Mugwort is the common name of Artemisia Vulgaris. It is also sometimes referred to as wormwood or, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as Ai Ye. Considered a hot yang herb, some of its best-known uses in TCM include fumigating acupuncture points, ridding the body of either dampness or coldness, cleaning collateral channels, improving metabolism, and increasing blood flow.
Properties of Mugwort
Considered a bitter herb, the taste of mugwort has been described as both bitter and intense but in a rather pleasant way. This above-ground plant is widely known to have antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It has been shown to be successful in the treatment of diseases that are related to or caused by oxidative stress.
The chemicals camphor, artemisinin, pinene, and cineole are extracted from the plant and used in a variety of ways to treat ailments of the kidney, spleen, and liver.
Mugwort Benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, mugwort benefits are linked to the kidney, spleen, and liver meridians.
• Spleen: When targeting the spleen, mugwort can not only aid in digestion, but it can improve also metabolism.
• Liver: It aids the liver in controlling the movements of both many bodily fluids as well as Qi, and it has been shown to have anticarcinogenic properties in supporting liver health.
• Kidneys: Mugwort helps the kidneys in their regulation of the entire urinary system. Both its drying and warming effects are just some of the reasons it has been used in the treatment of some kidney health and diseases such as nephrolithiasis.
• Pain Relief: Other treatments that show mugwort benefits include of burning the powdered leaves close to the skin or inhaling the smoke of the burned leaves in an effort to allow the migration of Qi energy. Thanks to its warming properties, it is regularly used to dispel dampness or coldness which can result in pain relief for many of its users.
• Women’s Health: Other mugwort uses are related to both menstruation and pregnancy as well. It has been used to stop or reduce bleeding or to calm the fetus throughout pregnancy. It even helps to regulate irregular period cycles through its stimulation of blood flow. These properties can also help relieve some of the symptoms associated with menopause.
• Treatment of Breech Births: Research on mugwort benefits has shown that it can increase both blood flow and circulation in a woman’s uterus and pelvic region to stimulate menstruation. It is for these reasons that it has been used as a treatment of both menstrual cramping and breech births. In TCM, this is known as Moxibustion. During Moxibustion, the herb is burned over various acupuncture points on the expectant mother’s body. This is done to assist the baby in reposition itself prior to delivery to avoid the need for a riskier cesarean birth. It can be placed either directly onto the skin of the expectant mother, or it can be placed directly onto acupuncture needles and then warmed.
Read more about Moxibustion for breech baby here.
• Indigestion Relief: Mugwort has also been proven to benefit sufferers of indigestion. Its antioxidant properties have been cited as a reason for its protective benefits against gastro-esophageal reflux disease also known as GERD. Its properties as a bitter herb help to support a variety of digestive activities.
How to Use Mugwort
Now that we have explored more about the many mugwort health benefits, you may be wondering how you can use this herb to improve your own health. Read on to learn some of the ways mugwort can be either burned or ingested.
Moxibustion: Mugwort is commonly used in Chinese Medicine treatment called ‘Moxibustion’. Moxibustion is drug free, non invasive and pain free Chinese Medicine therapy which has been used for centuries.
What Is Moxibustion?
The method of Moxibustion consists of burning carefully refined herb called Moxa (English name Mugwort). Moxa is rolled into Moxa sticks that look a little bit like large cigars.
When lit and held near a point on the body, the warming and invigorating sensation on the skin helps blood circulation and natural energy levels and a range of other benefits. Moxibustion therapy can be practised at a clinic to target specific points across the body for maximum effect or at your home with Moxa sticks.
Read more about Moxibustion here.
For more information about how Moxibustion treatment book your free consultation or treatment today.
Daily Herbal Supplement: Mugwort in tablet or powder form is also quite readily available for use. It can be easily found online in a variety of dosages. Some forms are even mixed with other herbal ingredients such as turmeric for additional support of pain relief.
Mugwort (Ai Ye)
Mugwort (Artemisia Argyi) has been traditionally used for its warming properties, especially in the practice of moxibustion for thousands of years. Now available in tablet and powder form this powerful herb can be used for women’s health, especially ‘cold uterus’ conditions which affect fertility. It boosts Yang energy and alleviates symptoms including heavy bleeding, cramping pain, blood clotting, helping fibroid, endometriosis and cyst.
As Dried Leaves: The leaves are usually sold as a cone or stick so that it may be used in Moxibustion. These are known as moxa sticks. These sticks, along with loose leaf mugwort, can be found online, at any Asian market, or an herbal shop.
As a Tea: Another method of using mugwort is to brew it as a tea. This can be done by simply adding the dried, loose leaf mugwort to boiling water and steeping it for about 10 minutes. Most users do so by using a French press.
Armed with this new knowledge of the mugwort benefits listed above, you can now consider how its use may help you with a variety of common symptoms. Whether you are looking for a digestive aid or improvement in your kidney function, there is likely a mugwort preparation that can help to either improve or relieve your symptoms. Be sure to work with a skilled practitioner before using a mugwort supplement or deciding which method of use will work for your needs.
For more information about how Mugwort can help you, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.