Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Some people believe that plants grow where they are needed; I am one of those people. It’s true that certain plants show up and nourish the soil, while others appear to cleanse it. Plants tell us a lot about the health of the earth they grow in. What if plants also tell us something about the health of the people around them?

Artemisia growing through the concrete

Where I live, artemisia vulgaris grows on just about every street and in every abandoned space. Artemisia, named for Artemis the Greek hunter and protectress. Artemisia whose top is a wonderous green and whose underside is a surprising silver like the moon. Artemisia – famous for invoking visions and lucid dreaming. Mugwort, known for calling forth moon (menstrual) flow. In traditional Chinese medicine this herb is used as moxa to unblock points in our bodies.

Has artemisia come to help us unlock the deep dreams that day to day living has swept seemingly out of reach? Has she come to guard us and protect us while we realign ourselves with the strength of feminine energy? Has she come–with her liver cleansing and digestive tonic– to help ease the pain of those sisters who can not honor their monthly cycle by calling “time-out”? I think she has.

Artemisia is an emmenagogue which means it stimulates menstruation. I combined mugwort (artemisia’s other name) with ginger once to get my flow started a little earlier than usual. I was planning to go on a road trip and attend a conference and I wanted to be at the end of my cycle instead of the beginning when I got there. Imagine my surprise when my cycle came within days of taking this brew regularly. My moon cycle was easy and by the time I got on the road–it was over!

I know many women–myself included– who enjoy more comfortable periods as a result of this herb. Mugwort is strong enough that just a pinch added to an infusion is enough. I combine mugwort with red raspberry leaf, nettle leaf, or dandelion leaf during menstruation.

My husband watched a special on Bob Marley and was moved that his life, and the lives of those around him, were so guided by dream and vision. He asked me what herb would be good to help him dream and I suggested artemisia. He drank a tea made of the herb. Not only did my husband dream, his dream contained a vision for my herbal work, and he actually remembered it in detail–this is something that rarely happens.

Sewing a little pillow with lavender, white sage and a pinch of artemisia can carry you into deep, delicious dreamwork and sleep.

Artemisia smoke is is wonderful for guided meditation and visualization. You can use it as a smudge or smoke it if you choose. Whenever I have burned artemisia a tangible sense of calm has come over the room and the people in it.

I learned about the power of this herb while standing in an area of a park where the artemisia was as tall as I am. The stalks of artemisia were dry and brown but they were still wonderfully fragrant. A little goes a long way. Some people–myself included–can not use large amounts of this herb as the dreams it brings on are so real we wake up feeling as if we did not sleep. Start with small doses of artemisia when you begin working with it. But do work with this wonderful, abundant herb. I believe artemisia vulgaris is here for many reasons. If you get close to her, she just might share some of those reasons with you.

What have your adventures with artemisia been like?

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