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Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Generic Name: Mugwort

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Ai ye, arbre aux cent gouts, armoise, armoise commune, artemisia, Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisiae vulgaris herba, Artemisia vulgaris L., Artemisia vulgaris pollen, Artemisia vulgaris R., Artemisiae vulgaris radix, Asteraceae (family), baru cina, bijvoet, borneol, Carline thistle, chernobyl, chornobyl, chrysanthemum weed, cineole, common mugwort, common wormwood, Douglas mugwort, felon herb, fuchiba, Gemeiner Beifuss, genje jawa, hierba de San Juan, hiyam, hydroxy-coumarins, Japanese wormwood, linalool, lipohilic flavonoids, moxa, moxa rolls, nagadamni, pinene, polyn' obyknovennaya, prunasin, sailor's tobacco, St. John's plant, suket ganjahan, sundamala, thujone, triterpenes, tzu ai, vulgarin, wild wormwood, wormseed, yomogi, yomogiko.

Note: Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) should not be confused with wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), or St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.), despite similar names.

Background

Mugwort is a perennial herb native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. It pollinates mainly from July to September, although it may flower throughout the year, depending on the climate. The Chinese have used dried mugwort leaves (moxa) in moxibustion for centuries. Moxibustion is a method of heating specific acupuncture points on the body to treat physical conditions. Mugwort is carefully harvested, dried and aged, and then shaped into a cigar-like roll. This "moxa" is burned close to the skin to heat the specific pressure points.

Mugwort leaf and stem have been used medicinally as a digestive stimulant and to promote menstruation. The nervine action of mugwort is thought to aid in depression and ease tension. Traditionally, mugwort was believed to provide protection from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits.

No clinical studies have been performed on the use of mugwort as a medical treatment, although an extract from the related Artemisia annua suggests some promise in treating malaria. Dried mugwort (moxa) has been used in moxibustion to treat cancer, but there is no scientific evidence to support this use. Most research on mugwort has focused on its allergenic properties, as its pollen affects 10-14% of the patients suffering from pollinosis in Europe.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abortifacient (inducing abortion), addiction (opium), anorexia, anthelminthic (expels worms), antidepressant, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anxiety, asthma, bowel cleansing, cancer, carminative (digestive aid), cathartic, cholagogue (stimulates bile flow), circulatory disorders, convulsions, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), digestion, emmenagogue (promotes menstruation), epilepsy, expectorant, fatigue, fever, food uses, gastric ulcers, gout, headaches, hysteria, infertility, insomnia, irritability, liver disorders, malaria, muscle spasm, nosebleeds, restlessness, rheumatic disorders, snakebites, stimulant, stress, sunstroke, tonic.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for mugwort. Traditionally, 2 cups of mugwort tea (1oz. of fresh mugwort leaf infused 5-10 minutes, covered, in one pint boiling water) daily for six days has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for mugwort, and use in children is not recommended.

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