kigi’s herb talk
Yomogi – Japanese Mugwort
The scientific name for yomugi is “Artemisia indica”
The name Artemisia derives from Artemis, the Grecian goddess of the moon, forests, and childbirth. Yomogi, with the lovely scientific name of a goddess, has also in Japan been treated as a spiritual herb since ancient times.
The Manyoshu, a collection of poetry (7th century), contains the following poem: “Ayamegusa (iris) Yomogi kazuraki sakemizuki”.
The poem is about decorating one’s hair with iris and mugwort when drinking together at Shinto rituals. During the feasts of veneration, people wore mugwort in their hair, since it was thought to strengthen the bond with the gods. It is for this reason people cherished mugwort.
Mugwort has many medicinal benefits. It is said to be especially beneficial because of its detoxification effect and was used for treating female related conditions. I strongly feel that mugwort can be used for letting flow and maintain. Mugwort can also be used as a tea, or in a poultice on the chest. Just smelling the aroma (of the herb) will lighten a heavy heart and calm the emotions.
When seeing mugwort, gently pick it and smell its fragrance. It will surely quiet your heart, and perhaps, you will be able to hear the bustle of the ancient feasts.