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Mugwort is the herb of October. Okay, well maybe not the only herb, but it is pretty representative of this time of year. The name alone conjures up images of black cats, cauldrons, and the witch’s broom.

Funny enough, mugwort is often boasted for its spiritual use. There are other natural remedy properties of this herb that we’ll cover later, but since it’s October, let’s go ahead and take a look at one of the biggest reasons why people use mugwort.

Lucid Dreaming

Mugwort is often used for sleep, but it also aids in lucid dreaming. Your dreams can be very vivid and your dream recall may improve when taking this herb. I have also heard from people who have taken it that it can increase nightmares. This has not happened to me, but everyone is different. For the purpose of lucid dreams, many take it as a tea. Some do choose to either smoke it or burn it as an incense. Thujone is found in mugwort, which is why dreaming may be effected. Thujone is also toxic in large amounts, so use with caution.


Mugwort can act as an emmenagogue. This action generally aids women in their menstrual cycles, focusing on the pain caused by a cycle, or help start a cycle (particularly useful if you’re irregular). As such, this should also be avoided when pregnant because it can  unsafely abort a pregnancy. If a pregnancy does need to be aborted, seek medical advice. At home remedies for this are dangerous. However,  using this herb right after birth can be useful in the expulsion of afterbirth. I wouldn’t necessarily use unless entirely needed as you really shouldn’t be taking this if you’re breastfeeding (due to thujone).

Photographed by Amanda Harman


Mugwort is bitter, so once you begin consuming it, the vagus nerve is triggered to begin the digestive process. Taking bitters about 20 minutes before eating, aids in digestion and can help prevent things like indigestion.


Mugwort is an antispasmodic and the herb can be infused into baths for muscle aches and pains.

Digestive Issues


Spirituality aside, mugwort has shown quite a bit of promise for our digestive systems. Along with the benefit of being a bitter herb, mugwort has shown to aid in stomach pain and poor appetite.


Mugwort has milt properties to aid with depression. There are many herbs that aid in depression, but mugwort is best recommended when one of the side effects of depression is a loss of appetite.


Related to wormwood, mugwort can also aid in ridding the system of parasites, including tapeworm.


Again, this herb has the potential to have negative effects if used continuously or in high doses. Consult with a doctor or herbalist if this is a herb you want to use regularly. Some even recommend taking a break from mugwort if used for an entire week. I don’t personally use this herb frequently. I’m not often plagued with insomnia, but when I am I generally turn to other herbs. I have been lucid dreaming with ease since I was a child so I don’t use the herb even for that. I generally use it, in tea or incense form, in October. What can I say? When I think of October and autumn, I think of mugwort.

I will say that it does help me in dream recall. My dreams are already vivid so I don’t think it really helps me with that, but I do remember a great deal more about my dreams when taking mugwort. It really is just a cool herb to have around, even just because of its mythical history. This herb is associated with the goddess Artemis (Diana for Roman mythology) who, coincidentally enough, had a pretty large focus on women, especially during childbirth. Which is funny. Because she’s a virgin. Although there’s debate about that, saying that the “virginity” aspect of her is that she belonged to herself and no man, but still took lovers. But that’s straying a bit too far off topic. If you’re curious, Google it. It actually is an interesting mini research project if you’re into that sort of thing.

So mugwort is especially useful for digestive issues, menstrual cycles, and lucid dreaming. Do you use this herb? Have you heard of it before? How do you prefer to use it?

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Fresh tomato and mozzarella salad. That was my original reason for growing basil in my garden. I knew of the health benefits growing up, but my taste won over my logical sense in this case. Nevertheless, basil actually does have benefits other than culinary.

Vitamin A

This herb has a surprising amount of Vitamin A in it. Which is funny, because we don’t often think about vitamins and minerals when it comes to herbs. Vitamin A is important because it regulates gene activity. It is also great for eyesight.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K activates certain proteins needed for tissue growth (think cartilage, bone, stomach, and lung tissue). Vitamin K also helps in the forming of blood clots.


