Balance Your Menstrual Cycle with Mugwort

Balance Your Menstrual Cycle with Mugwort

If you’ve ever been to a Korean spa, you might have taken a dip in the mugwort bath and wondered “what the hell kind of Harry Potter water am I sitting in?” This whimsical name is incredibly fitting for such a beautiful herb that is used for women’s menstrual health in so many cultures, like Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions. Mugwort, or Artemisia vulgarisis, is dear to my heart and uterus and is one of the most-used in my apothecary. Its scientific name stems from Artemis, the greek moon goddess and protective patron of women in all phases of their lives.

This plant is abundant, wild, and grows in almost every part of the world, including in Southern California. Mugwort energy is ancestral, feminine, wise and is filled with dreamy, dark, moon magic. Working with this herb brings in the plant version of a warm, yet strong grandmother crone. I reach for mugwort for myself and my clients for two main uses which are balancing irregular periods and diving into spiritual dream work.

Warnings/Contraindications: Do not use mugwort if you are pregnant or nursing.

Regulating the menstrual cycle

Mugwort is the herb to turn to for those who struggle with an irregular or scanty period, especially during times of stress that can wreak havoc on reproductive hormones. Mugwort is an emmenagogue, meaning it brings on menstrual flow. I’ve seen clients who have not had their period for months take mugwort for a few days and it comes back, bright red, within days, and guess what? All of a sudden other symptoms disappear because their period is getting back to normal.

In addition to its affinity for women’s reproductive organs, this herb delivers additional physical benefits:

  • Aids in digestion and decreases bloating
  • Moves sluggish energy
  • Mild relaxant – calms stress and anxiety
  • Topical anesthetic and can calm irritated skin
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties

How to use & prepare:

Mugwort is a powerful plant and should not be used as an everyday herb. I recommend taking mugwort internally no longer than 3-5 days in a row, ideally 2-3 days before and 2-3 days after the period. Make sure to listen to your body when introducing new herbs.

Mugwort can be prepared as a tea or tincture, can be smoked for calming effects, and used as a soothing bath. If you want to work with mugwort to regulate your period, I recommend drinking as a tea or taking as a tincture. When preparing as a tea, let it steep for at least 10 minutes.

As always, it’s best to buy the loose herb and make sure it’s organic. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can also harvest the plant in the late spring/early summer. Look for bountiful patches and do not harvest from plants right next to a trail or street (read: dog pee and pollution).

 How to make a tincture – super easy!

  • Fill a glass jar with plant material. If using dried mugwort, fill the jar 1/3 full. If using fresh mugwort, fill jar 3/4 full.
  • Fill the rest of the jar with vodka (I buy organic vodka from Trader Joes – only $13!) making sure all plant material is submerged and then cover the jar, tightly.
  • Store in a dark, dry place for at least one month, shaking it up at least once every couple of days. The longer it sits, the stronger the tincture is, so 1-3 months is fine. When ready to use, strain and bottle in a dropper bottle
  • Dosage: start with 1-2 droppers full three times, per day)

Using mugwort for dream work:

Using the lunar chart, the period/bleeding corresponds to the waning and new moon phases so it’s no surprise that this moon medicine supports dream work and creativity during this phase in our cycles. Bringing in mugwort can help us go inward and deepen this creative flow.

A suggested ceremony:

Note: I sometimes experience vivid (and yes, sometimes very intense) dreams when I drink mugwort before bed so make sure you are ready to call in this energy – it can be powerful!

  • Create sacred space: about an hour before bed, burn mugwort to smudge/clear the air and set your intentions.
  • Prepare a cup of mugwort tea, sipping slowly while journaling about where you are needing guidance.
  • Let the drowsiness set in and set the journal by your bed so in the morning, you can immediately write down dreams, imagery, and messages that came to you.

If you don’t remember anything, no worries, just try another night. I’ve found that my body knows I may need deep sleep more than crazy ass dreams!

