Digestive Health, General Wellness, Herbs, Mental Health, Sexual Health, Women's Health

How Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Improves Health and Wellness

This article was updated on July 10, 2019, by the original author.

How Mugwort Herb Improves Health and Wellness_Mugwort cut and sifted
Mugwort herb, cut and sifted

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has been used for many health and wellness purposes for thousands of years. Little modern research has been conducted on this popular herb, but that hasn’t stopped modern herbalists from sharing their knowledge of the herb’s many benefits. Keep in mind that most of mugwort’s health and wellness benefits are based on long-standing anecdotal evidence and not scientific testing.

Mugwort Health and Wellness Benefits

  • Relieves gastrointestinal issues
  • boosts energy
  • promotes weight loss
  • helps to ease anxiety
  • can restart missing or irregular menses and improve fertility

How Mugwort Helps Relieve Digestive Issues

Mugwort has been used to treat many different stomach issues; these include diarrhea, constipation, colic, gas, cramps, and slow digestion.

“mugwort is helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive profile by stimulating and easing the digestive process. The herb is touted to stimulate appetite and relieve bloating, stomach cramps, constipation, and diarrhea. The plant is also known to ease acidity and flatulence, and rid the system of parasitic worms. Besides this, mugwort is found to activate bile production and speed up digestion.”1

Mugwort also acts as a diuretic, stimulating urination and helping to rid the body of toxins. The herb has been recommended as a kidney, liver, and gallbladder cleanser for this reason. And its high vitamin C content is known to boost white blood cell production, which helps protect the body from free radicals, inflammation, and infections.

How Mugwort Boosts Energy and Promotes Weight Loss

Mugwort helps your body operate at a higher level of energy and efficiency. It accomplishes this by boosting your metabolism and increasing passive fat-burning. Obviously, this is also very useful for weight loss.

Mugwort helps your body operate at a higher level of energy and efficiency by boosting your metabolism and increasing passive fat-burning. #weightloss Click To Tweet

“[Mugwort] is mostly taken as a tonic, to increase energy levels in the body and to aid fat loss. … As a weight loss supplement, it should be taken in small doses and only at the recommendation of a trained and experienced doctor. Children should not be given mugwort unless absolutely necessary. Even if it is, it should be administered in very mild doses to prevent complications.”2

How Mugwort Eases Anxiety

Mugwort’s powerful nervine properties make it good for treating anxiety, depression, and lowering chronic stress levels.

“This can help relieve stress on your nervous and metabolic system, and improve your quality of life if anxiety is something you experience on a daily basis.”3

According to WebMD, mugwort root has also been used in combination with other substances to treat not only anxiety, but hypochondria, general irritability, restlessness, and insomnia.

It’s also worth noting that, since mugwort relaxes and stimulates at the same time, it will not make you dizzy or lightheaded.

How Mugwort Improves Women’s Reproductive Health

Mugwort is best known for its ability to restart missing menses (also known as Amenorrhea) and regulate irregular menses, both of which improve fertility. To understand how mugwort is able to accomplish this you must first understand how the menstrual cycle works.

“Fluctuating levels of hormones drive the normal menstrual cycle. Ovaries are stimulated by hormones from the pituitary gland, which is controlled by hormones produced in the hypothalamus of the brain. Disorders that affect this part of the regulatory process can lead to conditions such as amenorrhea.”4

Keep in mind, the menstrual cycle is also influenced by stress and illness. And mugwort appears to be capable of positively influencing hormones, the nervous system, and generally improving health. Mugwort can bring on menstruation when nothing else works. Menstrual regularity is not a guarantee of fertility, but it is an important part of the ovulation process that makes pregnancy possible.

Keep in mind, the menstrual cycle is also influenced by stress and illness. … Mugwort can bring on menstruation when nothing else works. Click To Tweet

“Missing one menstrual period is rarely a sign of a serious problem or medical condition, but amenorrhea for several months may be a sign of a disease or chronic condition that can contribute to infertility.”4

Mugwort – Nature’s Plan B?

