Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a versatile and valuable herb with a rich history of traditional use. This perennial plant, native to Europe and Asia, has found its way into gardens, kitchens, and medicine cabinets around the world. Its aromatic, silvery-green leaves and small, inconspicuous flowers make it an attractive addition to any herb garden.

Usually available: November to March
Life cycle: Herbaceous Perennial
Height: 50cm – 1.5m
Position: Sun / part shade
Soil preference: Well drained

Garden Use

In the garden, mugwort can be used as a companion plant to improve the health and growth of other plants. It is known to repel pests such as moths, beetles, and weevils, making it an excellent choice for natural pest control.

Mugwort also attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, promoting pollination in your garden.

Medicinal Use

Mugwort has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. It is known for its digestive properties, helping to relieve bloating, gas, and indigestion. Mugwort is also used to regulate menstrual cycles and ease menstrual cramps.

Some studies suggest that mugwort may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it useful for treating joint pain and headaches.

Culinary Use

In the kitchen, mugwort can be used as a culinary herb to add a unique, slightly bitter flavor to dishes. Its leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas, soups, stews, and meat dishes. In some Asian cuisines, mugwort is used to flavor rice cakes and dumplings.

Other Uses

Mugwort has been used in traditional practices for its supposed ability to enhance dreams and aid in lucid dreaming. It is also used in smudging ceremonies to cleanse and purify spaces. In some cultures, mugwort is used to make wreaths and garlands for festivals and celebrations.

In a survival situation, mugwort can be a valuable resource. Its medicinal properties can help alleviate digestive issues and pain, while its pest-repelling properties can help protect other plants in a survival garden.

Mugwort can also be used as a natural insect repellent by rubbing its leaves directly on the skin. Its ability to flavor food and make teas can provide variety and comfort in a survival scenario.

Growing Conditions in Australia

Mugwort is well-suited to growing in most parts of Australia. It prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate a range of soil types, from sandy to clay. Mugwort can grow in full sun to partial shade and is drought-tolerant once established. In Australia, it is best to plant mugwort in spring or autumn.

Interesting Facts and Gardening Tips

  • Mugwort can grow up to 1.5 meters tall and spread up to 1 meter wide.
  • The plant can be propagated by seed or division of mature plants in spring or autumn.
  • Mugwort can be invasive in some areas, so it is essential to keep it contained or plant it in a pot.
  • Complimentary plants for mugwort include rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Scientific Studies

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2010) found that mugwort extract exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in animal models, supporting its traditional use for treating pain and inflammation.


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