The Benefits of Nettle

The Benefits of Nettle

Nettle leaf


I am beyond thrilled to share my first plant healing post. I am a student at The Gaia School of Healing in Southern California and has shifted the way I relate to the plant world and how I think about medicine. We learn in the Wise Woman Tradition which is based in honoring the natural, sacred rhythms of the Earth to tap into the wisdom held in the plants that surround us. It is also rooted in looking inward, listening to our bodies to tell us what type of healing is needed, both spiritually and physically. I hope you will feel inspired to connect with the plants around you and see what type of spiritual healing is there for you!


I knew immediately which plant to post about first: The wonderful, nourishing Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). I can’t explain how grateful I am to have connected with this plant spirit; It is like taking in the richness of the earth in green liquid form! Nettle is a nourishing herb which means it is packed with the minerals and vitamins our bodies need to function properly. By flooding the body with nourishment, nettle rebuilds the various systems of the body and restores nutrient deficiencies.

Rich in: vitamins K, A, vitamin B complex, magnesium, iron, chlorophyl, potassium, zinc, and other trace minerals

Nettles can help with the following:
Increase energy and fight fatigue
Balance hormones
Boost immunity
Improve digestion and nutrient absorption
Build healthy blood and circulatory system
Provide basic minerals to help systems operate efficiently
Help the body handle stress
Grow thicker, shiny hair
Gives glowing complexion
Strengthen respiratory system
Build and restores adrenal and kidney function
Prevents cancer
Alleviate menstrual cramps
Increase breast milk production
Help anemia (due to high iron content)
Help fight addiction and release emotions no longer useful

I will shout it from the hilltops: Nettles should be part of everyone’s life, especially if you live in an urban environment and/or are dealing with chronic stress. Our bodies are constantly being depleted of nutrients due to environmental and physical stress. Taking in a nourishing herb, like nettle, helps keep your systems balanced and healthy.

This is why I can’t recommend this enough for people with crazy lives. From first hand experience, trust me: you will feel so much better! Gentle nettle put me back together last year at a very stressful time. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, muddling through a demanding job and family drama. I drank nettle almost everyday for a month and throughout the process, I noticed subtle shifts; I was much calmer in the face of stressful situations, was able to sustain my energy, and damn, was my complexion bright and glowing! I became stronger, both physically and emotionally. It was such a blessing to realize that there is so much spirit medicine available in a plant!

In addition to the scientifically-backed physical benefits, nettle delivers energetic healing, especially to the root chakra, by aiding in creating healthy boundaries and a strong spiritual foundation. Nettle can grow in low quality soil and bring it back to health, which is a beautiful way to imagine how it helps the human body.

Nettle is known particularly for being a wonderful plant ally for women in all stages of life through stabilizing the reproductive system, building rich blood, and increasing cells’ ability to metabolize nutrients. It will alleviate menstrual cramps, support new mothers, and ease menopause, alike!

Nettle, like most nourishing herbs, grows wild and abundant and is one of the most sustainable herbs you can consume on a regular basis.  You can buy dried nettles at Mountain Rose Herbs or at your local health food store. You’ll want to buy loose leaf tea in bulk since small teabags don’t provide enough plant material to make infusions.

How to make nettle infusion:

  1. Take a small fistful of plant material and throw it in a sturdy 1 quart glass jar (or fill up 1/4 of the jar with the herb if you’re not using qt size)
  2. Pour boiling water, filling up the jar
  3. Cover and let sit for a minimum of four hours, up to 10 hours. The longer it infuses, the more nutrients available.
  4. Strain and drink up! Start out with 2-3 cups per day, but there’s really no recommended amount – just listen to your body.
  5. Refrigerate any leftover infusion. Try to consume within 48 hours to prevent spoilage (I try to drink mine within 24 hours).

Nettle is very safe – just listen to your body. This class of herb works gradually, which is great because they can be taken safely for an extended period without side effects of harsher plants. The one thing I recommend is to drink plain water throughout the day since nettle can be slightly drying.

Do you love nettle? I would love it if you would share your experiences in the comments, below!