This plant has a very long history. Some Chinese poems and songs mention it as far back as 3 BC. It is thought to be native to Europe, Northern Africa, and naturalized in much of the lower 48 United States. It’s been used as a spice, food, medicine, spiritual aid, acupuncture implement (moxibustion), flavoring for beer and other beverages and as a moth and insect repellent in the garden. It contains the volatile oils, cineole and thujone, giving it a strong bitter aroma with mint undertones. The fact that this plant is considered an invasive weed and is found growing in waste places provides evidence that it is a survivor and has something to offer.
The herb is quite complex with over 75 unique chemicals that have been identified. When used internally, it supports digestion and has relaxing properties. One of the major uses is in Korean, Japanese and Chinese traditional in the practice of Moxibustion; The herb can be placed directly on the skin, attached to acupuncture needles, or rolled into sticks and waved gently over the area to be treated. In all instances, the herb is ignited and releases heat. Not only is it the herb that is believed to have healing properties in this manner, but also the heat released from the herb in a precise area. There have been published clinical trials of this technique. See references for more details.
Uses of Mugwort
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.