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Mugwort as an Herb

Mugwort as an herb plant

Artemisia vulgaris

According to many reports, the mugwort herb is very useful for a variety of problems.

Other Names: Felon Herb, St. John's Plant, Wormwood

The Mugwort is said to have derived its name from its use to flavor drinks. It was, in common with other herbs such as Ground Ivy, used to a great extent for flavoring beer before the introduction of hops. The taste of Mugwort is somewhat sweet and acrid.

It has also been suggested that the name Mugwort may be derived not from 'mug,' the drinking kind, but from moughte (a moth or maggot). This is because from the days of Dioscorides, the plant has been regarded as useful in keeping off the attacks of moths.

In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, it being believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of it in the wilderness.

Superstitions Connected with Mugwort

  • believed to preserve the wayfarer from fatigue, sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits
  • a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John's Eve to gain security from evil possession
  • in Holland and Germany one of its names is St. John's Plant, because of the belief that if gathered on St. John's Eve it would give protection against diseases and misfortunes

Mugwort as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

The medicinal parts are the root and the above-ground parts of the plant, particularly the dried branch tips. Mugwort has a pleasant tangy taste. The root is sweet and pungent, the herb is aromatic and bitter.

Mugwort is used in all conditions dealing with nervousness, shaking, and insomnia. It is used to help induce menses, especially when combined with cramp bark. It is often used to stimulate the liver and as a digestive aid. Fresh juice from the plant is used to treat poison ivy.

In folk medicine, Mugwort is used in complaints and problems involving the gastrointestinal tract such as stomach ulcers and indigestion. The plant is also used for worm infestations, epilepsy, persistent vomiting, to promote circulation, as a sedative, and for delayed or irregular menstuation. The root is used for asthenic states as a tonic, and in combination with other remedies also for psychoneuroses, neurasthenia, depression, hypochondria, autonomic neuroses, general irritability and restlessness, insomnia and anxiety states. The efficacy of Mugwort for the listed indications has not been substantiated.

Chinese medicine: Mugwort is used in China for female complaints as well as for ulcers and burns.

Homeopathic uses: Homeopathic uses of the root include convulsions and worm infestations.

Mugwort is given in an infusion, which should be prepared in a covered vessel, 1 ounce of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water, and given in 1/2 teaspoonful doses while warm. The infusion may be taken cold as a tonic, in similar doses, three times daily: it has a bitterish and aromatic taste.

Mugwort has also been used in therapeutic baths to relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints. (1 ounce each of mugwort, Burdock root, Comfrey leaf, and Sage infused in 1 quart of water and added to bath.) Can also be used as a therapeutic foot bath for tired, swollen feet. (2 tablespoons of mugwort per each pint of water - 6 pints required; divide into 2 parts; keep one hot and allow the other to become cool; put feet alternately into each infusion for 5 minutes; dry feet).

Culinary Uses for Mugwort

Was once used to flavor tea and beer. Mugwort Tea Benefits have been recognized in the annals of herbal medicine even in the days of old.

Cautions

Mugwort should not be used by pregnant women.

Practice moderation when using. Excessive doses may be hazardous.

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