Explore the Magickal Properties of Mugwort

mugwort against sky with moon phases

Hi, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been sharing posts about some of my favourite magickal herbs and plants like this post about the magickal properties of mint, a post about sage, another all about roses and I’ve also shared a botanical witchipedia which is great if you want an overview of the magickal properties of plants. Today I want to continue on this path by talking about the magickal properties of mugwort. 

Mugwort is an extremely old herb healing herb whose magickal properties include protection, dreams, psychic power, strength and creativity among others. Its medicinal benefits include being antifungal and antibacterial while also aiding digestion and sleeplessness among others.

botanical illustration of mugwort

Disclaimer: Any medicinal benefits given here are a product of my own research and as such should not be taken over the advice of trained medical professionals. If you are ill, please go and see a doctor. Always make sure that anything you consume is 100% safe. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife before consuming something you haven’t tried before. Mugwort has been known to cause uterine contractions so should not be consumed if pregnant. 

History of Mugwort

Mugwort, also known as Artemisia Vulgaris, Is a member of the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. It has a very long history as a medicinal herb and has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. There are written records of it in Chinese medicine as early as 3BC. It was prized for its anti-coagulant and disinfectant properties. 

Mugwort was a common flavouring for meat and fish in the old days partially due to its anti-microbial properties which help to stop food from spoiling. It’s still a common ingredient to flavour a Christmas goose with in Germany. Mugworts use has waned a little in recent years, and many people favour it’s cousin Wormwood, best known for its use in Absinthe. 

It’s thought that the name comes from the Old Norse “Muggi” meaning marsh and the German “Wuertz” meaning root. The name might also come from the Old English word “Mucg” meaning midge and “Wyrt” meaning root/herb/plant. 

It’s considered an invasive weed in many areas, which once established, can become extremely difficult to get rid of due to its invasive growth which is thought to inhibit plants growing next to it. It does, however, also repel some insects, particularly moths, so can be a way of keeping other plants free fro pests if managed carefully. You can also make a natural insecticide from mugwort but using it too liberally can inhibit the growth of your plants. 

Mugwort has been used by people as a “legal high” which actually led to Louisiana banning people from possessing and selling it in 2005.

magickal properties of mugwort
Mugwort is a common garden weed all over Europe.

Fun Facts about Mugwort

  • Roman soldiers would place mugwort in their shoes to protect in order to reduce foot pain due to copious amounts of walking. 
  • Mugwort is mentioned in the Lacnunga, which is an old Anglo-Saxon text filled with medicinal remedies for ailments. 
  • Mugwort was thought to protect travellers against evil spirits and wild animals. 
  • Some people call mugwort St. John’s Plant because it’s believed that John the Baptist wore mugwort on his belt. This also gives rise to the myth that any mugwort collected on St. John’s Eve will give protection against bad luck and illness. 
Saint John The Baptist Preaching In The Wilderness by Anton Raphael
Don’t confuse mugwort with St. Johns Wort as this is another plant entirely. Here John the Baptist is wearing his girdle made from mugwort fibres.
  • Mugwort is still worn during Tynwald Day celebrations on the Isle of Man because of their strong connection to St. John. 
  • Traditional Chinese medicine uses mugwort to make Moxa. Moxa sticks are placed on specific acupuncture points on the body in order to draw out toxins and to treat pain or illness. 
  • Mugwort was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for tobacco, giving it the nickname “sailor’s tobacco”.
  • Due to its bitterness, mugwort was used to flavour beer before hops became popular. 
  • In Germany, Mugwort is known as “Beifuß” which ties back in with the Roman’s placing mugwort in their shoes as “Beifuß” translates to “By Foot”. 

Medicinal Benefits of Mugwort

Please be aware that mugwort contains thujone which can be toxic if ingested in large quantities or if you use it over a prolonged period of time. 

  • May help with sleeplessness 
  • Can help to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce associated pain
  • Aids digestion
  • May help stop vomiting
  • May help to reduce stomach upsets including diarrhoea, constipation and cramps
  • May help circulation
  • May help  depression 
  • May help with fatigue
  • Can help relieve itchiness
  • Can help burn scars
  • Might help with anxiety
  • Anti-bacterial and antifungal
  • May help to turn babies in breech position

Magickal Properties of Mugwort

Mugwort has long been used as a visionary herb. This is because it has some mild hallucinogenic effects (just like wormwood) which can help to amplify psychic visions. If kept near the bed it’s thought to induce prophetic dreams and omens. Mugwort’s psychoactive effects can be absorbed through the skin so you should be cautious if you are gathering it. Its effects are felt most strongly when asleep or in a trance state.

magickal properties of mugwort gif
Increase your psychic abilities by harnessing the magickal properties of mugwort.

Hang a bag of mugwort near doorways to prevent unwanted visitors or add it to a sleep charm to induce clear dreams. Burn it before you do a tarot reading or other divinatory work to get a stronger reading while providing protection and purification.

  • Astral projection
  • Prophetic dreams
  • Protection
  • Psychic power
  • Strength
  • Creativity
  • Fertility
  • Divination
  • Purification
  • Banishing
  • Guidance
  • Blessings


Deities: Artemis, Diana, The Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess


Zodiac: Cancer, Gemini, Libra, Sagittarius 

Planet: the Moon, Venus

Element: Earth

Gender: Feminine

Crystals: Bloodstone, Fluorite, Turquoise

So my loves, I hope this gives you all the information about the magickal properties of mugwort that you were searching for!

Until next time,

Blessed Be,

Amaria xx

turquoise book of shadows page
Work with turquoise and mugwort to increase your psychic abilities. We make these hand illustrated pages so that you can add them to your growing Book of Shadows. Click here to shop on Etsy.
fluorite book of shadows page
Increase the magickal properties of mugwort by using it with one of it’s associated crystals like fluorite. Click here to shop this page in our Etsy Store.

Amaria Pollux

Amaria is a herb and nature-loving magical explorer who always tries to look on the bright side. If she's not cooking up a storm, you'll find her snuggled up on the couch with her self-satisfied cat and a magical book learning everything she can about Witchcraft.

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