Due to mugwort’s ability to stimulate the menstrual cycle, it has been used since ancient times to prevent and end unwanted pregnancies. Mugwort can be used alone in the early stages of pregnancy and even just days after a possible conception; for this reason, I think of mugwort as nature’s ‘Plan B’.

According to the blog My Health Tips,

“Remember not to take this tea more than 3 times a day and not more than 6 days at a stretch as [over consumption] of this tea may lead to renal failure.”5

Mugwort Side-effects and Safety

There is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove mugwort’s general safety, there’s also no evidence of drug interactions. So, you may combine mugwort with pharmaceutical medications at your own risk.

However, it should be noted that mugwort has been used as a medicine and food for thousands of years. It is still used in Europe to season fish and meats, including the famous German Christmas goose. In Asian cuisine, mugwort is used to flavor desserts, pancakes, soups, and salads. Of course, seasonings and condiments are used in relatively small amounts and medicinal herbs require larger quantities to have any effect.

Warning

At this point, it should go without saying that mugwort should not be used by any woman who is pregnant and wishes to remain so. Breastfeeding women should avoid mugwort as well, as it has not been proved safe for young children.

Mugwort can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to pollen and members of the Asteraceae (Compositae) plant family. According to Organic Facts,

“One of the most common triggers for hayfever is mugwort pollen, so allergic reactions to drinking this tea are not uncommon. If you are normally susceptible to allergies, use this tea in moderation, and if you experience any skin irritation, gastrointestinal distress, or swelling of the throat, lips or tongue, discontinue use immediately.”3

If you are allergic to any of the following plants, you may want to give mugwort a pass.

Asteraceae (Compositae) Family Members
  • Ragweed
  • chrysanthemums
  • marigolds
  • daisies
  • burdock
  • thistle
  • dandelion
  • lettuce
  • endive
  • and many other herbs, flowers, and foods.

If you are considering using mugwort for health and wellness be sure to do your own research, consult an herbalist, and start with the smallest possible dose to ensure that you are not allergic. Once that’s established, you can slowly increase the dose until you are taking the recommended dose.

The importance of consulting an expert should not be underestimated. There is currently no scientifically established safe dosage for mugwort. However,

“The appropriate dose of mugwort depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. … Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.”6

If you have any questions or comments about mugwort and its uses, post them below or tweet me on Twitter.

References

1Garcia, Earl. “Mugwort – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com”. NaturalPedia, August 9, 2017. Web. September 2018

2Aaron. “Mugwort benefits and side effects”. Body Nutrition, July 17, 2016. Web. September 2018

3“9 Incredible Benefits of Mugwort Tea”. Organic Facts, August 13, 2018. Web. September 2018

4“Amenorrhea”. Loma Linda University/Center for Fertility & IVF, n.d. Web. September 2018

5Jennifer. “Most Effective Natural Abortion Methods for Terminating Unwanted Pregnancy.” My Health Tips, March 1, 2016. Web. September 2018

6“Mugwort”. WebMD, n.d. Web. August 2018

Wilson, Debra-Rose, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, … “Mugwort: A Weed with Potential”. Healthline, August 2, 2016. Web. August 208

Willett, Elizabeth, MA, Certified Herbalist. “Mugwort: Ancient Herb for Absent Periods”. Natural Fertility Info, December 28, 2017. Web. August 2018

The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Asteraceae Plant Family”. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. August 2018

“Mugwort”. RxList, n.d. Web. August 2018

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Andrea Lewis

Writer / Editor at Holistic Health & Living
I'm a freelance writer, blogger, and amateur herbalist who specializes in alternative / holistic health topics. I'm the writer, editor and content manager for Holistic Health & Living blog, and the sole writer, narrator and animator for the Holistic Health & Living YouTube channel. You can tweet me on Twitter, message me on Google+ or my Contact page.
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