No Tobacco There is no Tobacco in any Sweet Smoke Herbal blend, yet these products are still intended for those 18 and older.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a plant species endemic to Northern Europe, Asia and Alaska and naturalized in North America and has long been used for treating gastric and skin disorders, as a nerve tonic, and as a popular cooking additive. Mugwort smoking used to be popular among sailors looking for an alternative to tobacco, and it was used as a flavoring agent in beer before the discovery of hops (Humulus lupulus). You may be interested in smoking mugwort as a way to improve your dream recall, enhance the vividness of your dreams or reliably achieve lucid dreams, properties for which this aromatic herb is justly famous. People who have trouble falling asleep may also smoke mugwort as an effective herbal aid to help them fall asleep more quickly.

The origins of the common name mugwort are lost to history. Etymologists have speculated that it might have literally meant “mug plant” in reference to its common use as a flavoring agent in beer, which would have been served in mugs. Others have suggested the name derives from the Old English mucg wyrt for “midge plant”, or even the Norse word for marsh, muggi, both references to mugwort’s preferred swampy habitat.

Whatever its origin, the name “mugwort” hints at the long history of its use as a medicine and food in the temperate Old World. Fresh mugwort has a strong bitter flavor, which made it a popular spice for dishes made with game meats and fish; it’s also commonly found in stir-fries, soups and rice dishes in northern Asian countries. Mugwort is still handpicked in rural areas of Korea, where harvesters often wear special silk gloves to avoid absorbing the plant’s thujone-containing oil through their skin.

Thousands of miles away in Europe, mugwort was believed in medieval times to ward against evil. The fresh plant was often given to travelers as a charm to scare off malevolent spirits and ensure them a safe journey. Roman soldiers frequently placed mugwort in their sandals during long marches to keep their feet from getting tired. Mugwort could be considered a charm in medicinal terms as well: it’s been used in both Eastern and Western herbal medicine for hundreds of years to treat disorders of the skin and digestive tract, as well as a potent calming agent and anxiolytic.

Mugwort tea can offer a person relief from stomach upset and excess acidity, travel sickness, and may even fight gastric parasites such as trichinella. It may also stimulate late menstruation and ease pain associated with a woman’s monthly period. Used as a topical ointment, mugwort oil has been shown to be effective against skin parasites like ringworm, and to help injuries like bruises and chilblains (skin that becomes red and swollen due to cold exposure) to heal faster. There is evidence that mugwort used topically speeds repair of the skin by improving blood circulation. Smoked or made into a tea, mugwort can also be invaluable as a calming agent for people suffering from nervous stress, depression, and exhaustion due to insomnia.

Today, mugwort is coming into its own as a herb to facilitate vivid and lucid dreams, especially if you engage in mugwort smoking just before bed. On its own or smoked with another calming herb such as catnip, mugwort smoke can induce feelings of calm and mellowness lasting about 30-60 minutes, without making you feel clouded or “dumb”. Its calming actions alone make mugwort an excellent replacement for tobacco, but mugwort’s effects on deep sleep and dreaming are where things really get interesting.

The active compound in mugwort is thujone, an aromatic oil also found in wormwood, the plant used to brew the alcoholic drink absinthe. Consumed orally or by inhaling mugwort herb smoke or aromatic oil, mugwort can improve dream recall and sometimes induce lucid dreams when used shortly before bed. Some people recommend smoking mugwort and taking it as tea simultaneously to enhance its effects, or wrapping fresh mugwort in an aromatic dream pillow so you can inhale its active constituents as you drift off to sleep. Many mugwort users have reported the dream pillow method to be highly effective: the effects kick in as they enter the hypnagogic pre-sleep state, generating sensations of floating or rising upward that can translate into a lucid dream or even an out of body experience!

According to the anecdotal reports we gathered, what mugwort smoking seems to do is nudge your dreams in a more vivid direction. If you usually dream in black and white, for instance, mugwort may lend your dreams color; if you normally have some ability to steer your dreams, mugwort smoking may lend you a greater degree of control. So while you may not achieve mugwort-induced lucid dreams immediately, its gradual use can act like a stepping stone to help train your brain to achieve lucid dreams more regularly.

Although pure thujone can be toxic to humans in large doses, the amount found in fresh mugwort is small enough to make the whole plant safe to consume in moderation. However, we recommend exercising restraint in your mugwort smoking: use it at most one or two times a week to promote sleep and vivid dreams, and take a break of a week or so between uses. Do not take mugwort if you have had allergic reactions to hazelnuts, or to mugwort pollen in the past, as you may be at greater risk to suffer an allergic reaction to this plant.

Some users have also attested that using mugwort over a period of a few nights can increase daytime tiredness by interfering with deep sleep. Much like the more famous dream herb Calea zacatechichi, mugwort seems to deliver a lighter quality of sleep in order to do its dream enhancing work, and should not be used on work or school nights when you need a full night’s sleep. You may need to take time to catch up on sleep for a couple days after taking mugwort, another reason to use it in moderation. 

With these caveats in mind, we believe this humble marsh plant will be an effective addition to any lucid dreamer’s pharmacopoeia. If you want to bust insomnia, add clarity and vividness to your dreams, or just de-stress after a busy day, mugwort smoke could be the medicine for you. Happy dreaming!