Sunday, June 7, 2009

In the Search for Mugwort

Recently I have noticed that one of our readers has been trying out mugwort for an dream inducing substance. Since I haven't looked into to much of the science behind Mugwort I decided to do a little searching for the science behind mugwort.

Like any substances that support dreaming or sleep and have been used for supporting the mind during altered states always seem to come back to either supporting a neurotransmitter or effecting how they are produced in the brain. After a few days of searching, Mugwort is not an exception.
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) is a perennial weed growing180px-artemisiavulgaris
wild and abundantly in temperate and cold-temperature
zones of the world. Mugwort is an important herb in
Asian and European folklore. Mugwort has been known
not only as an edible plant but also as a folk medicinal
resource. The leaves are used in stuffing and rice cakes
and to flavor tea in Asia, and as a culinary herb for poultry
and pork in Western cultures (1). It is used to aid digestion
and regular menstruation. In orient, mugwort has been
employed as an analgesic and antimicrobial agent (2-4).
Recently, in the course of the searching for effective
monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors from various plant
materials, we have isolated some phenolic compounds
from mugwort with inhibitory activity against MAO.

In a short way of saying it, Mugwort has the properties of an MAOI in its compounds, allowing for the brain to have a larger availability of the much needed neurotransmitters during sleep. Much like St John's wort, Mugwort has shown to help with depression, stress, and sleep as it has been uses by the Chinese as a healing plant.

Mugwort may hide many other secrets in its chemical makeup, but at least we know one that has potential of helping people dream better.

1 comment:

  1. mugwort is blooming right now where I live in California. I've been picking the stalks and drying them to make smudge sticks, and am planning a gathering of the flowers soon to add to my next homebrew attempt. because of its antimicrobial nature, it makes a great replacement for hops in beer! and the resulting beer tastes kind of minty too. we did this back in 2005 and called it "dream ale."