Basil is antibacterial, but like anything, it has a special group of bacteria it’s most effective in attacking. The oils found in basil can restrict the growth of: listeria, staphylococcus, and E. coli.


Basil can offer relief from inflammation caused by arthritis.

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Basil can actually help erase blemishes from the skin. How? It attacks bacteria induced acne. You can steep the basil and then let the water cool to room temperature. Then swab it on with a cotton ball.

So, that’s basil. We eat it very frequently because it is delicious, but it does have some medicinal properties we can find useful. And why not use it for skincare if you’re already growing it in the garden? How do you use basil?

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

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Gotu Kola

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Gotu Kola doesn’t get enough credit, but I do see it being mentioned more and more lately. In a quick glimpse, it looks like dollarweed. I have some growing in my yard. It’s a salty, mineral rich herb, that LOVES water.


Gotu kola has strong vulnerary properties. This is excellent for healing wounds and preventing scars. Gotu kola was traditionally used to prevent and heal ulcers. Because it’s also so good at scar prevention, this is a great herb for ulcerative colitis. Gotu kola enhances the connective tissue through stimulating glycosaminoglycan synthesis without causing excessive collagen synthesis. This is why gotu kola can quickly aid in healing wounds while having minimal scar building. Longterm, this can aid in keeping skin youthful.


Gotu kola has been shown to fight against Staphylococcus aureus and candida.


This is a very interesting property of gotu kola. Gotu kola can aid in anxiety, but in a more specific way. All animals, including humans, have an acoustic startle response. It’s unconscious and a defense response to sudden noise or movement. It’s completely natural. The startle response is also implicated in the formation of phobias, which makes sense because we’re afraid. Anxiety disorders that can unnecessarily increase our startle response system can interfere with daily living. In these cases, gotu kola may be able to aid in anxiety. Read here if you’re interested in studies on gotu kola’s anxiolytic properties.


Circulatory Stimulant

Gotu kola stimulates blood flow and also aids in keeping skin looking healthy and youthful. It can be used topically.


This herb can be used with other herbs to aid in menstrual flow. This can help a period start and relieve cramps.


May aggravate itching. Gotu kola, due to its emmenagogue properties, may induce abortions. So avoid this herb if you’re pregnant. High doses can cause a loss of consciousness, so please don’t overuse this.

Gotu kola can be used as a tincture, tea, or even in a salad.

Do you use gotu kola? If so, what’s your favorite way to use it?

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

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Herbs for ADHD Intensive enrolling thru October, 21st

Wormwood. Sounds like something off of Harry Potter. In fact, the very first time I ever saw this being sold at a nursery a man mentioned it sounded like something from witchcraft while I was browsing and then promptly refused to shop there. Wormwood can play a pretty big role in homesteading though, mostly as a natural dewormer. Read below to discover its many uses.


Wormwood is an anti-inflammatory, and shows potential to aid in inflammatory bowl conditions. Wormwood is being studied to possibly speed up healing and improve the mood in Crohn’s disease.


When looking at wormwood in an Ayurvedic perspective, wormwood is a warm herb, so people who naturally have a warm constitution may be aggravated by overuse of this herb.


Wormwood is a bitter herb. The bitter taste in an herb or food triggers th vagus nerve to kickstart the digestive flow. This can be especially helpful if you take this about 15-20 minutes before eating a food that’s difficult for you to digest.


Wormwood has a large thujone count. In large quantities, thujone can be toxic. It can cause hyperactivity, excitability, delirium, seizures, and more. So wormwood is an herb you take in lower doses.



Wormwood is a vermifuge and can be helpful in ridding the body of parasites. I have spoken to a few homesteaders who use wormwood mixed with other herbs for deworming.


The bitter properties of wormwood also increase appetite. Wormwood has been used to help with anorexia due to this property.


Absinthe was banned in the United States in 1912. I encourage further independent research if you’re interested, but the ban was put into effect because of wormwood was a main ingredient, containing thujone. There isn’t much evidence I can find to support that there ever were toxic levels of thujone in absinthe. It’s an interesting little bit of information though. The ban was lifted in the U.S. in 2007, so it was quite a lengthy ban. Google provides many articles if you’re interested in learning more.


