Sunday, July 17, 2016

The benefits and side effects of mugwort (artemisia iwayomogi)

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Mugwort is an herb that is known for its medicinal benefits and is also known as artemisia iwayomogi. The herb is typically found in Asia, Northern Europe and North America. It is mostly taken as a tonic, to increase energy levels in the body and to aid fat loss. (1)

Mugwort is also taken by women who experience irregular periods and other issues related to the menstrual cycle.

The oil made from the extract of this herb can also be used to prevent early or untimely menopause. When it is ingested, it can cure a number of digestive disorders and help fight infections by preventing infections in the stomach.

A lotion made from the herb can be applied directly to the skin to relieve itchiness that can occur in burn scars.

Mugwort is also used as a dietary supplement as well as a homeopathic drug since it is safe to consume.

This is a detailed review of mugwort and its health benefits.

Health benefits of mugwort

There have been a number of studies done on this herb that have revealed that it has a number of health benefits.

It contains a number of beneficial components such as triterpenes, flavonoids and coumarin derivatives among others. (2), (3)

All of these offer digestive and relaxing properties to anyone who consumes the herb.

It can be taken with tea and tinctures and can also be mixed with other sweet herbs to enhance its effect.

Mugwort can be used to stimulate suppressed or irregular periods.

The herb is also known to ease menstrual cramps and stimulate the uterus to keep it functioning properly.

However, it can also cause miscarriages so pregnant women are not advised to take it.

On the other hand, mugwort is also considered a safer alternative for hormone replacement therapy for women. (4)

It is also considered a safer drug for abortions than traditional surgical methods but consuming it should not be considered without a doctor’s advice. (5)

Besides aiding menstruation, mugwort also has sedative properties, which makes it beneficial for those suffering from insomnia.

In fact, due to its hallucinogenic properties, it is commonly called a ‘dream herb.’

The herb is commonly used in sleep pillows to improve lucid dreaming.

Mugwort can also soothe the mind and keep stress at bay due to its sedative properties.

The properties of this herb are twofold. One the one hand, it soothes the mind and induces sleep and on the other, it can also stimulate the mind and make it more active.

Mugwort can also ease digestion, stomach cramps, acidity and indigestion. In fact, it can be used in place of Pepto-Bismol for the same effects.

The herb can also be applied to the skin to treat itchiness caused due to an injury or a burn.

It can also be used to treat parasitic infections and can effectively protect the body against ringworm, threadworm, and other parasites.

The roots of the mugwort plant can also be used with a number of other herbs to treat a number of conditions.

These include anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypochondira, mental fatigue and other ailments that can be eased with its sedative properties.

Since it is a relaxant and a stimulant at the same time, consuming mugwort does not cause dizziness or light headedness.

Under normal conditions, the herb stimulates the mind to keep the consumer active and alert.

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, the herb can also be used to treat asthma, fever, kidney issues, liver issues, high blood sugar, gout etc. (6)

The herb can be taken over a longer term in small doses to enhance appetite, aid digestion, detoxify the liver and to aid in the absorption of nutrients as well.

What most people are unaware of is that it is often used as an alternative for tobacco for those who  wish to quit smoking.


Although there is no established and proven dosage for mugwort, it can be measured according to cups of tea it is added in.

Some herbalists recommend 2 cups of tea infused with this herb for 5 to 10 minutes should be a daily dose.

In supplement form, no more than one or two capsules should be taken with water on a daily basis and the manufacturer’s instructions should not be ignored.

According to some studies, the estimated dose should be (7):

  • Approximately 2000 mg for a person weighing 68 kilos
  • Approximately 3000 mg for a person weighing 90 kilos
  • Approximately 3500 mg for a person weighing 113 kilos

Side effects of mugwort

Since the preparation instructions for the herb and the drug have not be clearly defined, lactating and pregnant women are not advised its use. It can actually pass from mother to child from the milk that is breastfed to the infant.

The herb contains a chemical component called thujone which is responsible for many of its medicinal properties. (8) However, in large doses, this chemical can be toxic and it can cause miscarriages.

People who are allergic to pollen should not use it either.

In other words, this herb should not be used without explicit instructions from an experienced and trained physician.

It is also an effective herbal treatment to eliminate opium addiction in addicts.

Since it has a high toxicity level, mugwort should never be taken in high doses.

Continued consumption after a prescribed period is also not advisable and can cause serious side effects.

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.

Summary: The efficacy of mugwort for energy levels and fat loss cannot be denied. However, it should be taken in very small doses since it has a high toxicity level and pregnant/lactating women should avoid it at all costs.

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