skip to Main Content
The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - cover

The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

Mugwort has been around for thousands of years, but thanks to TikTok, it has recently become a buzzword. Users claim that by consuming or drinking mugwort, one can enjoy subtle psychoactive benefits such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep, and more vivid dreams.

One UK journalist investigated these claims by purchasing a pack and consuming it as tea. Although he didn’t find that mugwort produced a dramatic high like some other drugs, he did enjoy the experience.

“For those that are looking for a small but noticeable perk in mood and the possibility of some pretty intense dreams, mugwort may be for you,” he wrote. “I know I will definitely continue drinking it in tea form as part of my daily routine.”

So what’s the story behind mugwort and what’s the best way to enjoy it?

Mugwort- an Overview

The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - mugwort overviewKnown scientifically as Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort is a tall shrub that is closely related to sunflowers. It has a long and colorful history, having been mentioned in Chinese poetry and ballads dating as far back as 3 B.C when it was an essential part of traditional herbal medicine. Since then, mugwort leaves, flowers, and roots have also been used as food, a spice, beverage flavoring, and even an acupuncture tool.

Some gardeners even apply it in their gardens as a moth and insect repellent. The flavor has been described as slightly minty, in contrast to its bitter aroma.

Traditional Health Benefits of Mugwort

Mugwort has been used in a number of cultures, ranging from Europe to China, and has long been praised for its medicinal properties. Mugwort’s specific benefits are believed to be derived from the presence of flavonoids, triterpenes, and other antioxidant compounds, as well as some B vitamins, potassium, iron, and calcium.

The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - mugwort benefits 2

  • Eliminate Toxins: Due to its diuretic properties, mugwort can stimulate urination, which can be the body’s best method of eliminating toxins. By the same token, it may also benefit the kidneys and bladder, improving their function and reducing the likelihood of infection, and stimulate sweating, which may further eliminate toxins from the body through the skin.
  • Boost the Immune System: Mugwort may be an excellent choice for boosting the immune system due to its high concentration of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Aside from stimulating white blood cells, vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant, which helps neutralize the free radicals that cause inflammation and weaken the body’s immune system.The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - mugwort benefits
  • Improve Indigestion: Mugwort has long been used to settle the stomach and ease indigestion. In addition to stimulating appetite and reducing bloating and cramps, it may also combat uncomfortable conditions like constipation and diarrhea. Several of its active compounds may also stimulate the production of bile, which can speed digestion.
  • Reduce Depression and Anxiety: The nervine properties of mugwort may make it very helpful for treating anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. If anxiety is a daily occurrence for you, drinking mugwort tea or consuming it as a tincture could relieve stress on your nervous and metabolic system and improve your quality of life.
  • Ease Menstrual Pain: Mugwort is beneficial for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps. Additionally, it may stimulate and regulate menstruation and support the body during the menopausal transition. However, pregnant women should avoid it because stimulation of menses can lead to miscarriage and premature labor.The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - mugwort benefits 3
  • Improve Bone Density: Mugwort is traditionally thought to be an excellent source of bone mineralizers, helping to increase bone density and preventing osteoporosis, among other types of age-related bone disorders. Several nutrients found in mugwort can support this health benefit, including potassium, iron, and calcium.
  • Support Healthy Vision: The antioxidant vitamin A found in mugwort may play an important role in vision health. In particular, this beta carotene-derived vitamin might protect against macular degeneration and slow cataract development.

What About Mugwort’s Hallucinogenic Properties?

The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - mugwort HallucinogenicMugwort is a close relative of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), the flavoring agent in absinthe, and has long been praised for its “psychic” and even “hallucinogenic” properties.

Although users have claimed that it helps them remember their dreams more vividly and even have the occasional lucid dream, its hallucinogenic properties are nowhere near as intense as herbs like wormwood or vervain, and those who have experienced a narcotic high won’t find the experience similar at all.

Can Everyone Take Mugwort?

The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - Mugwort warningAlthough not as risky or intense as a narcotic, mugwort may be contraindicated for allergy sufferers and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Mugwort pollen is one of the most common causes of hayfever, so allergic reactions are not uncommon. You should use it in moderation if you are prone to allergies. If you experience any skin irritation, stomach upset, or swelling of your throat, tongue, or lips, stop using it immediately.

