well as a moth/insect repellent in the garden. She is also considered an antidote for urushiol oil, the rash causing agent in poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac and can usually be found growing near these poisonous plants.
Metaphysical: According to Journeys with Plant Spirits by Emma Farrell “A master healer and tantric genius, Mugwort can transmute many types of toxic energies and release all manner of entities and intrusions form the energy field and body…aligning us back to our original human blueprint”. This is high praise indeed, but once you work with her, you will understand more of her power. When ingested as a tea or smoked before bed, you can expect powerful and prophetic dreamwork, even lucid dreams or astral travel as Shamans have done throughout time. The inner work doesn’t stop upon waking in the morning, it continues over the days and weeks to follow. Keep a journal by the bed!
Magickal: If her physical and metaphysical properties are not magickal enough, consider that she once had the common name croneswort and was often placed by the door of the local witch, healer and midwife. With her given name “Artemis”, patron of women, you can rightly assume she has moon properties beneficial to menstruation, childbirth and menopause - all cycles of a woman’s life. She facilitates communication with ancestors and the spirit world in general, even when placed under the pillow or used in spellwork instead of ingesting. It is said that even St. John the Baptist carried her into the wilderness with him to ward off evil. A garland or belt of Mugwort was worn while dancing the Summer Solstice bonfire, then ceremoniously thrown into the fire to assure protection through the coming year.
I could talk about Mugwort for chapters and perhaps even entire books, but this is enough for now.
Enjoy Life’s Magickal Journey!
Here is my favorite herb source. Yes, I am part of Doc's affiliate program because I trust the source for quality herbs. This also means I get a small percentage on any purchace you make, but this does not increase your cost in any way.