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Mugwort

General Information

Mugwort is a perennial plant originally from Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. It pollinates mainly from July to September, but it may flower year-round, depending on the climate. Mugwort pollen causes 10% to 14% of all pollen allergies in Europe. Traditionally, mugwort has been used to protect from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits.

Common Name(s)

mugwort, summitates artemisiae (vulgaris), felon herb, wild wormwood, St. John's plant

Scientific Name(s)

Artemisia vulgaris L. (Asteraceae)

Scientific Name(s)

Mugwort is meant for oral use. aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground parts of mugwort (i.e., dried leaf and stem) are used to prepare infusioninfusionthe process of steeping or soaking plant material in hot or cold water to isolate its active ingredients, tincturetincturea desired active ingredient that is extracted from alcoholic solutions, and fluid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient. Traditionally, 0.2  g to 2.4 g of dried aerial parts, 3 times per day was used in various preparations. The dose may vary in individuals. For long-term use, consult a health care provider.

The usual oral doses are:

  • infusion: 0.5 g to 2.4 g dried aerial parts, 2 to 3 times per day
  • tincture: 0.2 g to 0.8 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:5 ratio, using 0.5 mL to 2 mL 25% alcohol)
  • fluid extract: 0.5 g to 2 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1 ratio, using 1 mL to 4 mL 25% alcohol)

Mugwort is not recommended for children under 18 years old.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

In herbal medicine, mugwort is traditionally used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) (by mouth) to:

  • stimulate the appetite
  • help with digestion
  • stimulate bile secretion

Mugwort has also been traditionally used to help with other gastrointestinal problems (e.g., colic, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, weak digestion, worm infestations, and persistent vomiting), to help with menstrual problems (e.g., irregular periods, menstrual pain), to promote circulation, and to be used as a sedativesedativean agent that induces sleep, relaxes, and reduces tension.

The dried leaves of mugwort have also been used in moxibustion (heating specific acupuncture points on the body) in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer.

There is no scientific evidence to support the use of mugwort for medical treatment. There is not enough reliable scientific evidence to show whether mugwort is effective for any of these uses.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is not enough information to determine the safety of mugwort. If you experience any unexplained side effects while taking mugwort, you should stop taking it immediately and seek medical advice.

There have been reports of respiratory and skin allergic responses. If you experience breathing problems, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma, skin rash, hives, eczema, or other respiratory or skin reactions, stop using mugwort and contact your health care provider. Based on traditional use and expert opinion, large doses of mugwort may cause abortion, nausea, vomiting, or damage to the nervous system.

Mugwort may increase the risk of bleeding and may interact with certain medications that can increase this risk, including:

  • acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
  • anticoagulant medications (e.g., warfarin, heparin)
  • anti-platelet medications (e.g., clopidogrel)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)

Do not use mugwort if you are:

  • allergic to the Asteraceae or Compositae (daisy) family of plants, which includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and chamomile
  • allergic to birch, cabbage, grass, hazelnut, olive pollen, honey, mustard, royal jelly, sweet bell pepper pollen, tobacco, and sunflower
  • allergic to kiwi, peach, mango, apple, celery, and carrots
  • under 18 years of age
  • pregnant
  • breast-feeding

Consult a health care provider if any of the symptoms or conditions being treated with mugwort persist or worsen.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

Source(s)

  1. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products. Mugwort. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/prodnatur/mono_mugwort-Armoisecommune-eng.pdf (accessed 08 Feb 2012)
  2. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) (professional monograph). Natural Standard – The Authority on Integrative medicine. (Accessed online 08 Feb 2012)
  3. Mugwort (monograph). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. (Accessed online 08 Feb 2012)
  4. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) (bottom line monograph). Natural Standard – The Authority on Integrative medicine. (Accessed online 08 Feb 2012)

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