Artemisia Vulgaris Page

Common Names:

Green ginger, Fat hen, Gall wood, Grey bulwand, Docko, Old uncle harry, Sailor’s/poor man’s tobacco, Smotherwood, many variations on muggert, and muggins. Felon herb…for infected nail beds. Irish; Muggert kail..which suggests use as a vegetable.


Most medieval herbals call this herb Motherwort, ie. herb for the womb. Mugwort is a Saxon name, refering either to flavouring beer or keeping off midges or moths. Artemis herself gave her herbs to Chiron, the centaur, who gave it to Aescelpias. Artemis is Diana, the virgin moon goddess, the hunter. People went to the temples of Aeslcepius to dream their own cures. Anglo saxon treatment for flying venom…whatever that is. I expect it will be obvious when you come across it.


Northern europe, possibly native in Canada and eastern USA. Wasteland, hedgerows and waysides on a variety of soils, but prefers it well drained and especially likes waysides.


Bitter sesqueterpenes, ess oil inc thujone, resin, flavonoids, tannins, inulin in its roots.


A gentle aromatic bitter, warm and dry. Culpeper gives hot in the first degree, dry in the second degree and assigns the herb to Venus. Gently clearing and restoring. Perhaps the most gentle of its tribe.


The womb and neck, the liver to some degree.


WOMB: restorative, sends energy to the womb. Menstrual cramps when the womb has low enery, ie. in light, irregular periods. Infertility in the same cause. An adjunct to prescriptions given in the same cause, eg. with Motherwort (Leonurus) to facilitate a difficult menopause, with Echinacea in womb infections. Best avoided in pregnancy.

NERVINE: restorative and gentle stimulant. Relieves brain congestion. Wearyness, especially in people of a weak constitution. Brilliant for flagging energy in the afternoon or at the weekend. Quaking of the sinews..local and internal. Wryneck. An old fashioned remedy for epilepsy…I have tried this but without clear results…also hysteria.

LIVER/DIGESTIVE: congestion, including jaundice. Worms. Weak digestion, especially in beer. Rheumatism.

NIGHTMARES: especially from unseen evil and external evil. Sleepwalking. Disturbed sleep, especially from lack of clear direction. Use Mugwort to find direction in your life or to help you find your path or stay with your path.
NOTE: might upset those who are too lost or disturbed, especially men… perhaps because they don’t have a womb.


Best taken freely as a tea or tincture, or simply eaten on your way home from work. Beer and vinegar for digestion. Dried and powdered, 3 or 4 gms. Compress, with eg. Chamomile, for painful lumps, tremors and spasms. Worn in your shoes for tired feet.

Tobacco base and for moxa, smudge sticks and for smoking people. Burnt in the fire at the great festivals. Amulet worn or hung over your bed. Smoked over midsummer fires for extra virtue. A couple of largish sprigs under your pillow. As a steaming herb.


I have a great feeling for Mugwort and its ability to reveal paths and to protect people already on their path. To me everything about the herb points to its association with paths and directions…from where it grows to how it has been used. But it needs to be accepted for its wholeness and the direction it reveals.

The above represents my personal experience, using the herb for healing myself and for others. Christopher Hedley, MNIMH.

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