Mugwort

Artemisia vulgaris

Mugwort is a perennial herb with an erect reddish stem, deeply divided leaves and small yellow-petaled flowers.

This plant grows commonly on waste ground and along roadsides.

In the past Mugwort was used to flavour beer. It was still used in some parts of the country to flavour beer until the late 19th century.

Traditional uses
  • In the past, used for divination1
  • Used to treat colds, cough, as a diuretic and to improve digestion1
  • To regulate menstruation
Properties
  • It relaxes the smooth muscle of the gut and of the airways3 (in vivo evidence)
  • No clear understanding of the mechanisms which it influences the menstrual flow
  • No current clinical evidence on efficacy
How it can be used
  • A tea made from the leaves can be used to induce menstruation but there is lack of evidence on effective and safe dosage2
Precautions
  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Protracted use can be toxic4.
  • In some people contact with skin may cause dermatitis4.
The information provided here is only intended to augment people's awareness and knowledge of the properties and uses of some plants. This information is not intended to substitute advice from a physician and is not a substitute for professional medical care. The authors do not recommend collecting and using wild plants from an urban environment as these can be contaminated by several types of pollutants that are harmful to human health.

Although references are provided and information has been compiled with care, errors may be present. The remedies listed here should not be used without prior consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. The authors are not responsible for any adverse effect or consequences resulting from the use of the information published in this website.
References
  • In vitro evidence: evidence from studies using isolated components of living organisms such as cells or purified molecules
  • In vivo evidence: evidence from studies with whole living organisms
  • Clinical trial evidence: evidence from clinical trials conducted with humans
  1. Allen, D. E. & Hatfield, G. Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition. (Timber Press, Incorporated, 2012).
  2. Hoffmann, D. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. (Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2003).
  3. Khan, A. & Gilani, A. H. Antispasmodic and bronchodilator activities of Artemisia vulgaris are mediated through dual blockade of muscarinic receptors and calcium influx. J. Ethnopharmacol. 126, 480–486 (2009).
  4. Plants for a future website: http://www.pfaf.org/
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