Mugwort has been used in traditional medicine as a food additive, a tonic, a tea, and a bath steep. The volatile oils have been used in aromatherapy for their pleasantly aromatic smell.
Mugwort is said to have derived its name from its traditional use as a flavoring agent for beer before the regular use of hops. However, many believe that the name is not representative of the beverage but rather moughte which means moth or maggot, since this herb was used traditionally to repel moths. Another name for this herb is St. John’s plant (not to be confused with St. John’s wort) because it was believed that John the Baptist wore a mugwort wreath in the wilderness. Building upon this idea, many beliefs arose suggesting that travelers should wear mugwort to ward off wild beasts and evil spirits as well as to protect them from fatigue, sunstroke, and disease.
In India it was traditionally used for the treatment of fever, as well as to stimulate and regulate menstruation. Other traditional uses included treating diarrhea, constipation, cramps, and worm infestations. Tonics were also thought to be beneficial in the treatment of various complaints including anxiety, irritability, and restlessness. In Germany it’s used for the treatment of intestinal gas, stimulation of digestion, and bloated distension of the stomach.
Common uses of mugwort (which have not been backed by clinical research data) include:
Mugwort is commonly used by alternative health practitioners for many health conditions. Although there are preliminary studies that reveal mugwort’s potential health benefits, there is not enough clinical research evidence to definitively support the safety and efficacy of mugwort for treating many health maladies, including:
Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam have been working with researchers from Berlin’s Free University and other institutions for weeks, testing whether Artemisia annua plant extract and its artemisinin derivatives, could eventually be used to fight the novel coronavirus.