Artemisia vulgaris, Compositae. Other names for the plant include felon herb, sailors tobacco and apple pie. The leaves and root are the parts of the plant used.

The leaves and flower stalks should be collected just at the flowering time in late summer. The roots should be dug in the late autumn.

Functions for mugwort

Mugwort can be used whenever a digestive stimulant is called for. It:

  • will aid in the digestive process through the bitter stimulation of the digestive juices whilst also providing a calmative oil.
  • has a mild nervine action which is an aid in depression and in easing muscle tension.
  • can also be used as an aid in the normalising of the menstrual flow.

Notes on mugwort

  • Do not take in pregnancy or when breast feeding.
  • Do not take for long periods of time without the supervision of a health professional.
  • A small amount of mugwort while hiking will help to fight fatigue.
  • Do not drink more than the recommended amounts.
  • The flavour is tangy and refreshing.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonsful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes in a covered container. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Mugwort is a perennial plant that grows up to 5 feet. It will grow in almost any soil and prefers full sun.

The plant can be propagated by seeds planted in the spring or by root division in the autumn months.

The plants need to be about 2 feet (60 Cm) apart. You will need to keep the plant under control as it has a well deserved reputation as a weed. You will need to cut away roots and seedlings in the autumn to keep the control.


Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins.

Shaw, N. 2002, Herbalism. Element




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