Botanical Name: Artemisia vulgaris
Species: A. vulgaris
Synonyms: Felon Herb. St. John’s Plant. Cingulum Sancti Johannis. Absinthium spicatum. Artemisia affinis. Artemisia coarctata. Artemisia officinalis
Other Names: Felon herb, Chrysanthemum weed, Wild wormwood, Old Uncle Henry, Sailor’s tobacco, Naughty man, Old man or St. John’s plant
Habitat: Artemisia vulgaris is native to temperate Europe, Asia, northern Africa and Alaska and is naturalized in North America, where some consider it an invasive weed. It is a very common plant growing on nitrogenous soils, like weedy and uncultivated areas, such as waste places and roadsides.
Artemisia vulgaris is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing 1–2 m (rarely 2.5 m) tall, with a woody root. The leaves are 5–20 cm long, dark green, pinnate, with dense white tomentose hairs on the underside. The erect stem often has a red-purplish tinge. The rather small flowers (5 mm long) are radially symmetrical with many yellow or dark red petals. The narrow and numerous capitula (flower heads) spread out in racemose panicles. It flowers from July to September…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
A number of species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) feed on the leaves and flowers.
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position and a moist soil. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.2. Established plants are drought tolerant. Mugwort is an aggressive and invasive plant, it inhibits the growth of nearby plants by means of root secretions. The sub-species A. vulgaris parviflora. Maxim. is the form that is eaten in China. There are some named varieties. ‘White’ is a taller plant than the type species, growing to 1.5 metres. It has a strong, rather resinous or “floral” taste similar to chrysanthemum leaves and is used in soups or fried as a side dish. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Invasive, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, they can be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out in the spring. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about 10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring; Condiment.
Leaves – raw or cooked. Aromatic and somewhat bitter. Their addition to the diet aids the digestion and so they are often used in small quantities as a flavouring, especially with fatty foods. They are also used to give colour and flavour to glutinous-rice dumplings (Mochi). The young shoots are used in spring. In Japan the young leaves are used as a potherb. The dried leaves and flowering tops are steeped into tea. They have also been used as a flavouring in beer, though fell into virtual disuse once hops came into favour
Parts Used in Medicines: The leaves, collected in August and dried in the same manner as Wormwood, and the root, dug in autumn and dried. The roots are cleansed in cold water and then freed from rootlets. Drying may be done at first in the open air, spread thinly, as contact may turn the roots mouldy. Or they may be spread on clean floors, or on shelves, in a warm room for about ten days, and turned frequently. When somewhat shrunken, they must be finished more quickly by artificial heat in a drying room or shed, near a stove or gas fire, care being taken that the heated air can escape at the top of the room. Drying in an even temperature will probably take about a fortnight, or more. It is not complete until the roots are dry to the core and brittle, snapping when bent.
Mugwort root is generally about 8 inches long, woody, beset with numerous thin and tough rootlets, 2 to 4 inches long, and about 1/12 inch thick. It is light brown externally; internally whitish, with an angular wood and thick bark, showing five or six resin cells. The taste is sweetish and acrid.
Constituents: A volatile oil, an acrid resin and tannin.
It has stimulant and slightly tonic properties, and is of value as a nervine and emmenagogue, having also diuretic and diaphoretic action.
Its chief employment is as an emmenagogue, often in combination with Pennyroyal and Southernwood. It is also useful as a diaphoretic in the commencement of cold.
It is given in infusion, which should be prepared in a covered vessel, 1 OZ. of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water, and given in 1/2 teaspoonful doses, while warm. The infusion may be taken cold as a tonic, in similar doses, three times daily: it has a bitterish and aromatic taste.
As a nervine, Mugwort is valued in palsy, fits, epileptic and similar affections, being an old-fashioned popular remedy for epilepsy (especially in persons of a feeble constitution). Gerard says: ‘Mugwort cureth the shakings of the joynts inclining to the Palsie;’ and Parkinson considered it good against hysteria. A drachm of the powdered leaves, given four times a day, is stated by Withering to have cured a patient who had been affected with hysterical fits for many years, when all other remedies had failed.
The juice and an infusion of the herb were given for intermittent fevers and agues. The leaves used to be steeped in baths, to communicate an invigorating property to the water.
The classic herb for premenstrual symptoms, used in tea and the bath. Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for 20 minutes, take ? cup flour times a day. It makes a good foot bath for tired feet and legs. Cleansing to the liver, it promotes digestion. Mugwort is an emmenagogue, especially when combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root. It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria and is useful for fevers.
HOMEOPATHIC: Homeopaths use Artemisia vulgaris for petit mal epilepsy, somnambulism, profuse perspiration that smells like garlic and dizziness caused by colored lights. It is especially effective when given with wine.
Other Uses: Landscape Uses: Border. The fresh or the dried plant repels insects, it can be used as a spray but caution is advised since it can also inhibit plant growth. A weak tea made from the infused plant is a good all-purpose insecticide. An essential oil from the plant kills insect larvae. The down on the leaves makes a good tinder for starting fires.
Known Hazards: The plant might be poisonous in large doses. Skin contact can cause dermatitis in some people. Probably unsafe for pregnant women as it may stimulate the uterus to contract and induce abortion
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.