mugwort (Artemisia annua) is a flowering plant native to northern Europe, Asia, and parts of North America. The sage-colored plant is commonly used to brew beer, but is also thought to prevent or treat health conditions such as anxiety, digestive problems, and menstrual irregularities.
The roots, leaves, stems, and flowers of wormwood are used in folk medicine to make tinctures, extracts, tonics, teas, powders, and essential oils.
This article describes the medical uses of mugwort and the possible risks and side effects. It also provides tips on how to choose and use mugwort safely.
Commonly known as
- hillbard san juan
- common herb
- Felony Herb
- St John’s Herbs
- chrysanthemum weed
- royal vanilla
This video has been medically reviewed by Meredith Bull of North Carolina.
What is mugwort good for?
Many people consider wormwood to be a common weed. This is because this plant spreads quickly and can take up large areas of the garden. The plant is also related to ragweed and may cause allergies in people allergic to ragweed.
Therefore, mugwort is usually destroyed when it is found in the yard or garden. But in some parts of the world, mugwort is purposely grown to make herbs.
Mugwort was used by soldiers on the march in ancient Rome, who put the plant in their shoes to relieve pain in their feet. St. John the Baptist is said to have worn a mugwort belt to relieve stomach pains.
Today, mugwort is used for many medical reasons, including:
- Relieve stress
- boost energy
- Promote blood circulation
- relieve headache
- Supports Liver Health
- increased urine output
- Relieve Digestive Problems
- relieve muscle soreness
- normalizes the menstrual cycle
Parts of the mugwort plant that grow above the ground are used to make essential oils. Compounds in the oil, including camphor, pinene, and eucalyptol, are said to have potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
a chemical called artemisinin Also present in the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of the mugwort plant. When taken orally, artemisinin is said to cause gentle uterine contractions and promote regular menstruation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is also sometimes used to induce labor.
Artemisinin is thought to have anticancer properties, although this has not been proven.
To date, there is little scientific evidence that mugwort can prevent or treat any disease. Even so, it is often used in the following groups of people:
- amenorrhea (irregular or absent)
- chronic fatigue
- Headaches and Migraine
- nausea or vomiting
In traditional Chinese medicine, mugwort is also used in healing moxibustion. Moxibustion involves rolling mugwort into a stick or cone, igniting it, and waving it over the body part being treated. This is thought to enhance the effects of acupuncture.
Posted in 2012 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology It is suggested that moxibustion can help with breech delivery and reduce the need for cesarean delivery. Further research is required.
Mugwort is thought to treat health problems such as anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, epilepsy, eczema, headaches, insomnia, and menstrual irregularities. It is also used in moxibustion practice to enhance the effects of acupuncture. There is little evidence that mugwort can prevent or treat any disease.
possible side effects
Artemisia is considered safer for most people, but it should not be used in those who are pregnant because it may cause uterine contractions and lead to miscarriage. Due to a lack of safety studies, mugwort should not be used in children or breastfeeding people.
People who are allergic to ragweed should use mugwort with caution because of the increased risk of allergic reactions.
Mild allergy symptoms of mugwort include:
- hives or rash
- tingling in the mouth
- swollen lips
- nausea or vomiting
Serious allergy symptoms of mugwort include:
- sudden, severe hives or rash
- shortness of breath
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the face, throat, or neck
- dizziness or fainting
Severe allergy symptoms are signs of a potentially fatal systemic allergy called allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that can result in shock and death if not treated immediately.
People with allergies to celery, birch, or carrots should also use mugwort with caution, as this herb has been linked to “celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome.” This is usually a milder allergy, but in rare cases it can cause an allergic reaction.
A 2008 Dutch study found that 87% of people allergic to celery were also allergic to mugwort, while 52% of people allergic to birch and 26% of people allergic to coriander were also allergic to mugwort.
Since mugwort is related to ragweed, people who are allergic to ragweed may also have an allergic reaction to mugwort. Due to a lack of safety research, mugwort should be avoided by children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dosage and Preparation
Artemisia is used in cooking to flavor foods and beverages, including fish, meat, desserts, pancakes, soups, salads, and more. Artemisia was used to flavor beer in Europe long before hops were discovered.
Mugwort can be found online and in pharmacies, natural food stores, and herbal medicine stores in many different forms, including:
- dried whole leaves
- essential oil
- Supplements (including tablets, capsules, and softgels)
Mugwort can be made into a tea by adding one and a half teaspoons of dried mugwort to a cup of boiling water and steeping for 10 minutes.
There is no recommended dose of mugwort in any form. That being said, mugwort supplements are probably the safest because the dosage is more controlled. As a rule, do not exceed the dosage on the product label.
Mugwort is available as a dietary supplement, essential oil, liquid extract, tincture, powder, or whole dried leaf. There is no recommended dose of mugwort.
what to look for
Remember, herbal medicines and supplements are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For better safety, choose products that are certified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USF), NSF International or ConsumerLab. These independent agencies assess and report on the purity and safety of natural or herbal supplements such as mugwort.
When looking for mugwort to make essential oils, it is important to harvest the plant when it is just beginning to bloom. This is when the flower contains the most potent oil content.
Mugwort is available as supplements, liquid extracts, tinctures, essential oils, powders, and whole dried leaves. There is no recommended dose. To ensure purity, choose a brand that has been tested by a third-party certification body such as USP, NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
Tips for Safer Use of Herbs and Supplements
mugwort (Artemisia annua L.) is a plant related to ragweed used as a food flavoring and herbal medicine. It is thought to boost energy, calm nerves, support digestion, relieve itching and pain, promote menstrual regularity, and more. Evidence to support these claims is lacking.
Mugwort is available as a dietary supplement, tincture, extract, essential oil, powder, or whole dried leaf. It’s generally safe to use, although it can cause ragweed allergies and allergic reactions in people allergic to celery, carrots, or birch. There is no recommended dose.
Mugwort should not be used by children or by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Artemisia is considered an invasive species in some geographic areas. In fact, it grows so fast that it quickly takes over gardens and other spaces that it is illegal to grow in some states. Be sure to check local and state regulations before growing mugwort. In some states, growing mugwort can be punished with hefty fines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can mugwort make you hallucinate?
Mugwort is a mild psychoactive herb that can alter your senses, and some types of psychoactive herbs may cause hallucinations, but mugwort is unlikely. You have to consume a lot of mugwort to change your senses and make you hallucinate.
Is it safe to smoke mugwort?
In reality, it can be very dangerous, but more research is needed on the risks. For thousands of years, traditional medicine has used mugwort smoke to treat ailments. It may be smoked like tobacco or burn near the skin. In both forms, smoke contains carcinogenic and harmful chemicals.
Is wormwood the same as wormwood?
Wormwood is often considered a type of mugwort, but the names are used interchangeably. There are many kinds of wormwood, and there are many kinds of wormwood, but they are grouped into one scientific family, namely Artemisia genus. Plants are then divided into smaller groups that vary by appearance, habitat or other characteristics.