Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort)

Overview of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Any herb which acts as a vermifuge (expels worms), has a powerful and sometimes weakening action on the general health of our entire body. This is a potent herb, but a highly beneficial one for most people, as it positively impacts the stomach, liver, and digestive system. For remedies of the stomach and for chronic inflammation of the GIT, there are few better. 

An excellent herb for restoring appetite. Makes a good addition to a digestive blend for its carminative and general digestive bolstering effect. Relaxes smooth muscle of the digestive system and acts as a mild anti-fungal. Has uses in amenorrhea and dysmennorhea and promotes normal menstrual flow. Although contraindicated for epilepsy, acts as a nervine tonic, assisting with fits or hysteria of the nervous system (possibly worm/parasite related).

Remedy also for colds, flu, and jaundice. Used for worms and parasites, and lucid dreaming. Take before bed to ease digestion and increase dreams, useful in any stomach tea or GIT capsule, also helpful for decreasing fat cravings. 

Family: Asteraceae
Parts Used: Leaf, Root

Phytochemicals:
Volatile Oils (thujone, borneol, cineole, pinene)
Sesquiterpene lactones
flavonoids
Coumarins
Tannins
Bitter principle
artemisia vulgaris
Description
The stems of Mugwort grow three feet or more in height, are angular, and often have a purplish hue. The leaves are smooth and of a dark green tint on the upper surface, but covered with a dense cottony down beneath; they are once or twice pinnately lobed, the segments being lance-shaped and pointed. The flowers are in small oval heads with cottony involucres and are arranged in long, terminal panicles; they are either reddish or pale yellow. Mugwort is closely allied to Common Wormwood, but may be readily distinguished by the leaves of Mugwort being white/silvery on both the top and bottom of leaves (whereas Wormwood is more green on top, more silvery on the bottom of the leaf) and by the leaf segments of Mugwort being pointed, not blunt. 

 

Actions
Bitter tonic, Choleretic (increases bile production in the liver), Stomachic, Orexigenic (stimulates hormones to increase hunger), Carminative, Anti-spasmodic, Nervine tonic, Emmenagogue, Diaphoretic, Anti-diabetic, Nutritive, Anti-septic 
 
Historical
 “A magical protective herb” -Wright
“Fresh tops best, infusion excellent for disorders of stomach, prevent sickness after meals, creates appetite, ague (fever / chill), kill worms as wormwood does (if top with flowers). The juice of the large leaves before stalk appears is best against dropsy and jaundice when taken in water, wine, ale, or the juice alone. Long term infusion helps hysterics, obstruction of the spleen and weak stomach. The oil kills worms, resists poison, and is good for liver and jaundice. The root is one of the best stomachics.  Wormwood and vinegar are an antidote to the mischief of mushrooms and henbane and the biting of the seafish called Draco marinus, or quaviver. Mixed with honey it reduces bruising. Placed among woollen cloth it reduces moths.” –Culpepper 
 “Useful in inducing lucid dreaming and OBE. Smoking is common method.” –Hanrahan
 “For chronic gastritis (inflamed stomach lining), and gastric ulcers.” –Moore 
Medicinal Actions
Great herb for stomach pain, over-eating, chronic inflammation of the GIT lining; also for reducing chronic fat buildup and reducing desire to eat fat. 
Useful anywhere digestive stimulation or carminative actions are needed: anorexia, dyspepsia, constipation, griping.
Mild antifungal.
Worm and parasite infestations, GIT infections, gastroenteritis, dysentery (inflammation of intestines causing diarrhea and blood). 
Menstrual blood flow in amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. 
Mild nervine for depression + stress. Good for insomnia, tremors in parkinsons. 
Respiratory infections, especially colds and flu, reduces temperature and fights infection. 
Topically helps sciatica, joint pain, and arthritic pain. 
 
 
Cautions & Contraindications

 Asteracea allergy, celery mugwort spice syndrome, pregnancy and lactation, gastric and duodenal ulceration, hyperacidity, epilepsy. Possibly contact dermatitis. Cross-reactivity has been noted between mugwort and birch, cabbage, grass, hazelnut, olive pollen, honey, mustard, royal jelly, sage, sweet bell pepper pollen, sunflower, kiwi, peach, mango, apple, celery, carrots and tobacco.

 
 

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Justin McArthur
Herbalist

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