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Mugwort: Herbs and Incense

Mugwort, also known as wormwood, St. Johns plant, and sailors tobacco is a well loved favourite of many witches. In this post, we are looking at the history of Mugwort, properties and magickal uses. The post ends with a free correspondence sheet to download. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more information about what this means, please click here

Mugwort history

Mugwort has long been known for its medical and magickal properties. Named Artemisia Vulgaris in Latin, after the Ancient Greek Goddess, Artemis. It is said that she gifted Mugwort to the earth along with the whole family of plants. Mugwort was also used by the Romans, the Ancient Egyptians and the Anglo Saxons. In fact, it is still used today in Chinese medicine, although now it is considered a weed in much of the western world. 

Mugwort is known by a few different names. When it comes to wormwood, it is difficult to know if it is the same plant or a very similar plant from the Mugwort family. My research has not been able to determine the answer, as it seems to be a matter of opinion that authors can not agree on. However, even if a different plant, the properties are the same. 

This plant should not be confused with St. Johns Wart. It is sometimes called St. Johns plant as it was believed that St. John the Baptist wore Mugwort on his belt. It also gained the nickname of sailors tobacco as it was used as a cheap tobacco substitute in years gone by. 

Mugwort was also used as a flavouring for beer before hops was discovered and preferred. It is available as a fresh plant and grows wild, dried, in incense and oil form.


Mugwort contains Thujone that can be toxic if used in large quantities or over a prolonged period of time. Mugwort is a mild hallucinogenic and the psychoactive effects can be absorbed through the skin, so you need to be careful when handling it.  

Do not use if pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Always do your own research and seek medical advice as I am not a doctor. This information is for entertainment purposes only, I can not be held responsible for any actions taken by those who read this post. 

Close up of a Mugwort leaf
Mugwort leaves have a silvery fuzz over them.

Mugwort properties

  • Said to help regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve period pain. 
  • Said to help with sleeplessness
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps circulation
  • Been suggested that it can help reduce vomiting
  • Said to help with depression and anxiety
  • Said to help someone with fatigue
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties

Magickal uses

Mugwort is linked to the Earth element. Its planetary correspondence is the Moon and Libra is its associated star sign. It is linked to the third eye chakra and corresponds with both Beltane and Samhain on the wheel of the year. 

Practical ways to use Mugwort in magick

  • Add to spell bottles or bags for magick that concerns protection and healing.
  • Stuff a pillow with Mugwort and lavender for prophetic dreams
  • Drink an infusion of Mugwort (and honey to sweeten) before divination
  • Burn Mugwort incense when conducting rituals
  • Smoke cleanse with a bunch of dried Mugwort
  • Hang a bunch of dried Mugwort over your door to protect your home from harmful energies and people. 

Free correspondence sheet

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