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Mugwort, scientifically Artemisia vulgaris, is one of the oldest medicinal plants in the world and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its discovery and use dates back to ancient civilizations who valued its healing properties and used it in a variety of ways. In this article, we will take a closer look at its discovery, forms of use, dosage and medicinal benefits.

Discovery and history of mugwort

It was first discovered and used in ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans used the plant for its healing properties. It was often referred to as a panacea and was an integral part of medicine at the time. It was also known in traditional Chinese medicine and was used as an important medicinal herb.

In the Middle Ages it was widespread in Europe and was used to treat various illnesses. The plant also found its way into Celtic and Nordic mythology, where it was considered a protective plant.

Forms of taking mugwort

It can be taken in various forms: as tea, capsules, tincture, essential oil and dried herb. Each form has its own specific benefits and areas of application.


One of the most common forms is mugwort tea. The dried leaves of the plant are used for the preparation. A teaspoon of dried mugwort is poured over with hot water and left to infuse for about ten minutes. The tea should be drunk once or twice a day.

Capsules and tablets

Mugwort capsules or tablets can be taken for exact dosage. They are available in pharmacies and health food stores. The usual dosage is 400-500 mg per day.


A mugwort tincture can easily be made yourself or bought ready-made. The leaves are soaked in alcohol to extract the active ingredients. The recommended dosage is 15-20 drops twice a day.

Essential oil

The essential oil of mugwort is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation. It can be used externally or in aromatherapy. For external use, the oil should always be diluted to avoid skin irritation.

Healing properties and uses of mugwort

Digestive complaints

It is traditionally used to alleviate digestive complaints. The plant stimulates the production of gastric juices and promotes digestion, which is helpful for flatulence, bloating and abdominal cramps.

Menstrual cramps

Women often use it for menstrual cramps. The herb has an antispasmodic effect and can help to regulate menstruation and relieve pain.

Insomnia and nervousness

Its calming properties make it a natural remedy for insomnia and nervousness. A tea or tincture before bedtime can help to promote a peaceful and restful sleep.

Antimicrobial and antiparasitic effects

Mugwort has strong antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties. It is used to treat worm infestations and other parasitic infections.

Anti-inflammatory effect

Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and rheumatic complaints.

Effect on the body

The healing properties of mugwort are due to its numerous bioactive compounds, including essential oils, flavonoids and bitter substances. These compounds act synergistically and have a variety of positive effects on the body.

The essential oils it contains, such as thujone and cineole, have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. Flavonoids contribute to the antioxidant effect and protect the cells from oxidative stress. Bitter substances stimulate digestion and support liver function.

Time of intake and supplementation

Ideally, mugwort should be taken according to need and symptoms. For digestive complaints, taking it after meals can be helpful, while regular use during the menstrual cycle is recommended for menstrual complaints.

It is often recommended to combine it with other medicinal plants to increase its effectiveness. These include ginger, chamomile and peppermint, which also have digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.

Warnings and side effects

Mugwort is not suitable for everyone. People with an allergy to composite plants should avoid it as it belongs to this plant family. Pregnant women should also avoid it, as it has labor-promoting properties.

Possible side effects include allergic reactions, nausea and stomach problems. Toxic effects can occur in the event of an overdose, particularly due to the thujone content. The recommended dose should therefore not be exceeded.

Food supplements and accompanying medicinal plants

Mugwort can be supplemented with various food supplements and medicinal plants to enhance its effect. The following are recommended

  • Probiotics: Support intestinal health and complement digestive properties.
  • Zinc: Strengthens the immune system and promotes the healing of inflammation.
  • Vitamin C: Has antioxidant properties and supports the immune system.

Foods rich in the active ingredients are rare, as mugwort is mainly used as a medicinal plant and not as a food. Nevertheless, it can be used in small amounts in salads or as a spice to benefit from its health benefits.


Mugwort is a versatile medicinal plant with a long history in traditional medicine. Its uses are diverse and range from treating digestive disorders to relieving menstrual cramps and insomnia. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and calming properties, it offers a natural alternative to many synthetic medicines. When used and dosed correctly, it can be a valuable addition to natural health care.

Published on: 27. June 2024


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