The use of wormwood should not exceed four weeks, because of thujone. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take wormwood in any form. If you are taking any medications for seizures, you should avoid wormwood.

How to Use

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and steep 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried wormwood for about fifteen minutes. Do not exceed 3 cups a day. 10-20 drops of tincture before meals is okay, too. Again, do not take wormwood over four consecutive weeks.

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

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Lemon Balm–Melissa


Hi, everyone! Today we’re going to take a look at lemon balm, also known as melissa officinalis. This grows plentiful in our garden and is one of my favorite things to make a hydrosol from. This herb has several actions one can find helpful to lead a more balanced life.


I have never used lemon balm for this purpose, but it can help with light insomnia. Lemon balm brings about a feeling of calmness, but it is also a mild sedative. Something stronger may–or may not–be needed for chronic insomnia. There are varying degrees of insomnia and everyone is different, but if you haven’t tried lemon balm and you’re awake but want to be sleeping, give it a try.


This is a great herb for tension/anxiety headaches. It probably won’t help for a migraine, but if your headache is more psychological, this is one of your go to herbs. Making a strong tea will help. I actually use my hydrosol for tension headaches, but that’s not always an option and a tea will work just as well.


Depression is serious and affects the lives of those suffering from it and their loved ones. There are many lifestyle changes and routines to help battle this, but sometimes a little extra help is needed. There are many who, for very good reasons, want to avoid medication. Having a cup of lemon balm tea can be a useful ally in the war with depression. Even the ritual of just making the tea can have its own calming effect.


Lemon balm isn’t the only herb that possesses this lovely talent. Anything that is a diaphoretic makes you sweat. Nice, right? In the right circumstances, sweating is the goal. The main reason people want to induce sweating is if they’re trying to break a fever. There is nothing pretty about sweating and fevers, but it’s just one brick on the path of recovering from nasty colds and the flu.


How cool is it that lemon balm is antiviral? It’s very cool, but there are different viruses out there so it’s not effective for EVERY virus. Sorry. Less cool now, but knowledge is power, so knowing what virus lemon balm is best at defeating is important. Herpesviridae is the virus family most effected by lemon balm. Not a very pleasant family, this is where your cold sores come from. Using lemon balm on the effected area topically is best. Other common conditions caused by this virus family are:

  • chicken pox
  • shingles
  • mono
  • sixth disease (roseola infantum)

You can try it with colds and the flu, like previously stated. Honestly though, when using it for other virus families, the strongest way it is going to help is with breaking the fever, which is still important. But actually attacking the virus? Not this herb’s speciality.


This is just a fancy word that means this herb can help if you’re a little gassy. It happens and no one appreciates the discomforts paired with flatulence.

Herbs for ADHD Intensive enrolling thru October, 21st


You don’t see it called for in a lot of recipes, but lemon balm is a fantastic culinary herb. You can infuse an olive oil and make amazing salad dressings (I do this with garlic, too). Recipe calling for zest of lemon? Don’t have a lemon or just don’t feel like doing it? Don’t. Chop some fresh lemon balm (or use dried) and adjust to your personal tastes.


Lemon balm is part of the mint family so it’s easy to grow. It’s also invasive. We have a lot of herbs and produce that grow randomly from their designated locations.I have tomatillos that still randomly pop up in the three acres we have. I have not grown tomatillos in THREE YEARS. I blame the birds. It doesn’t really bother us, but if you’re on a smaller lot and have a tidy personality, keeping it in a large pot can help with that invasiveness.


Bees love it. This is a great herb to keep around other plants that may rely pretty heavily on pollination to be successful in all endeavors of plant life.

Pure Melissa (lemon Balm) essential oil is expensive, but a great way to incorporate it into your life. If you want pure Melissa essential oil I suggest using Rocky Mountain Oils brand. If you can’t afford it but want a blend, try this.

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

Follow our blog to stay updated. We’re also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Come check us out.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you, if you click the links and make a purchase.