It’s a new year and time for new beginnings.  The last blog post was in July.  That’s when the herb festival took over our lives.  The remaining season was so busy we spent most of it catching up in the gardens.  Now, we’re busy planning for this season.

The plan for this year’s blog is a little more modest than last year – at least one post per month; more if there’s time.   We keep active on Facebook and will also be sending out monthly newsletters by e-mail.   During the summer it’s difficult to write as much as I’d like, but I’ll try to get a note out as often as possible since I like sharing information on herbs and what’s happening at Red Road Herbs.  I also like hearing from you.

We’re celebrating the Herb of the Year, which is really several different herbs in the Artemisia family – Mugwort, Southernwood, Sweet Annie and Tarragon are in this family. The Greek goddess Artemis is this herb’s namesake.  She is known as the goddess of hunting and protector of woodland creatures.  She is also known as a protector of young women, but can both heal and bring disease to them.

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Artwork by Kallista – click on the photo to see the stag

We’ll have more about herbs in the Artemisia family throughout the year, but are starting off with Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris.  Mugwort is used  for dream enhancement and to ease insomnia by placing bundles of the dried herb near your bed.  It is known as a magical herb and often used for spells to keep evil spirits away or to protect from disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Mugwort in a therapy called “moxibustion” where cones of the dried, burning herbs are placed on affected areas of the body to ease pain and remove infection.

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As a medicinal herb, Mugwort can be tinctured in vinegar to bring out the minerals (calcium and magnesium) which is considered a good tonic for the skeletal and nervous systems.

Mugwort is a uterine stimulant, it should not be used by pregnant women. It contains thujone and should not be used by people with epilepsy.

Mugwort

Health and harmony blessings,

Rachel at Red Road Herbs