Mugwort is an amazing herb; it promotes relaxation and pain relief. Mugwort is spicy, bitter, neutral (meaning it neither warms nor cools the body), antispasmodic, and mild narcotic. Thus, you will feel sleepy after a while in a Mugwort bath – once you get sleepy, get out of the tub and head to bed for a nap or a full night’s sleep. You can start taking Mugwort Baths 24 hours before cramps usually set it, and cease the bath after your cramps have subsided. Mugwort is an emmenagogue (meaning it will bring menses on) thus, play it safe and do not use if you are pregnant.
Strong Stove-top Mugwort Bath:
- Take 2 cups of dried mugwort (or 4 cups fresh), put in a large pot on the stove
- Cover with 4 quarts of water then simmer covered for 30 mins.
- Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth directly into a bathtub that’s filling with water.
What makes this work even better, is if you add a cup of Epsom salts to the water.
You might be thinking, “Pamela, I am NOT going to get up, make a 30 min tea, strain it into the tub, and then get in the bath when my cramps are horrible!” My response is, “I agree with you! I don’t do that either!” (Well, sometimes I do – but I coerce my husband into making the tea/bath for me!) If you are inclined, you can make a “near-instant” bath to have on hand, well before your cramps set in.
Near-instant Mugwort Bath:
- Take 4 cups of mugwort (fresh or dried), put in a large pot on the stove, cover with 4 quarts of water.
- Simmer over a very low flame, covered, for 2 hours.
- Then, strain out the herb material, pressing out as much liquid as you can from it (you’d be surprised how much liquid comes out!)
- Measure how much liquid you have.
- Say you have 3.5 quarts left – you’re going to make what is called a preserved decoction that has at least 25% alcohol in it. If you have 50% alcohol by volume (aka 100 proof), you would need to add an equal amount of alcohol to preserve the decoction at 25% alcohol by volume (aka 50 proof.)
- Combine the alcohol and cooled decoction together, and then into some sort of sealed jar or bottle. I reuse alcohol bottles for convenience, and also use mason jars, or whatever else is handy!
- When you are in need of a mugwort bath, all you have to do is pour about 1 cup into the bath water, get in and relax!
Tub-infused Mugwort Bath
Another option is to put the dry herbs in a muslin bag (or an old ziptop pillowcase), place in the bottom of the tub, turn the water on hot to get the herb infusing, then reduce the water temperature to the desired temperature. This results in a weaker bath.
Whichever of the three mugwort bath methods makes the most sense for you is the best one to use! Remember, this is about making you more comfortable, not creating more frustration for you!