Published on November 30, 2012 by Casey
Mugwort and Sagewort are the English names for this plant, and both are confusing: mugwort is an Old English name for a European herb which was applied to the related but quite different American plant after colonization, and sagewort is a general term which is used to refer to dozens of different herbs including this one. The Chumash Indian name for the plant is Molush, and the Paiute name is translated as Dream Plant, a name that has been gaining in popularity. The name “dream plant” comes because mugwort is believed by many California Indian tribes to improve people’s dreams, making it more likely for them to remember them and interact with them for spiritual purposes. For this reason mugworts would often be burned as incense or dried and sewn into a pillow to ensure positive and spiritually meaningful dreams. Some Miwok people also wore mugwort leaves to keep away ghosts and evil dreams. In addition to these important roles as a dreaming agent, mugwort was also used as a medicine herb to cure headaches, women’s reproductive complications, and other ailments.
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