Mugwort or wormwood, An Ancient Medication
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In traditional Asian medicine, mugwort or wormwood is used in a process called moxibustion. Mugwort or wormwood leaves are formed into sticks or cones about the size and shape of a cigar, then burned on or over an acupuncture point.

Moxibustion has been practiced for more than 3,000 years in China. Advocates claim it can strengthen and warm a patient's blood and life energy, and treat inflammations and cancers.

Moxibustion is also used to treat menstrual cramping and to help a fetus in the breech position turn. According to a Chinese study, the practice does appear to increase fetal movements and help them turn to the normal head-down position. However, many of theses studies were poorly controlled, and more studies are needed to support these claims.

Mugwort is also used to stimulate women's menstrual cycles. It can bring on delayed menstruation, and was used in the past to induce abortions. Because of the potential risks, pregnant and breast-feeding women are advised to avoid the herb.

In European and American herbal practices, mugwort is used to treat stomach and intestinal problems such as colic, gas, and diarrhea. It's also used to ease headaches, nosebleeds, chills and fever, nerve problems, and insomnia. Users also claim it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. These claims remain unstudied, and this herb is not approved by the Germany’s Commission E agency.

Despite these claims, most research on mugwort has focused on its side effects rather than its medical promise, according to the American Cancer Society. Mugwort can cause allergic reactions leading to sneezing and sinus-related symptoms, and can also cause contact dermatitis, or rashes, in sensitive people.

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