Artemisia vulgaris – Mugwort – Motherwort. The genus was named in honor of the Moon Goddess of childbirth, midwifery and chastity. Artemis was her name, etymoligcally derived from arktos meaning ‘bear’, supported by her bear cults of Attica which were survivals of ancient shamanistic rituals that were integral to a larger bear cult. *arta, *art, *arte all mean ‘great, excellent, holy’ which is not dissimilar to Platos interpretation in Cratylus Artimis to be the safe, unharmed, uninjured, chaste, pure stainless maiden.
"O happy he that can the knowledge gain,
To know the eternal God made nought in vain.
To this I add,
I know the reason causeth such a dearth
Of knowledge; ’tis because men love the earth." (Culpepper, N. Complete Herbal pg. 199)
The Artemisia genus has solidified its stance as a mystical spiritual medicine encouraging expanded states of awareness for hundreds of years as a “visionary herb”. This family produces the medicinal complexes also found carries many of the similar compounds as in the popular Wormwood sp. (and its common alcoholic beverage, Absinthe), and even shares some compounds with Salvia officinalis. Most of its historical usage outside of mysticism is as an antimalarial treatment. This was empirically proved inmodernity and has prolific uses though out history among Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. Some studies claims it has saved millions of lives across the world thanks to scientific discoveries in china in regards to malaria.
It first came under study in the US in 2002 during the SARS 2 outbreak in China as a potential antiviral treatment. Much research has already been posted in the way of commercializing natural herbal medicines, especially Artemisia, against SARS-CoV infectious diseases. (1) . The main biological activities of the major identified constituents of Artemisia are anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, cooling, and antiallergic, anti-malarial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, and immunomodulatory affects.
In 2015, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a member of the the 523 Project (Professor Youyou Tu) (2), the aforementioned Chinese study into the nature of Artimisia as an antimalarial drug. This was a covert operation in the 1960’s and 70’s brought on by the Vietnamese government. China at the time did not allow scientific research and the results were not published publicly. The study resulted in discovery of the first extraction method, using ether as a more effective solvent over ethanol, by Prof. Youyou, and isolation of Artemisinin (1,2,4-trioxane peroxide pharmacophore) and its derivatives. These discoveries were highly praised once recognized and provided paradigm changing data for the new class of antimalarial agents. This newly publicly garnered attention toward Artemis species caused a surge in research into the species. As of 2022 there are over 10,000 results in PubMed for the search “Artemisinin”.
Of these 10,000 results, few if any focus on the mystical properties attributed to the various species, specifically Mugwort. Despite a long tradition of anecdotal evidence by notable historical figures suggesting waking states of psychedelia, most modern research has been unable to discover any highly psychoactive complexes. In fact, it was thought for quite some time that the popular compound Thujone was responsible for the reported psychadlia. It was even considered to be a cannabinoid to to its similar uptake to Tetrahydrocannabinol, though this is no longer the case. Thujone is actually a competitive antagonist of GABA, making it a neurotoxin. Later studies show in heavy dosages it leads to convulsions while light dosages can lead to mood-elevating and stimulating effects (3). It was these low dosages found in food and alcohol products around the world. Most researchers reduced the historical accounts of psychedelia to routine drunkenness. This conclusion seems draastically misinformed to JD.
It appears self-evident to JD that surely there is a host of ~other~ undiscovered compounds present in the Soul of Mugwort and other Artemisia species that may or may not open unique channels to the vacuum of consciousness. These compounds may have either individual or synergetic affects on the data processing mechanisms of the brain that allow for enhanced lucidity and cognizant dream activity. Regardless, the unending reports of Mugwort as a dream enhancer should not be disregarded simply because psychoactive compounds have yet to be discovered. Ultimately, the psychoactive complexes in Mugwort remain highly elusive (probably due to the fact that nobody is looking for them specifically). Hopefully this newfound research and outlining of the limits of knowledge of this particular phytochemistry inspires plant chemists and biologists to enquire further into the chemical nature of Artimisia and other oneirogenic medicines so as to pinpoint the exact molecular structures and complexes responsible for the oneirogenic affects so widely reported.
Found in hardiness Zones 4-10Herbaceous perennial. Grows well in most soil pHs but poorly in overly rich soil. 7-21 days to germinate. Most artemeisia are grown as foliage plants. Artemisia prefers full sun and can be grown from a cutting or division. Blooming occurs from August to September. Presence of Artemisinin is dependent on quality of growing conditions. It is a very adaptable plant, however if nutritionally starved or radically different climates can contribute to very large disparities in chemical content. Only healthy aromatic specimens should be harvested. (7)
2 ounces of organic Mugwort sourced from Ulwau, France - Dream Herbs Temple was placed in a Soxhlet extraction apparatus and the plant material Soul was extracted with 60% ABV Cane Spirits under vacuum. This ratio was based on a collection of historical practice, old and current pharmacopeia data, and contemporary usage within Lisa Ganoras book Foundations of Phytochemistry. Once the solvent began to run clear, the plant material was reclaimed, pressed, then calcined and crystallized to extract the nutritional/mineral components. The crystalized sample was homogenized via cohobation with the Soul extract to achieve a final spagyric evolution on 1/27/22. Warning* Do not take during pregnancy.