The Wonders of Mugwort {Artemisia vulgaris}

Also, Known As:

  • Cingulum Sancti Johannis
  • Mugwort
  • St. John’s Plant

The mugwort is a shrubby perennial, with dark green deeply indented leaves and with several clusters of small reddish or yellow flower heads. The herb can grow up to three ft, or one m in height.


This amazing shrub has been known since the ancient times, and reportedly, Roman centurions used mugwort inside their sandals so that their feet could remain in great shape. The shrub was also used by ancient Europeans and Asians in treating various ailments. The Greek physician Dioscorides of the 1st century AD supposedly stated that the Goddess Artemis, who gave inspiration to the plant’s genus name, used the herb to offer succor to women in the throes of labor and childbirth. The Physicians of Myddfai, a thirteenth-century Welsh herbal remedy collection, contains these important words, “”If a woman is unable to give birth to her child let the mugwort be bound to her left thigh. Let it be instantly removed when she has been delivered, lest there should be a hemorrhage.” Similarly, an eighteenth-century Spanish herbalist, Diego de Torres is known to have said that using an application of mugwort as a plaster below the woman’s navel would induce labor in the woman. The wise Chinese have been using mugwort for centuries now, and one of its best-known uses is in the ancient art of acupuncture, where the heat from a burning roll of chopped mugwort leaves in the shape of a cigar is applied on certain selected points on the patient’s body. This therapy is used as one of the main ingredients in ‘moxa’ or ‘moxibustion’.

Plant Parts Used:

Aerial parts, root.

Herbal Use:

The mugwort has a number of uses and has been traditionally used to treat digestive disorders, and it has also been used as a tonic for various remedies. The mugwort is known to be milder in action than most other species of Artemisia, and this means that it can be taken for improving appetite, digestive functions, and absorption of nutrients over long periods of time, in small dosages. The elimination of worms within the body is achieved, and whenever needed, it can be used to induce menstruation as well. In Europe, mugwort is assumed to be a uterine stimulant, but this idea is in direct opposition to the Chinese concept of using mugwort to prevent miscarriage in a woman, and also to reduce and to stop excessive and heavy menstrual bleeding. The herb is also widely used as an antiseptic and is known to provide relief in cases of malaria.

Habitat Of Mugwort:

Mugwort grows abundantly in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, in open areas and alongside roads. Mugwort can be collected during the late summer.


Mugwort contains a volatile oil, a sesquiterpene lactone, flavonoids, coumarin derivatives, and triterpenes.

mugwort tea

Tinctures, Infusions:

As a tincture: 1-2 ml or 20-40 drops can be taken two times a day.
As an infusion: 100 ml or 4 fl oz can be taken two times a day.
The Chinese, however, use it in dosages of 3 – 9 g or 1/8 – 1/2 oz.

How Mugwort Works As An Herbal Remedy:

Mugwort is a known traditional herbal remedy for worms, and when it is used in lowered dosages over a specified period of time, it can prove to be extremely effective. The herb can also be used as a bitter, and for improving digestion and bringing in an increase in appetite. The Chinese and Europeans use the herb for disorders and malfunctions in the reproductive system, and when properly used, the herb can bring on the onset of menstruation. The Chinese use the herb to warm the body and to stop bleeding when the cycle is too long. It is also used to stop uterine bleeding brought on by certain deficiencies, in which case the herb cools the body. A cool or cold womb is thought to be the cause of infertility in a woman, and mugwort can be used to treat this condition as well. It can also if used properly, stop a miscarriage from taking place, although this can only be done under the supervision of a qualified medical or herbal practitioner. Menstrual pain can be alleviated successfully with the help of mugwort, and when it is used externally in the form of a moxa stick on specific acupuncture points, it can even help turn a breech baby around in the womb. Chinese mugwort is found to be often acrid, bitter and warm.


Aerial parts:
 As an infusion: Mugwort can be taken to treat the menopausal syndrome.
As a bitter: Mugwort can be used to cool the digestive tract in fever management.
As a decoction: Mugwort can be used to make a warming tea for menstrual pain: 5 g mugwort can be combined with an equal amount of dry ginger to make the tea.
As a tincture: Mugwort can be used for effectively treating menstrual pain, prolonged bleeding, scanty menses and other related disorders. The herb can be used as a stimulant for treating liver stagnation and slow digestion. In childbirth, it can be used for prolonged labor and for the treatment of retained placenta.

Protective Amulet

  • Purple velvet: 1 rectangle 4 in x 2 in (10 cm x 5 cm)
  • Freshly picked mugwort that has been dried: approx. 5 g.

Sew a small pouch and fill it with the dried mugwort. Carry it in a pocket to protect against all sorts of bad external influences and slide it into your pillow to encourage revelatory dreams.

2 thoughts on “The Wonders of Mugwort {Artemisia vulgaris}

  1. This name has been applied to other Artemesias that are different specie. It is not easy to identify, particularly since the real thing is rare here.


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