Mugwort : the king of smokable herbs?
Mugwort, also known as Sailor's Tobacco, is a great smokable herb that is a natural nicotine-free tobacco alternative. It's also an ecofriendly way to smooth out and save money on your favorite expensive legal herb.
Before you start your reading, we have to warn you that while there exists a long history of Mugwort leaves being smoked, some herbal smoking blend brands (and even small reddit communities) have "done their research" and will unfortunately promote that smoking Mugwort has medicinal properties or health benefits as facts rather than hypothesis to get some easy sales, without providing the studies behind their statements.
But let's go back to our main subject, we don't wanna sound too bitchy at the start of your reading right?
So what herbs can you smoke with Mugwort?
The great texture and discreet taste of Mugwort as a smokable herb makes it ideal to include in herbal smoking blends combined with other more fragrant herbs that can be smoked like Skullcap or even Damiana for more tasty experiences. You could also try smoke Thyme, smoking Chamomile or read more about Cloves. They also offer a low cost way and more neutral tasting than smoking tobacco to conserve your precious legal herb's terpenes aromas and taste intact in a spliff.
The Mugwort plant and its uses
Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) is a perennial plant found all over the world. It’s native to Europe and Asia and invasive in North America. Because it’s hardy and spreads quickly, mugwort is often considered a weed and rightly so, as its leaves closely resemble the look of cannabis leaves (granted, from a certain distance).
That’s not the entire story, though. The part that grows above the ground and its roots have been used throughout human history for various natural healing properties.
Traditionally, people have used the root of the Mugwort plant to make herbal medicine, essential oils, tinctures and even herbal tea blends. When ingested, this herb is believed to help with stomach afflictions and intestinal problems, colics as well as previously mentioned menstrual cramps, and a range of other nervous system conditions.
Smoking mugwort for dreams
Random fun fact of the day : we even had a customer tell us randomly on Instagram that it was traditionally used to ward off evil spirits, but we never saw Ghostbusters smoke a spliff before going hunting, so we'll take her statement with a grain of salt.
What is the difference between smoking Mugwort and tobacco or marijuana?
Unfortunately, at this time there is no formal scientific data that proves that Mugwort has any tangible effect or health benefit on the human mind or the body when smoked at this time.
However, on the flipside, there's also no data that suggests smoking Mugwort could have major adverse effects. Arguably, other than its main feature is not having Nicotine, it is just as bad as smoking cigarettes or smoking marijuana. The reason behind this is simple; any type of combustion smoke from dry herbs that a human inhales contains tar, carbon monoxyde, polyphenols and a variety of other long-named toxic compounds.
Basically, smoking is bad mmmkay!
Having said that, let's move on.
Mugwort on its own has been frequently used as a natural tobacco replacement or nicotine-free smoking cessation aid by simply mixing this herb you can smoke with Tobacco at gradually decreasing doses until the body's need for Nicotine has been reduced enough to stop smoking entirely.
So what is the purpose of smoking mugwort?
People have used a lot of plants, in a lot of different ways, for a lot of different reasons in the past, so it's only natural this close relative of the Absinthe plant has been an A-list herbal remedy for centuries (don't worry, thujone isn't a problem with this herb either).
Plenty of historic anecdotal evidence (and many, many natural healing publications) suggests that the general use of mugwort may have many health benefits but we can't pinpoint where or when this wormwood relative got trendy as a smokable. A quick search for mugwort herb benefits will turn up numerous different results regarding the effects of Mugwort, from helping with menstruations to helping give lucid dreams and even being an insect repellent!
Dried Chinese Mugwort burning ceremony
Fundamentally, one of the most significant uses of Mugwort is a practice called moxibustion. Found in traditional Chinese medicine and still popular as a herbal remedy around the world, during the moxibustion process the dried leaves from the Mugwort plant are shaped into a moxa, a condensed stick that resembles a thin cigar and burned over an acupuncture point. The heat and chemical compounds found within the plant are thought to stimulate blood flow around the point.
Practitioners of moxibustion believe it strengthens and warms the blood and potentially treats inflammation and cancer. According to a 2018 study, moxibustion from Artemisia Vulgaris l may also help for some functions of childbirth.
Other Mugwort medicinal uses
The many and varied uses of mugwort don’t stop to Asia. In many countries in Europe, the United States, and Canada, natural healing enthusiasts use this herb to cure light stomach ailments like gas, diarrhea and constipation.
Ingesting Mugwort is thought to increase the amount of bile and other gastric fluids your stomach produces, which may be why users report it working as a treatment for a range of stomach issues.
Mugwort leaves tea
Your digestion isn’t the only thing with which mugwort might be able to help. Other ailments potentially benefiting from the use of mugwort tea but not related to the stomach include:
- Irregular periods
Mugwort in smoking blends
Much like other popular smokable herbs like St. John's Wort or Mullein, the effects of smoking mugwort are understudied and should be more closely looked at in the future.
Smoking mugwort for anxiety and to help you sleep
Several first-hand accounts of frequent mullein smokers report that a herbal blend mix containing mainly this smokable herb can help reduce their anxiety and stress levels, eventually leading to falling asleep easier. While we haven't found any peer-reviewed study on this subject, it's chemical composition could explain such an effect.
Smoking mugwort leaf for period pains and inflammation
Another interesting trend we've observed on natural healing websites and social media platforms like Reddit talking about smoking mugwort is that a non-insignificant number of women have reported it would help reduce their period pains or other types of inflammation. Again, lack of data yada-yada, we can't corroborate officially but very interesting stuff nonetheless.