As stated earlier, pregnant women should avoid mugwort, as it contains thujone, which can stimulate menstruation and, by extension, pregnancy complications. Breastfeeding mothers are also advised to refrain from mugwort consumption, as thujone and other active components could be passed on to the baby through breast milk.

What is the Best Way to Take Mugwort?

Mugwort is commonly enjoyed as tea. You can order it online or, if you find it growing in the wild (it’s especially common in the eastern United States and Canada), collect it and dry it. Although the leaves are most commonly used for tea, many people use the root instead or combine the two.

  • The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - Mugwort TeaTo make tea, bring four cups of water to a boil, add one ounce of dried mugwort, and let it steep for five to 10 minutes. After giving it two or three minutes to cool, strain out the dried herb and add sugar or honey if desired.
  • If you prefer tinctures, place dried mugwort in an airtight jar and cover by one inch with 100 proof vodka. Allow sitting for a month, shaking occasionally. The standard dosage is 5-20 drops, taken before meals to help with liver bile production and stomach acid or after meals to help with gas or bloating.
  • The Legal Narcotic You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard - Mugwort moxibustionA third option is moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort to promote healing with acupuncture. Moxibustion is used for strengthening blood, stimulating the flow of qi, and maintaining general health. In Western medicine, it is used to reposition breech babies to their normal head-down position prior to childbirth.


While mugwort is not likely to produce a recreational high, it could be a natural and effective alternative to prescription medication in treating or managing certain ailments. Even if you only enjoy a cup or two every day, the health benefits may make a long-lasting difference in your quality of life.

You may also like:

Healing Herbs You Can Smoke

Similar to Morphine: The Best Natural Painkiller that Grows in Your Backyard (Learn More)

How to Make Your Own Vicks VapoRub Ointment at Home

Wildfire and Smoke Season: Herbal Recipes for Lung Support

How To Protect Yourself Against Radiation With These 5 Herbs

Notify of

24 The Lost Herbs Comments
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Will give it a try. Sounds more positive

This herb is a bitter herb, while with the Coronavirus, I drank it, if is also good for malaria in Africa. That helped me from getting worse. I grow it in my property.

Cannabis isn’t a narcotic.

You are correct. 🙂

Wait. How did you post this in the future??

Correct!! Nobody said it was.

I love mugwort! I read somewhere to not boil the water for it makes mugwort bitter? I noticed if I use water that is just about to boil that it is less bitter but I do ponder if I leech all the good stuff out of it by using not boiled water? What are your thoughts?

Hi Sabrina,

The truth is that Mugwort is bitter.

If bitter isn’t your thing, try this: pour the boiling water over the herb, and let soak for just a single minute, instead of 3-6 minutes.
You can also add honey. It should improve the taste.
or Add in a handful of mint, lemon balm, or another herb of choice! You can also turn this into a mugwort latte by steaming some plant milk on the stovetop.

Many blessings and good health!

On the federal level it is still class1

My parents used mugwort for everything. Where can I find it now to grow please

Hi Mary,

Mugwort is a perennial. Shoots emerge during the spring, and flowering occurs from July to late September.

But you can still find Mugwort in dried form or bundles:

Many blessings and good health!

amazing info, the best book, after the Bible, for healthy and easy to understand.

What book?

How to ID

Google mugwort images.

Would this help severe back pain?

Hi Jamie,

I’m sorry to hear that you have severe back pain.
Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

However, as mentioned in the article, moxibustion or moxa is indeed good for chronic, achy back pain. Moxa increases circulation to accelerate the healing process warms muscle tissue and the acupuncture channels, and stops pain.

Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

Many blessings and good health!

Have you come across anything thats helpful for sperm health?

I have seen two things that help that problem: clean the liver, stop doing anything toxic to the liver, and remove xenoestrogens from your environment. Google for all the products and places you get these hormone unbalancing substances in your life.

can you smoke it in a pipe or roll it in papers??

Hi Bryan,

Either way works 🙂
Here you can find more information about how to smoke healing herbs:

Many blessings and good health!

What herb would help with Hiatal Hernia and acid reflux? Smoking or in a tincture?

Any chance this would cause a positive drug test for occupational purposes?

Where can you order seeds??

Back To Top