Daisy Family (Asteraceae)
Mugwort and its close relations have been widely used around the world for wellness, and in Europe, it has also been used for flavouring beer. In China and Korea, cones or sticks made of compressed dried mugwort leaves are burnt and applied directly or indirectly to the body to act on the meridians/energetic channels - this is referred to as moxibustion in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Moxibustion is thought to improve circulation and flow of qi (or life force/energy), and dispel cold or dampness that (in these traditions) is thought to generate pain associated with arthritis, some back conditions, and some menstrual pains.
In European herbalism, it has been used to enhance dreaming, to expel worms and other parasites, and the following:
Stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus; can stimulate menstruation if delayed/stuck
Supports the nervous system, in this case as both a stimulant and tonic nervine - tonic nervines nourish/feed the nervous system tissues. Mugwort can help improve sleep, and is thought to help people remember dreams.
Promotes urine production, and so helpful with elimination of waste.
Stimulates the appetite and aids digestion - its bitterness stimulates bile secretion. Bile helps fats break down into fatty acids.
Alleviates gas and cramps.
It has some degree of antimalarial activity, albeit milder than its relative Artemisia annua. Mugwort also works against threadworms and roundworms, and can be used as a wash for fungal infections (Bruton-Seal and Seal, 2008).
Due to its stimulation of blood flow in the uterus, it should be avoided during pregnancy. It is also in the Daisy family, so people with allergies to ragweed may want to be cautious with mugwort.