mox·ie noun \ˈmäk-sē\
Definition of MOXIE
Listed as having its first known use in the 1930s, "moxie" might be familiar due to old movie scripts insisting that some savvy "kid" or "broad" had the quality. While neither term offers the most respectful expression of beings who aren't necessarily goats or very wide, having moxie can be lovely. After all, who couldn't benefit from healthy knowledge and the inner fire to put it into practice for the greater good? The moxie (or "moxa" for the process of moxibustion) I write of today has all of that, but it's part of the plant kingdom.
Mugwort, as mentioned in a closing offshoot from yesterday's brief share regarding my personal coffee detox and substitution experiment, is another plant common to North America. Her species is not officinale but vulgaris, leading me to infer that she is found growing freely and in the open. Her genus of Artemisia is a derivative name of a Greek mythological figure of the hunt, from which we can further infer that she is at home in the wild even way beyond U.S. borders, where she can stretch among grasses and strong, green company.
During a recent group herb walk, a knowledgeable elder physicist by day with constant childlike wonder in her eyes shared rare information about almost every plant we encountered, adding to the list of mental notes I'd have to check on later. Sofia had plucked small sprigs of a few plants along the way, offering them to whomever was near her as she chewed. When we met mugwort, that happened to be me and she handed me a piece. I held it, scanned it for a match to the internal and book visuals of mugwort and chewed the small leaf piece, figuring I was in no state for that particular amount of that particular herb to harm me. "And it's great for dreams too!", she said without a trace of confusion before walking to the next person.
With permission, I picked a small piece and later that evening offered it in turn to a friend for external use. Was it dream-enhancing? I was told "yes". Were the dreams sweet? That would be a No. Considering that no sweet thing retains said quality in all circumstances (like a little agave in a lot of lemon juice and water), I'll see about mugwort in that regard another time. Besides, another common name for mugwort is wormwood, which the Word also presents in bittersweet proportions. I'm just glad our reacquaintance was more positive and informed than in the summer of 2006 when, introduced as cronewort, I absent-mindedly almost killed innocent rabbits in my care by failing to take a closer look at their greens. Sure, I've written about that before but the thought that I could've harmed them at all is still disturbing sometimes!
Now that the smoke has cleared, it continues to rise with a heady, woodsy aroma, sharing mugwort's medicinal purpose in the traditional Chinese sense. The herb is burned near the site of the body meridian in focus and its stimulant properties call the underlying energy of the area to attention. The blood is encouraged to flow more freely, hence its use for menstrual cramps and other blockage-related ailments, and vitality is enhanced. Writing of which, maybe my old, main MySpace page was full of moxa (or moxie) the way the glyphs of past status updates listed as "vital" defaulted to its associated vampire glyph after long periods of inactivity instead of the active, rising love imagery I had chosen otherwise.
Various branches of the medical profession have their merit; their teachings should be taken to heart. Severe crushes, puncture wounds, lacerations, appendicitis and other acute traumas may be best served immediately by a modern emergency room. Our chronic and/or preventable ills often stem from our lifestyles, however, which herbs and energetic modalities have successfully addressed for centuries and dynasties. So my intent never to diagnose, prescribe or operate outside of my legal scope at respective points along the Way is clear, health-related writing here will always bear an informal and light tone. Needless to say, but I will anyway, this and all wild and pharmaceutical medicines should be used moderately, along the lines of skilled guidance supported by the will to yield to the health service(s) that the ailment's particular nature requires. You know, handle it with moxie!