Mugwort

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What other names is Mugwort known by?

Altamisa, Armoise, Armoise Citronnelle, Armoise Commune, Armoise Vulgaire, Artémise, Artemisia, Artemisia Vulgaris, Artemisiae Vulgaris Herba, Artemisiae Vulgaris Radix, Carline Thistle, Felon Herb, Gemeiner Beifuss, Herbe aux Cent Goûts, Herbe de Feu, Herbe de la Saint-Jean, Herbe Royale, Hierba de San Juan, Nagadamni, Remise, Sailor's Tobacco, St. John's Plant, Tabac de Saint-Pierre, Wild Wormwood.

What is Mugwort?

Mugwort is a plant that grows in Asia, North America, and Northern Europe. The plant parts that grow above the ground and the root are used to make medicine.

People take mugwort root as a "tonic" and to boost energy.

People take the rest of the plant for stomach and intestinal conditions including colic, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, weak digestion, worm infestations, and persistent vomiting. Mugwort is also used to stimulate gastric juice and bile secretion. It is also used as a liver tonic; to promote circulation; and as a sedative. Other uses include treatment of hysteria, epilepsy, and convulsions in children.

Women take mugwort for irregular periods and other menstrual problems.

In combination with other ingredients, mugwort root is used for mental problems (psychoneuroses), ongoing fatigue and depression (neurasthenia), depression, preoccupation with illness (hypochondria), general irritability, restlessness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and anxiety.

Some people apply mugwort lotion directly to the skin to relieve itchiness caused by burn scars.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Itching caused by scars, when applied to the affected skin. Developing research suggests that applying a lotion containing mugwort and menthol directly to the skin relieves itching in severe burn victims.
  • Stomach problems (colic, diarrhea, cramps, constipation, slow digestion, vomiting).
  • Epilepsy.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
  • Low energy.
  • Anxiety.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of mugwort for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Mugwort work?

The chemicals in mugwort might stimulate the uterus.

Are there safety concerns?

There isn't enough information to know if mugwort is safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use mugwort if you are pregnant. Mugwort might cause a miscarriage because it can start menstruation and also cause the uterus to contract.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking mugwort if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergies: Mugwort may cause an allergic reaction in individuals who are allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other herbs.

Mugwort might also cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to birch, celery, or wild carrot. This has been called the "celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome."

There is also some concern that mugwort might cause allergic reactions in people with allergies to white mustard, honey, royal jelly, hazelnut, olive, latex, peach, kiwi, the Micronesian nut called Nangai, and other plants from the genus Artemisia, including sage.

Mugwort pollen might cause reactions in people who are allergic to tobacco.

Dosing considerations for Mugwort.

The appropriate dose of mugwort depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for mugwort. 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.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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