Mugwort: a mystical sage for lucid dreams
A quick internet search will tell you that there are all sorts of herbal supplements, teas, and oils that can help you sleep more deeply and dream more clearly. But which one do you go for? You might try chamomile tea or a lavender lotion to help you sleep, but what can you use to actively aid your lucid dreaming practice?
Mugwort is the common name for Artemisia vulgaris, a wild and abundant plant whose genus is named for the Greek moon goddess, Artemis. It grows pretty much anywhere, but can actually be found growing on the side of the road most of the time. It’s fairly recognizable, with tall, thick stems and purplish coloring, but I probably wouldn’t recommend pulling out roadside weeds to help you dream unless you’re REALLY confident in your plant-spotting skills!
The North American Chumash Indians referred to Mugwort as “Dream Sage”, and used it for hundreds of years to promote positive dreams, which was an enormously important part of personal health in their culture. In Europe in the Middle Ages it was used as a spiritual protector and a dream aid, and in Korea, some strains of the herb are thought to be so potent that even physical contact with it will induce psychoactive effects.
In the modern age, Mugwort is still widely held to have powerful mental and spiritual properties. The Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism in Boston, MA primarily recommends Mugwort for dreamwork. According to one of their practitioners, Mugwort is quite effective in enhancing the dream experience: taking your dreaming to "the next level”, whatever that may be.
Mugwort can assist with:
* Dream recall
* Dreaming in color
* Introducing new senses into dreams, beyond sight
* Heightened awareness in the dream state (entering lucid dreaming)
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there is not a lot of documented evidence linking Mugwort to dreaming or lucid dreaming. There is, however, a whole internet full of anecdotal evidence of people getting very strong results from their use of Mugwort. On the scientific side, one theory is that the psychoactive effects can be linked to the presence of Thujone in certain strains of the herb. Thujone is also found in gin and absinthe, which has led some people to believe that it causes certain “mind-bending” effects when ingested. Of course, that could also be the alcohol in the gin and absinthe, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Whatever the causes, Mugwort has been long used as a helping hand in the practice of lucid dreaming, and has even been said to promote more intensive dream experiences like prophetic dreaming and astral travel.
Mugwort can be brewed as a tea, smoked, taken in capsule form, placed underneath the pillow, or made into a tincture for personal use.
If you’ve used Mugwort
for your lucid dreams, let us know how it went! If you haven’t, give it a shot!
And in the meantime, dream on.