Image for Mugwort ()
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Ai ye, arbre aux cent gouts, armoise, armoise commune, artemisia, Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisiae vulgaris herba, Artemisia vulgaris L., Artemisia vulgaris pollen, Artemisia vulgaris R., Artemisiae vulgaris radix, Asteraceae (family), baru cina, bijvoet, borneol, Carline thistle, chernobyl, chornobyl, chrysanthemum weed, cineole, common mugwort, common wormwood, Douglas mugwort, felon herb, fuchiba, Gemeiner Beifuss, genje jawa, hierba de San Juan, hiyam, hydroxy-coumarins, Japanese wormwood, linalool, lipohilic flavonoids, moxa, moxa rolls, nagadamni, pinene, polyn' obyknovennaya, prunasin, sailor's tobacco, St. John's plant, suket ganjahan, sundamala, thujone, triterpenes, tzu ai, vulgarin, wild wormwood, wormseed, yomogi, yomogiko.
  • Note: Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) should not be confused with wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), or St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.), despite similar names.

Background

  • Mugwort is a perennial herb native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. It pollinates mainly from July to September, although it may flower throughout the year, depending on the climate. The Chinese have used dried mugwort leaves (moxa) in moxibustion for centuries. Moxibustion is a method of heating specific acupuncture points on the body to treat physical conditions. Mugwort is carefully harvested, dried and aged, and then shaped into a cigar-like roll. This "moxa" is burned close to the skin to heat the specific pressure points.
  • Mugwort leaf and stem have been used medicinally as a digestive stimulant and to promote menstruation. The nervine action of mugwort is thought to aid in depression and ease tension. Traditionally, mugwort was believed to provide protection from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits.
  • No clinical studies have been performed on the use of mugwort as a medical treatment, although an extract from the related Artemisia annua suggests some promise in treating malaria. Dried mugwort (moxa) has been used in moxibustion to treat cancer, but there is no scientific evidence to support this use. Most research on mugwort has focused on its allergenic properties, as its pollen affects 10-14% of the patients suffering from pollinosis in Europe.

Evidence

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.