Sometimes you learn about an herb that sounds like it came straight out of a fantastical realm of a best selling novel. That’s how some people feel about mugwort. Perhaps this is because it sounds like something a hermit brewed into a tea to remedy to broken spirit of a hobbit. In reality, mugwort has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and over 75 unique plant compounds that work to support digestion, relaxation, healthy skin, and calm nerves.
What Is Mugwort?
Also known as wild wormwood, mugwort belongs to the daisy family and is native to Europe and Asia. While it is related to ragweed and allergic reactions mimic those caused by ragweed, it is most definitely not ragweed. The use of mugwort dates back to the days of Ancient Greece, when women used it to reduce menopausal symptoms, to help menopause, childbirth, or to help regulate menstruation.
For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used mugwort in a procedure known as moxibustion, which worked to reverse a fetus in the breech position. The healers rolled mugwort into sticks, ignited the herb, and waved it over specific acupuncture points to stimulate blood and energy that aided fetal movement. One recent study found that 75% of 130 fetuses reversed their breech position after mothers received moxibustion treatment.
Health Benefits Of Mugwort
Have you ever heard of companion planting? It’s where you plant two plants together so they can be companions for life. That’s 100% inaccurate, folks. In reality, companion planting is the practice of grouping different plants together, and some of those plants control pests. Mugwort is excellent at repelling insects from your garden. Because it can spread rapidly, you need to control it and use it in moderation. If you don’t, it can take over your other plants and cause them to die.
Women have used mugwort as a uterine tonic for thousands of years. In order to maintain optimal uterine health, the female reproductive system requires proper circulation. Impaired circulation to the pelvic region can cause irregular periods or poor uterine health. When the uterus receives sufficient blood circulation, a woman experiences her monthly cycle without any troubles. If you need help stimulating your monthly menses, consult your primary health care provider about experimenting with mugwort. Make sure that you are not pregnant when you decide to take this herb because it is powerful and can lead to miscarriages when ingested.
Mugwort is a choleretic, which is a substance that increases the volume of bile secretion from the liver. This benefits both the processing of toxins in the liver and the digestive tract’s ability to eliminate said toxins from the body. Think about the notion that we are what we eat. Take it a step further by adapting the motto, “We are what we digest.” Our focus should be to eat things that the body can easily digest, but we don’t always do this. The more bile the liver secretes, the easier it is for the body to digest fats. Additionally, bile is a natural laxative that promotes a healthier, cleaner digestive tract.
Are There Side Effects To Taking Mugwort?
Mugwort can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, sinus congestion, or other types of contact dermatitis (such as rashes). Please check if you are allergic to mugwort prior to experimenting with this herb. Mugwort is available as a dietary supplement in the United States, but homeopaths also have mugwort preparations. People who are allergic to peaches, apples, carrots, sunflowers, and celery should avoid mugwort.