Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris

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This Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris in the Asteraceae or Aster family

Part used: Flowering tops.

Taste/smell: Aromatic, bitter, spicy.

Tendencies: Warming.

Mental picture and specific indications: In small doses, mugwort strengthens the digestive and nervous system. It is specific for coldness, stiffness and spasms.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; o

Use: (a) Vermifuge, (b) Bitter tonic, (c) Antibacterial, (d) Antifungal, (e) Emmenagogue, (f) Abortifacient, (g) Antioxidant.

Mugwort  promotes proper digestion and appetite and regulates menstruation.

Mugwort is used as moxibustion, which involves burning the herb on or above the skin at acupuncture points. It is used this way by Chinese medicine practitioners for a wide variety of health issues.

Mugwort has been shown to be hepatoprotective in mice  alleviating toxicity of carbon tetrachloride which is thought to be due to antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities.

Contraindications: Some people are bothered by the smell of this plant and some other Artemesias.  The pollen is a carrier of endotoxins from Pseudomonas species and Pantoea species. The presence of  lipopolysaccharides from these bacteria can cause allergic sensitization in people.  All Artemisia species may be toxic in large doses or with chronic use. Mugwort contains thujone, which can cause vomiting, stomach and intestinal cramps, retention of urine, and in serious cases, renal damage, vertigo, tremors, and convulsions. Beta-thujone has been shown to be a neurotoxin in animals, but has not been studied in humans. It may lend some toxicity to the plant, especially in larger doses or chronic use. Short term use of herbs containing thujone is generally considered to be safe.  Thujone is considered a GABA receptor antagonist. B-thujone is alcohol soluble, so tea extracts contain less of it. Allergic contact dermatitis can occur with external use of Mugwort in sensitive individuals. Discontinue if a rash occurs. It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue and abortifacient effects.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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