Healing properties of mugwort

Flowers of mugwort plant
Flowers of mugwort plant

In the kitchen mugwort is very much appreciated. But he herb can also be used as a medicinal plant for the home medicine chest.

A roast goose without mugwort? Simply unthinkable – as an aromatic companion for the holiday feast the tart herb has a long tradition. Until well into the 18th century, the delicately scented spice plant was even just as common as parsley and chives today. And not just because of the taste: even our ancestors had the experience that mugwort makes many dishes more digestible. In the meantime, it is known that this is due to its bitter substances, among other things: these stimulate the appetite, stimulate the production of gastric juice, intestine and bile and thus contribute to a better digestion of heavy dishes.

Powerful and substantial bitter

Therefore, mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and its brother, the wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) are also part of the main components of digestive schnaps.

In order to round off the taste of her stomach bitters, a few leaves of Provence wormwood and of the black sage brush can be added. They are also related to mugwort – and special liqueurs-plants with a very special aroma.

Buy and cultivating mugwort

Nurseries or DIY stores usually do not sell them, a good source of supply are online traders. You can cultivate both in pots or in your garden.

Who wants to plant it into the garden bed, should set limits with a root barrier. Leaves and flowers can be harvested from mid-July to early October, depending on the climate. For this, you cut off the upper shoot tips – about one third of the flowering area. The roots will be dug out in November.

More about mugwort!

A little history

The German name, roughly translated into „at foot“, received the plant probably, because its ingredients can serve the regeneration of tired feet. This was already known in antiquity: the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) recommended: “The juice of the plant, rubbed on the body, gives much strength, put in the shoes or tied to the leg, it protects the hiker from fatigue.” Allegedly, the Roman soldiers were said to have put the herb in the sandals so that they could march on and on.

A medicinal plant for women

A pleasure not only for the legs is a foot bath, to which the broth of mugwort was added. The warming, blood circulation-promoting and anti-spasmodic effect of this application on the lower abdomen is still used today in gynecology for a variety of ailments – because the mugwort is an ancient woman’s herb, which was appreciated all over the world. It is one of the so-called bedstraw herbs, like wild thyme, which used to be placed under the sheets to protect the mothers from infection and to promote the regression of the uterus.

The mugwort tea, which is often recommended for a painful or too weak menstrual period, by the way, can also develop in all gastrointestinal problems, its calming and antispasmodic effect. It should also be helpful in nervousness and trouble falling asleep, to the relief of which you can also put a bag of herbs with dried mugwort next to the pillow.

A cure with tea or other mugwort applications should not be used for more than three weeks without a break. In addition, it is advisable to abstain from taking it during pregnancy because of its activity to promote labor. If you have an allergy to plants of the daisy family, you should also be careful.

Mugwort, with its antibacterial and cleaning properties, plays an important role as an incense plant. Stables and living rooms were freed from vermin sooner. A mugwort smoking can be just as helpful today – for example, to clean the atmosphere in the apartment during a move. And after a quarrel, when ‘Trouble’s brewing’, a fuming helps to dissolve the tensions. Dried mugwort leaves can also be smoked without coal. You simply crumple them together, light them and fan with a feather, so that the herb can burn away nicely.

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