Have you ever heard of mugwort tea? In this Home Remedy article, you will learn about all the benefits of this medicinal plant, learn how to prepare tea and discover the contraindications of this drink.
With therapeutic action known since the Middle Ages, mugwort became popular as a home remedy to prevent migraines and control chronic headaches . But few people know all the benefits this plant can bring us.
Usually consumed in the form of tea, the plant that belongs to the same family as chamomile and sunflower, is a great choice for the control of abdominal and uterine cramps. In addition, there are studies that attest to its anti-inflammatory potential in curing arthritis. So, let’s get to know this plant better!
What is sagebrush tea for?
Mugwort tea has been used for millennia and by many different cultures, both in medicine and cooking. As such, it is the main component of absinthe and other alcoholic liqueurs.
In addition, the infusion has an antimalarial effect, so several studies are being carried out to assess the economic potential of large-scale production of the herb. ( 1 )
The infusion with mugwort leaves also serves to treat intestinal parasites, gas and as an appetite stimulant for people suffering from anorexia. In addition, the bitter-tasting drink is a potent digestive tonic and stimulates bile production.
Another effect of mugwort is to relieve pain caused by rheumatic diseases. But it is also an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-hypertensive plant. The infusion made with the herb’s flowers is used as a mild tranquilizer and as a bronchodilator, very effective in the treatment of asthma . ( 2 )
The decoction of the leaves is a natural antioxidant, which reduces the action of free radicals due to flavonoids. In this way, it prevents the advance of diseases caused by cell oxidation. ( 3 )
Another effect present in mugwort tea is liver protection , reducing swelling and ischemia caused by lesions in the region. ( 4 ) Mainly due to the antibacterial effect present in the essential oil, which is the main component of the leaves. ( 5 )
The extract of the leaves in alcohol was an effective insecticide in combating rice weevils, increasing the mortality of this very common type of pest. ( 6 )
In addition, mugwort tea has been shown to be effective in the treatment of acute leukemia. Serving to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells and stimulate appetite in conventional treatment patients. ( 7 )
Last but not least, this drink can be anticonvulsant and sedative, when ingested in correct amounts, due to the components of the essential oil. ( 8 )
See more examples of Artemisia tea’s health benefits
- Fight nausea, gas, heartburn, indigestion and diarrhea
- in asthma control
- Helps with kidney problems and anemia
- Prevents breast cancer
- Fights PMS symptoms.
Does mugwort serve to control the menstrual cycle?
Mugwort tea is popularly used in various cultures as a regulator of the menstrual cycle, in addition to providing relief from cramps and symptoms typical of PMS. Thus, mugwort infusion has the effect of reducing excess bleeding, pain and swelling present before and during the menstrual period.
In addition, it works against extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, irritation, symptoms of depression, insomnia and anxiety. All these symptoms can be present in Premenstrual Tension. ( 9 )
During the menstrual cycle it is common for many women to suffer from menstrual cramps, which are caused by spasms in the uterus. However, this situation can be alleviated with mugwort tea thanks to its analgesic and antispasmodic effect. ( 8 )
Another fact is that the drink has estrogenic components. This means that it stimulates the production of estrogen, which is a sex hormone produced by the ovaries but which is stopped during menopause. ( 10 )
In this way, mugwort tea can be used to relieve the main symptoms of women entering the period of menopause. As long as it is consumed correctly.
Does it have an abortifacient effect?
Yes, it is necessary to be aware that mugwort tea has abortifacient effects, especially if taken in early pregnancy. This is because it is toxic to the embryo that is being formed.
For this reason, the infusion is widely used as a traditional abortive drink. However, this effect is only seen in cases where there is a large consumption of this tea. But if it does not cause abortion, mugwort can lead to malformation of the fetus. This event occurs because the embryotoxic effects are usually more visible in the phase of formation of the internal organs, which is called organogenesis. ( 11 )
But after all, what is mugwort?
Now that you know the benefits and properties of this plant, it’s time to learn a little more about it. For those who don’t know, mugwort is the name given to plants that belong to the artemisia genus , which has more than 100 species distributed throughout the world. All plants of this genus belong to the Asteraceae family and most of them are used in folk medicine. ( 1 )
Among the main characteristics of mugwort are the aromatic leaves and rhizomatous stem. This means that it grows horizontally, but that it also has some area portions. ( 12 )
Plants of the mugwort genus are usually perennial, so they have a long life and can reach up to 2 meters in height. The leaves measure between 5 and 10 centimeters in length, in a shade of dark green at the top. The underside of the leaves usually have small white hairs.
Plants usually open their flowers during the summer. But they are usually in shades of yellow and red and are quite aromatic. ( 2 ) For millennia, mugwort has been used as a potent medicinal herb, mainly due to its analgesic and antibacterial effects.
The most commonly found species in Brazil is known as artemisia vulgaris , which is originally from China and is widely used in the country in thermal acupuncture techniques. ( 2 )
What are the main types?
As already mentioned, there are approximately 100 types of mugwort. Despite this, most of it is distributed in temperate and subtropical climate regions, such as Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.
However, they also managed to adapt well to the climate of South America and can be found from Brazil to the Andes region. But first of all, it is necessary to know that all three main types are used in decoctions and infusions, applied in the treatment of various diseases. Therefore, medicinal herbs are important.
The most commonly used types of mugwort are vulgaris , which is more popular in some parts of Europe, the Asian continent and South America; the dracunculus , which is generally used as an aromatic herb and flavor in food preparation and liquors; and finally, there is the so-called artemisia annua .
The latter is also widely distributed throughout the world and is frequently used in the cosmetics industry, especially in the manufacture of perfumes. In addition, it has components that act by inhibiting the proliferation of some types of bacteria and protozoa that cause malaria. ( 1 )
Where to buy?
Interested in acquiring the herb? So you can find it in health food stores, both online and in physical departments. In addition, you can have it at home, since the plant is not demanding and can be grown in different types of climate.
Despite this, all types of this herb must be planted in soil rich in organic matter and with frequent watering, always in a place that has direct access to the sun’s rays. Plants usually bloom during the spring and summer months, but the flowers eventually die during the winter.
Ideally, it should be grown alone, as it is considered a weed and will compete for nutrients with other plants that are nearby. The leaves can be harvested at any time and used fresh or dried. ( 13 )
How to consume Artemisia?
Mugwort tea has a bitter taste, characteristic of the herb. However, ideally, it should not be sweetened before drinking, as this can interfere with its medicinal properties. Follow now how to make tea from this plant depending on the type of treatment you want to achieve!
For better digestion
Put a liter of water and a tablespoon of mugwort on the fire. Then bring to a boil, turn off the heat and smother for 10 minutes. After straining, drink one cup three times a day.
for menstrual cramps
Infuse a teaspoon of leaves into a cup of hot water. Cover and let macerate for 5 minutes. Strain and drink 2-3 cups a day.
To calm and prevent spasms
Decoction one tablespoon of the roots in half a liter of water. Boil for 15 minutes. After straining, drink half a cup four times a day.
The plant also serves as a moth repellant, just put dry sprigs in cupboards and shelves. When the components are extracted in alcohol, the herb becomes a great insecticide against rice weevils, a very common pest that can appear in pantries. ( 6 )
Precautions and contraindications
Pregnant or nursing women should not consume mugwort. It is also not recommended to eat it raw and its use should be moderated. And although beneficial, it is advisable to consult a specialist before starting any mugwort-based treatment.
An important piece of information is that this plant can be used by children, as long as it is not consumed in excess or with great frequency. Another necessary precaution is that in large amounts mugwort can be toxic and cause allergic reactions and even infertility. ( 11 )