Questions about Mugwort
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Susanne
Posted on: February 14, 2001

I got your address from an e-mail about mugwort that you sent to the New Moon herbs list. I hope that you don’t mind. I just have a few questions about mugwort and wormwood, and as you seem to be educated on the subject, I thought you’d be a good person to ask.

What properties do mugwort and wormwood have in common?

Are mugwort and St. John’s wort the same plant?

Does mugwort have adverse affects if ingested as a tea or tonic?

Both Mugwort and Wormwood are the same genus, and have similar chemistries. They are different, so they are sold differently. I have written chapters on each in the following books (with detail on their chemical differences):

* The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs (ITI)

* The Magical and Ritual Use of Aprodisiacs (ITI)

* Native Plants of Commercial Importance (Acres, USA)

I have addresses for each publisher, if you need them.

Mugwort is NOT St. John’s Wort. They are quite different plants (and chemistry), although they both may grow in the same region. My Native Plants book also has a chapter on SJW.

Mugwort is rarely taken as a tea. It’s primary use is as a local allergen, causing REM sleep (rather than deep sleep). This is why they call for it’s use in "Dream Pillows." There are other ethnobotanical uses but nothing more than for worming the intestines.

Wormwood is much stronger and potentially dangerous. Read my Note of Caution in various book chapters. It is used for animals, and for making a narcotic called Absinthe. Mugwort does NOT have this same chemistry.

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