Artemisia vulgaris

California Mugwort


MUGWORT, Artemisia vulgaris (LINN.) N.O. Compositae, Felon Herb,St. John's Plant,Cingulum Sancti Johannis


Mugwort was traditionally used as a flavourant bitters in the cottage brewing of beer. It is still sought by home-brew fanciers, but replaced commercially by the introduction of fermented hops.

"In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, it being believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of it in the wilderness. There were many superstitions connected with it: it was believed to preserve the wayfarer from fatigue, sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits generally: a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John's Eve to gain security from evil possession, and in Holland and Germany one of its names is St. John's Plant, because of the belief, that if gathered on St. John's Eve it gave protection against diseases and misfortunes....."

The leaves were used as a tea sub in Cornwall sixty or seventy years ago, since tea was seven shillings (British currency) an ounce at the time.

Grieves, A  Modern Herbal 


A volatile oil, an acrid resin and tannin


 stimulant ,slightly tonic properties,  nervine , palsy, fits, epileptic seizures,hysteria, emmenagogue, diuretic, diaphoretic,moth repellant for wool,dewormer.

 in water, ale, wine, or the juice:

dropsy ,jaundice,  hysterics, obstruction of the spleen,stomach weakness

 "Oil taken on sugar and ..then drunk.. kills worms, resists poison, and is good for the liver and jaundice"

Boiled in lard for swollen tonsils.

With honey, reduces discoloration from bruising.

leaves and Root:

Digestive bitters,  mild relaxant, It is useful for nervous tension and depression. Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort) Herb strongly warms parasympathetic nervous system activity.Useful for pinworm infestation,  preventative or recuperative. 

Downy leaves:Artemisia moxa

aromatic culinary herb (stuffing), preparation of Moxas (Japanese) cure for rheumatism. Cottony substance rubbed off leaves and subs for tinder


 Caution: Not appropriate in pregnancy. ARTEMISIA VULGARIS (Mugwort, Altamisa) may be present in milk and is contraindicated during lactation. ARTEMISIA VULGARIS (Mugwort. California Mugwort) is a uterine vasodilator and is contraindicated in pregnancy. Moore, M. 1995. Herb/Medicine Contra-indications, Southwest School of Botanical Medicine


Companions Note:

Click to Companion Article (Mugwort for Zoster):Text-Only Page



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