*I am not a doctor or naturopath please speak with a healthcare provider before consuming anything.
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Mugwort is a commonly used herb for baking all around the world. It also has many medicinal qualities and can be drunk in tea, taken as a tincture to help with certain ailments such as constipation, low appetite, cancer, and more, it is also used in the process of moxibustion which has been shown to have benefits for breech babies and arthritis. Other benefits of the plant are that it is thought to promote lucid dreaming and can be used as a bug repellant.
What is moxibustion? Moxibustion is the Chinese medicinal practice of burning mugwort in a stick and held on top of certain points on the body. Moxibustion is thought to help with colds and flu, pain associated with arthritis, digestive problems, and even pregnancy-related issues like turning a breech baby. (1) This practice can be done alone or in accordance with acupuncture. A study notably suggests that moxibustion can not only help women flip a breech baby and in turn reduce the need for a c-section, it can also reduce the need to have oxytocin during labor. (2) The NHS in the UK is offering moxibustion treatment therapy for breech babies as well. (3) It has been shown to work in around one in eight women who are experiencing breech presentation. How to do Moxibustion to fix breech presentation: (Please do not attempt until you have spoken with your midwife or doctor) Have a partner, family member, or trusted friend hold two Moxa sticks over both of your little toes. Hold them close enough to feel the warmth but not close enough to burn you. Continue doing this for about ten minutes a day twice a day starting at 33 weeks. The reason this is thought to work is the smoke and the pressure points cause the stimulation of placental estrogen and prostaglandins to be released and in doing so causes the uterus to contract and helps the baby move into the correct position.
As well as moxibustion helping with pregnancy-related issues, it can also help with arthritis pain. A study found that it made a significant difference. An article in pub med (linked here) says "Three RCTs found superior or equivalent effects of moxibustion on symptom score compared with intra-articular injection or topical drug therapy."
There are a couple of different compounds in Mugwort that are thought to cause the medicinal properties. Camphor, pinene, and cineole are compounds in the plant found in the parts that grow above ground and artemisinin which grows in the roots.
Camphor is something that is used to make a variety of topical creams for muscle pain, coughs, and bug bites. (camphor-containing man-made products are not safe for ingestion, or use on broken skin)The most commonly used type of camphor is synthetically made from turpentine oil. Today you will find synthetic camphor in things like Vicks. (4) You can purchase cream made from mugwort on amazon here. There are also many recipes online teaching you how to make herbal creams.
There are two types α-pinene and β-pinene these are known as the most common terpenes in nature. Pinene has a strong pine smell and is found in many plants most predominantly pine trees and cannabis. An article in NCBI labels it as "A Miricle Gift of Nature" in it, it says it may help with antibiotic resistance, when paired with cancer treatment it may reduce the size and growth, gastrointestinal issues, increases the quality of sleep, lowers likelihood hood of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, antimicrobial, antimalarial, anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory and tumor growth restriction. (5)
Cineole is also found in eucalyptus leaves and can be used as a cough suppressant and cure for bronchitis. In a 10-day study, 242 patients with acute bronchitis were given cineole or a placebo as treatment and they showed significant improvement in 4 days compared to the patients given a placebo. (6)
Artemisinin is noted as traditional Chinese medicine has been used for many many years as an antimalarial medication. (6) This is found much stronger in Wormwood a plant closely related to mugwort.
Mugwort is considered the dreaming herb because of Thujone which is a common additive in absinthe. This is also what is believed may cause some psychedelic side effects when drinking it.
. It is said to give mugwort hallucinogenic properties. You can burn mugwort incense or drink it in tea. It is said to increase serotonin which is thought to bring on lucidity in your dreams.
Mugwort when growing outside can ward off mosquitos you can also turn the leaves into a bug spray to repel bugs. Here is an awesome video about how to make mosquito repellant out of foraged plants from the woods.
add 1-2 tsp of the dried leaves to a cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes.
The most notable symptom I experienced when drinking mugwort was sleepiness. I was excessively tired. I also felt slightly dizzy and the ground felt wavy. That could have been because of the tiredness or the thujone. I did not have any lucid dreams. But this could affect everyone differently. You can also take it in a tincture. I have no personal experience with it in that form. You can purchase dried mugwort here. You can purchase mugwort tincture here.