Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris L.) is one of the 32,000 plants that belong to the Asteraceae family. Mugwort is native to the cold climates of Northern Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America. This tenacious plant can now be found across the world growing in soils that would otherwise not permit vegetation, such as hard rocky soils and on the banks of rivers and streams.
The Mugwort plant can grow as high as 6 feet tall with leaves as long as 4 inches. It’s an amazing perennial plant that is known for its sage-like aroma, making it a favorite in the cosmetic industry.
Mugwort is also known as Artemisia, Hierba de San Juan (St. John’s Herb), Armoise, Vulgaris Herba (herb), Chrysanthemum weed, and Herbe Royale.
Traditional Uses of Mugwort
Traditionally, Mugwort has been cultivated for its use as a digestive stimulant, a pain reliever, and even as an aromatic element in beer before the use of hops. It is also believed that Mugwort was planted along the Via Appia in ancient Rome so that Roman soldiers could use the herb to help treat their aching feet while marching. Although this is anecdotal, it could be true since Mugwort oil is used today to treat stiff and sore muscles thanks to its ability to help blood circulation when massaged into the skin.
Mugwort has been used in traditional Chinese medicines and for acupuncture because of its ability to help stimulate blood circulation in order to help with a wide array of conditions from sore, aching muscles, irritated skin, and even assist in pregnancy for stimulating fetal movement. Additionally, Mugwort is also believed to help with menstrual and digestive issues. It is commonly used as a tea and as an ointment.