Health Benefits Of Mugwort & Its Side Effects

What is Mugwort?

Mugwort is a plant that grows in Asia, North America, and Northern parts of Europe. The parts of the plant and its roots are used to make medicine. It has the potential to ease menstrual pain, joint pain, and even cure cancer(1)

The benefits of mugwort are mostly due to its antioxidant properties. There are certain components in the plant that may also aid cancer treatment.

Mugwort helps ease the pain with a process of moxibustion. During the process, the mugwort leaves are gathered into sticks and burnt over an acupuncture point to release energy.

How is Mugwort Used?

Mugwort can be used in various forms such as:

  • Dried leaves
  • Tinctures
  • Extracts
  • Teas
  • Pills

Mugwort is most popularly used as a tea. It can be easily prepared and can be consumed up to three times a day.

Benefits of Mugwort

The main benefit of mugwort is treating menstrual pain by introducing heat over a certain acupuncture point (Moxibustion). This technique can also help in treating joint pain and reversing the breech birth position.

Treats Menstrual Pain

Mugwort can be used to treat menstrual pain. It also regulates the menstrual cycle.

Moxibustion can help in primary dysmenorrhea (a condition in which there are painful menstrual cramps). It helps improve circulation into the uterus(2)

It also works on stagnant blood and improves health state.

Moxibustion is also used to treat various other gynecological issues including menopausal hot flashes(3)

Alleviates Joint Pain

With the moxibustion technique, mugwort can help relieve pain.(4) Borneol, an active compound present in mugwort, has pain-relieving effects in arthritis.(5)

Reverses Breech Birth Position

A few weeks before delivery, the head of the baby aligns with the birth canal. When this does not happen, it is known as the breech position.

Moxibustion can trigger the points near the fifth toe and create blood circulation and pressure that causes fetal movement.

In a study, it was found that moxibustion could help reverse the breech position in 75% of the cases(6)

Prevents Cancer

Artemisinins, components present in mugwort, were found to be toxic to cancer cells(7)

These components can be harmful to normal cells as well. Therefore, a doctor should be consulted when using mugwort to treat cancer.

The research on the same are in preliminary stages and more research is needed to arrive at a concrete conclusion.

Side Effects Of Mugwort

  • Mugwort can cause the uterus to contract and trigger menstruation. This can cause miscarriage in pregnant women(8)
  • Not much information is available for breastfeeding females but should be avoided by them as well.
  • Those allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae family may experience allergy with mugwort. There can be sneezing, rashes, dermatitis, and sinus-related symptoms.
  • Treating joints and menstrual pain are the main and well-researched symptoms of mugwort. For other effects, the research is still going on.

If you want to start mugwort as an herbal medicine for any health condition, it is good to consult a doctor. He would advise you on the benefits it would serve and the possible side effects, not knowing which could fall hard on health.

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