Mugwort

 

ARTEMISIA VULGARIS

COMMON NAME : Mugwort

FAMILY :                Asteraceae (Daisy family)


HABITAT / GROWING :

Found in waste places throughout Europe.


PARTS USED :  Aerial parts, occasionally root.


TRADITIONAL & MODERN USE:

Once a plant of witchcraft and sorcery. Brought into churches to give added protection against evil spirits.


A Celtic sacred plant. At the Celtic festival of midsummer girls would wear garlands and girdles of mugwort

whilst dancing around the midsummer bonfires. These were later cast into the fire as a protection for the comingyear. Said to help in the transitional period between the child-bearing years and the passage to the “Wise Age”.


Mugwort root is an effective  traditional European remedy for epilepsy.


Used in Europe to season sauces and sausages and to stuff geese during roasting. Once used to flavour beers

before the introduction of hops. Good uterine restorative. One of the nine herbs used to repel demons and

venoms in pre-christian times. Leaves may be used in tobaccos. Romans put sprigs of mugwort in their sandals

to prevent aching feet on long journeys. Used to enhance dream recall and, as moxa, to bring energy to the

surface for healing (e.g. arthritis & rheumatism).


Modern use – mainly as a reproductive tonic and for menstrual obstruction, pain or delay. Used externally as a

wash for fungal and other skin infections. Used in moxibustion and for smudging to purify the spiritual and

physical environment. Also used to promote labour and retained placenta. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is

used to prevent miscarriage, however, in Western herbal medicine it is thought to bring on absent menstruation

and therefore contraindicated in pregnancy. It balances menstrual dysfunction on an organ and hormone level. It also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and bitter, cool, refrigerant effects. Combined with ginger in a warm tea for period pain. It is also used for flatulence and indigestion because of its antispasmodic effect and sometimes

helps Parkinsonian tremor.  Also helps mediate fevers. Used where hot symptoms are due to deficiency of cold

e.g. menopause.


MAIN  CONSTITUENTS:

·        Volatile oil including thujone

·        Sesquiterpene lactones