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Wormwood

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  • Botanical: Artemisia vulgaris
  • Family: Asteraceae
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Wormwood

Botanical

Artemisia vulgaris

Family

Asteraceae

Known as

Mugwort, Wormwood, Common Wormwood, Mugwurz, Buckell, Jungfernkraut, Gänsekraut, Wilder Wermut, Sonnwendgürtel

Old Use

culinary and medicinal use

Collection Times

July to September

Parts Used

herb, leaves, roots

Aroma

earthy, herbaceius, spicy, woody

Heart & Circulation

circulation

Hormone & Sexual Organs

gynecological issues, menstruation promotion, menopausal symptom

Muscle & Joints

muscle pain

Mind & Nerves

insomnia, irritability, neuralgia, nervousness, sleep

Stomach & Intestinal

cystitis, flatulence

Properties

anticonvulsive, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, stimulant, tonic

Description

Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood) is one of several species in the genus Artemisia commonly known as mugwort. It is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing 1–2 m (rarely 2.5 m) tall, with a woody root. The leaves are 5–20 cm long, dark green, pinnate, with dense white tomentose hairs on the underside. The erect stem often has a red-purplish tinge. The rather small flowers (5 mm long) are radially symmetrical with many yellow or dark red petals. The narrow and numerous capitula (flower heads) spread out in racemose panicles.

Properties & Uses

other than medicinal use:

The fresh or the dried plant repels insects, it can be used as a spray but caution is advised since it can also inhibit plant growth. A weak tea made from the infused plant is a good all-purpose insecticide. An essential oil from the plant kills insect larvae. The down on the leaves makes a good tinder for starting fires

Traditional Use

Mugwort has a long history of use in herbal medicine especially in matters connected to the digestive system, menstrual complaints and the treatment of worms. It is slightly toxic, however, and should never be used by pregnant women, especially in their first trimester, since it can cause a miscarriage. Large, prolonged dosage can damage the nervous system. All parts of the plant are anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, purgative, stimulant, slightly tonic and used in the treatment of women's complaints. The leaves are also said to be appetizer, diuretic, haemostatic and stomachic. They can be used internally or externally. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used in the treatment of nervous and spasmodic affections, sterility, functional bleeding of the uterus, dysmenorrhoea, asthma and diseases of the brain. The leaves have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, streptococci, E. coli, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas etc. The leaves are harvested in August and can be dried for later use. The stem is also said to be antirheumatic, antispasmodic, and stomachic. The roots are tonic and antispasmodic. They are said to be one of the best stomachics. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The leaves, placed inside the shoes, are said to be soothing for sore feet. The compressed dried leaves and stems are used in moxibustion. Another report says that the down from the leaves is used

Cautions

The plant might be poisonous in large doses. Skin contact can cause dermatitis in some people. Probably unsafe for pregnant women as it may stimulate the uterus to contract and induce abortion

Distribution

Europe, Northern Africa, Siberia, Western Asia to the Himalaya,

Constituents

Tannins, bitter substances, ethereal oil: cineole, thujone

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.