Mugwort: characteristics, natural uses and precautions

Mugwort can be an important aid in different health conditions. However, caution should always be exercised as it can also lead to side effects.

Last update: December 01, 2021

Mugwort is an ancient plant It has been used since ancient times for different purposes. It is known by the names of Grass of San Juan, chinese wormwood, chrysanthemum grass or criminal weed, among others.

The scientific name for mugwort is Artemisia absinthium. This plant had its origin in Asia, Europe and North Africa. It is recognized because it has small yellow flowers and grows up to 2 meters.

The first references to mugwort are found in Greek culture and the Egyptians. Since then it has been used for therapeutic purposes and today it continues to be used in folk medicine. Scientists have also studied and endorsed several of its properties.

History and description of mugwort

In front of the name of this plant there are two theories. One says that it was placed in honor of the goddess Artemis, patroness of hunting and the healing virtues. Another hypothesis indicates that it was named in homage to Artemisia, wife of the ruler of Caria (today Turkey), who was an expert in botany and medicine.

It is known that the Romans made sagebrush plantations alongside various roads. This was because, in this way, the marching soldiers could take it and put it in their shoes. The plant relieved his tired feet.

The plant has long been used to treat digestive problems. It has also been used as an insect repellent and even as a component of beer.

The stems of the plant are reddish brown. The leaves have a sage-like aroma and a bitter taste. The flowers are yellow, but turn dark orange in the summer. It is easy to find almost anywhere in the world.

Properties (edit)

Mugwort has medicinal virtues in its flowers, stems and leaves. It has antibacterial, antiparasitic, analgesic, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, emollient, soothing, tonic, stimulant and aperitive properties.

This plant contains several therapeutic chemicals, such as camphor, pinene, and cineole. These compounds have positive effects on health. In fact, mugwort also contains a substance called artemisinin, with presumed antitumor activity.

Mugwort has long been used to promote menstrual flow. Likewise, it is hypothesized about its ability to stimulate the uterus to contract during childbirth, thus facilitating labor. However, on this last point there is some controversy.

The use of mugwort to promote the dynamics of labor is not an effect accepted by all investigations.

Mugwort uses and benefits

Mugwort is used in the form of infusions, tincture, essential oils and syrup. Likewise, traditional Chinese medicine prescribes it within the framework of acupuncture. The benefits it offers are still under investigation by science. There is no conclusive data 100%.

Relief of gastric problems

Mugwort has cleansing and antioxidant properties. Therefore, it would help to eliminate toxins that affect the stomach.

It helps to solve common problems, such as constant belching, flatulence, heaviness and reflux. With this plant these episodes can be reduced.

Elimination of parasites

This plant is famous for its vermifuge, antibacterial and anthelmintic properties. All this makes it very convenient to fight intestinal parasites. In fact, this could be the biggest benefit of mugwort.


Consuming this plant does not cause weight loss directly. However, as it helps reduce fluid retention, it could be an adjunct.

Regulation and relief in menstrual periods

This is another of the best known benefits of mugwort. As it would facilitate blood circulation, the effect would be to increase menstrual flow and make cycles more regular. In addition, would have analgesic effects on menstrual cramps. However, the possibility of causing violent contractions in the uterus casts doubt on its clinical utility.

Chagas disease

Mugwort may help treat Chagas disease, but there is not enough evidence yet.


A scientific study indicated that mugwort may have a positive effect in treating tumors of the prostate, kidneys, pancreas and sarcomas. Everything indicates that it would attack malignant cells without damaging healthy ones. But many more studies are required in this regard to confirm this fact. It is by no means a first line of approach to cancer.

For joint pain

Mugwort essential oil has a beneficial effect on joint pain. This is because it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory components. Therefore, it may be suitable for assisting in the well-being of people with arthritis.

Precautions in the use of mugwort

The use of mugwort is not recommended in pregnant or lactating women.. During pregnancy it could precipitate an abortion or premature delivery. In lactation it is not known if it has adverse effects on the health of the baby.

People who are allergic to ragweed may have an allergic reaction to mugwort. It should also be used with caution by those allergic to lettuce, chicory, daisy, sunflower, artichoke, and calendula. Those who are allergic to celery, carrot, or birch can also cross-react when consuming mugwort.

Mugwort should not be consumed for more than four weeks. Nor should the recommended dose be exceeded, which is a maximum of 6 grams per day.

The mugwort plant can be found almost everywhere in the world. The Romans planted it on the side of their roads.

Mugwort: a medicinal plant with much more to discover

Mugwort is a mild psychoactive that, anyway, can cause some disturbances in perception. In some places, it is even illegal to grow it. In no case is it recommended to smoke it or mix it with tobacco.

There is no exact dose that can be prescribed to everyone.. This will depend on the problem to be solved and the health status of each patient. Therefore, it is indicated to consult with the doctor so that he can determine the dose, frequency and method of use.

It might interest you …