Mugwort Benefits

The ancient Greeks already knew about mugwort since the 1st century. Dioscorides, the father of phytotherapy, talked about this plant. Andres de Laguna, a famous Spanish physician of the 16th century, who worked in the Netherlands, Bologna, Rome, and Venice, said of this plant that “it is called Artemisia, from the name of the goddess Artemis, also called Diana, since, like the goddess, the plant helps women in labor, without ever failing.”

Mugwort has always been a plant used because of its effects on the female genitals. With its characteristic finesse, the French medical school said as early as the Renaissance that “mugwort turns women into flowers again,” meaning the effects of the plant on menstruation.

mugwort leaves and essential oil

Mugwort Scientific Facts

  1. Other names – Artemisia, common mugwort, felon herb, sailor’s tobacco.
  2. French – Armoise.
  3. Spanish – Artemisa.
  4. Environment – Prevalent in all kinds of soils of Europe and warm climate areas of America.
  5. Description – Vivacious plant of the Compositae family, similar to wormwood but taller (60-120 cm high). Its stem is reddish, and its leaves are silver on their undersides. Each flower chapter is formed by 10 to 12 tiny flowers, yellow or reddish.
  6. Parts of the plant used medicinally – The leaves and the flower clusters in summer and the root in fall.

Healing Properties

The entire plant contains an essence whose main component is eucalyptol or cineole and small amounts of thujone, tannin, mucilage, and a bitter component. Its properties are as follows:

  1. Emmenagogue – It can produce menstruation in the case of amenorrhea, which is a lack of menstruation due to functional disorders. Mugwort also has the properties of normalizing the menstrual cycle and easing menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). In ancient times it was applied as poultices on the stomach of women suffering from difficult or prolonged labor. At present, fortunately, we have better remedies to accelerate delivery.
  2. Appetizer and cholagogue – Because of its bitter component, it has the following properties:
    – increases appetite
    – stimulates the emptying of the stomach (recommended for gastric ptosis)
    – promotes digestion
    – normalizes the function of the gall bladder
    – the plant also has mild laxative properties
  3. Vermifuge – It produces expulsion of intestinal parasites. It is especially effective against oxyuridae. In Central America, mugwort is widely used because of this action.

This plant was formerly used as a sedative to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. However, today it is no longer used. We have no proof of its effectiveness in these cases.

Warning

Like wormwood, this plant can negatively affect the nervous system when the recommended doses are widely exceeded or taken for more than ten days. Pregnant women must avoid it since it is likely to have abortifacient properties. Breastfeeding women must also refrain from taking this plant because it gives the milk a bitter flavor.

Mugwort Baths

For menstruation disorders, it is helpful to enjoy a combination of oral intake of this plant with hot water baths to which some handfuls of mugwort are added.

How to use Mugwort

  1. Infusion with 20 to 30 grams of flower clusters or ground root per liter of water. Drink from two to four cups daily.
  2. As a vermifuge, the patient must drink a cup on an empty stomach and two more before every meal for three days when dealing with intestinal parasites. Repeat another cycle one week later.

Other Artemisia Species

In tropical areas of the Americas, there are several species and varieties very similar to mugwort, which have the same properties, such as the Artemisia draculoides Pursh., which is cultivated in North America where it is called false tarragon.

REFERENCES

George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 624, 625. Print.

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