So does smoking mugwort do anything?
With all that being said, whether it's a placebo effect or not, you can find numerous first-hand accounts that it aided some people achieve more lucid and vivid dreaming, while others simply appreciate Mugwort for it's uninvasive smoke and discreet flavor.
Is Mugwort safe to smoke?
While you should discuss doing so with your doctor before trying to smoke anything, aside from rare allergic reactions, Mugwort is generally considered relatively safe to smoke and ingest. However, as with anything you smoke, mugwort does have the standard risks associated with smoking. It can cause tar and other unhealthy substances to build up within your lungs especially if you mix Mugwort with cannabis or even worse, smoke mugwort with tobacco.
There are some considerations you should keep in mind, especially if you’re pregnant or have allergies.
While the smoke from burning mugwort during moxibustion may help reposition a baby to make childbirth safer, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and women trying to become pregnant should avoid ingesting the herb. It can stimulate a delayed menstrual cycle, and women used it to cause abortions in the past. It’s best to avoid any potential risk.
Can I smoke Mugwort alone?
While you certainly could smoke mugwort alone instead of properly blended in a smoking blend, some people may also be allergic to mugwort without knowing it. It’s a relative of ragweed, which is the bane of many allergy sufferers’ existences when pollen counts are at their highest. Using mugwort as a dietary supplement or homeopathic remedy is generally safe, but you should discuss it with your doctor beforehand.
While the use of mugwort is currently uncontrolled, growing your own might be illegal, depending on your location. This is because it’s invasive and spreads rapidly, which has the potential to damage your local ecosystem. Who would've known!?
Is Mugwort magical, psychedelic, psychoactive or hallucinogenic?
As stated earlier up in our intro, Mugwort is a close relative of the Absinthe plant due to the presence of the thujone molecule, famous for it's 19th Century artist debacles in Europe that was in fact simply propaganda (read the story of Absinthe, it's pretty freaking interesting).
Depending on the exact species, Mugwort can also contain camphor, cineole, α- and β-thujone, artemisia ketone (CAS: 546-49-6), borneol and bornyl acetate as well as a wide variety of other phenols, terpenes and aliphatic compounds.
How to smoke Mugwort?
As people usually smoke to get a certain effect on their body or mind, Mugwort is rarely smoked on its own and users prefer to blend it with other smokable herbs like Mullein, Damiana or even Lavender and any other federally Legal Herb for smoking. The internet has a tendency to always come up with answers for theories like these, so it's just a matter of time until we get to know how much Mugwort actually gets you high from a nice TikTok video.
Side effects of mugwort
As with any medicine or herbal remedy that might have some unforeseen effects on the body, it's always best to act a qualified health professional before putting it in your body. Plus, the appropriate dosage for anything depends on the person’s gender, age, and underlying physical conditions, especially if you know you are prone to allergic reactions, so better be safe than sorry bud!
While this smokable herb is still a natural, organic product, it’s best to talk to an expert regarding the dosage before ingesting anything that might have some. That way, you can be sure that the likelihood of adverse effects like the rare allergic reaction is low, and you can smoke Mugwort with peace of mind.
Do we really need to say that Mugwort isn’t recommended for use by children? Our readers are smart right? Riiiiiiiiight?!
Where to buy common Mugwort near me?
If you're the DIY type and are looking to purchase Mugwort at your local herbalist for any healthcare reason, it is commonly available in the form of dried leaves, extracts, tinctures, teas, and pills. In its various forms, the plant is frequently used in natural medicine to help improve a variety of functions including digestion, menstrual cramps, and sleep so don't hesitate to ask your resident herb expert what it can do for you. But be careful; depending on the quality purchased it can take quite a bit of effort to remove all the stems so that it doesn't pierce your rolling paper if you try to smoke it!
And there you have it! Now you know about Mugwort, a great herb to incorporate into your herbal smoking mix.
*This article is not to be interpreted as a statement of any form by Spliff but merely a compendium of information compiled from other sources. These statements have not been evaluated by Health Canada, FDA or any other regulatory body. Consult your doctor before ingesting or smoking any herbal product.*
Wanna learn more about Mugwort? Browse our sources below!
r/Mugwort. (n.d.). Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/Mugwort/
Wikipedia Contributors. (2019, March 27). Terpene. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terpene
taxonomy. (n.d.). Taxonomy browser (Artemisia vulgaris). Www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi?mode=Info&id=4220
Thujone. (2021, July 1). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thujone
Ekiert, H., Pajor, J., Klin, P., Rzepiela, A., Ślesak, H., & Szopa, A. (2020). Significance of Artemisia Vulgaris L. (Common Mugwort) in the History of Medicine and Its Possible Contemporary Applications Substantiated by Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies. Molecules, 25(19), 4415. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25194415
Schlaeger, J. M., Stoffel, C. L., Bussell, J. L., Cai, H. Y., Takayama, M., Yajima, H., & Takakura, N. (2018). Moxibustion for Cephalic Version of Breech Presentation. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 63(3), 309–322. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12752
Mugwort. (2021, December 14). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mugwort
Wikipedia Contributors. (2019, May 4). Camphor. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camphor
Eucalyptol. (2021, March 20). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptol
Borneol. (2021, August 23). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borneol
Wikipedia Contributors. (2019, June 5). Phenol. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenol