Bountiful Bitters: 3 Variations on Mugwort
These are the three most common varieties of Artemisia found in the Canyon. They’re not the only ones though, there’s at least three more I don’t have pictures of. Everytime I walk out the cabin door into waist tall swaths of this multi-pupose and deeply healing plant, I feel incredibly rich, and very blessed.
This top one is by far the most prevalent, covering acres and acres of disturbed ground in the old riverbed. It’s perhaps the most aromatic of all of the spp. as well. Intensely bitter, with a strong but unrefined fragrance. It flowers the earliest and also grows largest, sometimes reaching nigh on six feet tall and four feet around – practically a shrub! This is the spp I usually use to make oil with, I find that it makes a nice strong infused oil that’s wonderful for achy or injured muscles.
This red flowered one is my favorite to use for liver and digestive ailments. It’s still strongly bitter but has a more refined, pleasing taste that works well in tincture and tea.
This delicate silvery darling is less common than the other two and has the peculiar attribute of incredibly sweet tasting flowers. No, really, they taste a lot like stevia. Barely a hint of bitterness in the flowers and even the leaves are pretty mild tasting. It’s not as strong of a medicine as the other Artemisias, but better for those with delicate constitutions or who can’t tolerate much bitterness.