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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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(Artemisia vulgaris)

The tops of the mugwort plant is what is used. Some of the properties of

Mugwort include:
Nervine, Emmenagogue, & Stomachic. When used it can affect the nerves, your circulation, your stomach and your uterus (if female).

Mugwort has been an excellent herb for female problems like suppressed menstruation and cramps. Both Chinese and European herbalists have used it to regulate and bring on menses. This herb has also been used as a remedy for nervous problems such as hysteria & trembling. It is said to be good for insomnia. The Chinese also use mugwort tea to treat sleepwalking.

Mugwort can be made into an external poultice for treating boils & abcesses.

Preparation is usually in the form of an Infusion, Tincture, or Fluid Extract. Externally as a Fomentation or Poultice.

Mugwort is a relative of the well known Wormwood (also known as "absinthia plant") in European medicine. The name is thought to have originated because mugwort used to be used in the making of beer, before hops became the popular bitter. Another theory of how mugwort got its name is that perhaps it was derived from the Old English word "moughte" which meant "moth". This makes sense because mugwort has traditionally been used to repel moths from woolen material.

Mugwort is a perennial herb which spreads wherever you plant it. It will grow from 2 to 6 feet tall. The leaves of mugwort are lobed either one or two times, with rounded to lance shaped segments. The leaves are usually bright green on top, sometimes even purplish, and silver white underneath. This herb is beautiful when the wind whips at its branches. The leaves are usually covered with a soft downy like texture.

Mugwort has a strong, heady aroma, that some people think smells similar to sage. Mugwort can be found growing along roadsides, hedgerows, streams and waysides, and of course in my touring gardens!

Mugwort is a traditional herb in the method of "Moxibustion"

Growing Instructions:

You can grow the perennial herb Mugwort from seed or from divisions made in the spring or fall. Seeds are easily started indoors in flats. The plants germinate quickly, even at a temperature as low as 55 degrees. Plants are also available from some herb nurseries.

To grow from seed plant directly in the soil and cover the seeds very lightly. Plant in Sun to Part Shade conditions.

Mugwort likes to grow in moist, rich, well-drained soil. Ideally, it is best to add some compost into the bed you are planting them in before you set in your young plants. Fertilize the bed naturally in the spring and in the fall. A layer of loose straw or leaf mulch helps to hold in soil moisture too.

Mugwort should be collected just as it begins to flower, by cutting it back to 4 inches above the ground. Dry the leaves and stems and then store the leaves in an airtight dark colored glass canister out of heat/cold conditions for best storage.


Moxibustion is the modern word given to the burning of moxa, which is an ancient term that means "a substance used to transfer heat". This is almost always "Mugwort" or Artemisia sinensis or A. vulgaris".

Moxibustion is the nonintrusive other half of acupuncture therapy. It consists of burning cones, or sticks of mugwort fibers that are compressed over specific acupuncture points. Moxibustion is definitely an art, and one must study and learn all they can about it before they can be accurate with their treatment.

Moxibustion is considered a "stimulation therapy" which is used on weak, tired, cold & deficient persons. It is believed that the mugwort has the power of extracting the yang energy from the yin.

In tradition, mugwort harvested for moxibustion is gathered and dried in full sun each summer for 8 to 9 years. Then the plants are rubbed until the downly like fibers on the underneath side of the leaves have come off. This 'down' like substance is sifted and packed up for moxa.

Even though mugwort dries in like 1/2 a day in full sun, mugwort for moxa is prepared this way because it is believed that it absorbs the sun's fire element, which makes the plant fibers very yang. The yang fire power is believed to be transfered to the patient during a treatment.

Miscellaneous Mugwort Information:

Mugwort is generally avoided by those who are pregnant. In China though it is given for excessive fetal activity and postpartum cramping.

Mugwort is believed to be a good skin wash as well as an insect repellent.

Mugwort is a member of the Compositae Family and its nickname is the "Moxa herb".

The flowers of mugwort are red brown are are tiny like florets.

The leaves are used in stuffing and in rice cakes in Asia.

Mugwort makes a great hedge row and can be clipped to build a nice fence like greenery.

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm

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