8 Wonderful Benefits of Mugwort

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Mugwort gets its name from the Iron Age practice of flavoring drinks with this sweet herb. Its value in herbal medicine has not diminished over the ages.

What is Mugwort?

Mugwort is an aromatic plant in the genus Artemesia. It is primarily grown in Europe and Asia and has been used by many cultures in all sorts of ways, from magical to medicinal. It is a popular food and dessert flavoring in Korea and Japan. In addition to its medical properties, mugwort is often smoked, which can induce vivid, lucid dreaming.

It is a very mild, legal hallucinogen, and has been prized in many different religious traditions. This herb is often confused with wormwood, as the two are very similar in both appearance and effect. But wormwood has a particularly bitter taste that distinguishes it from other related or similar herbs.

Mugwort plant

Mugwort is often used as a hallucinogen. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


There are many benefits of mugwort, including the following:

  • Mugwort eases colic, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps.
  • One of its oldest use is to ease menstruation and prevent birthing issues. [1]
  • Chinese folk medicine employs a practice called moxibustion, wherein mugwort powder is burned at certain key points on the body, as this is thought to be helpful for reversing the breech birth position.
  • The same moxibustion technique is also used to treat joint pain. [2]
  • It is an effective treatment for malaria. The chemicals in the herb that treat malaria are also under study for their possible anticancer properties. [3]
  • Drinking or smoking this herb prevents insomnia.
  • It helps treat mild depression and relaxes the nervous system.
  • People also drink mugwort tea to assist in digestion and improve liver function.
  • It is also utilized in folk medicine to treat headaches, fever, and chills.

Mugwort Uses

This plant has been prized for its medicinal uses for centuries, and many different cultures have distinguished it in value from other herbs.

  • It can be found often as a tea or powder, and the seeds are used in cooking as a flavoring.
  • It is also used as an insecticide in many parts of the world.
  • This exotic plant has long been considered a magical herb by many traditions and is used for protection and to clean out ‘bad’ air.

Side Effects

As with any herbal remedy, it is important to monitor your body’s reactions to new herbs and discuss new treatments with your doctor. Mugwort can have a few side effects, including the following:

  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Women should avoid mugwort during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as large doses may cause menstrual bleeding.
  • Allergies: This herb is one of the most common causes of allergies in the world, due to its relation to the ragweed family. It is known to have multiple cross-reactions with people allergic to a host of things, ranging from carrots to tobacco.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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