Japanese people love their tea, especially mugwort tea, due to its numerous health and calming benefits.
Traditional herbalists used mugwort to make a tea that treated various ailments for centuries.
Today, the practice is still part of Japan’s tea-drinking culture.
Read on to learn how to make mugwort tea at home, its uses, and its health benefits.
What Is Mugwort Tea?
Mugwort tea is an herbal brew made using dry mugwort plant leaves, which do not contain caffeine.
Artemisia Vulgaris, or Mugwort, is an herbal plant usually considered a weed as it grows invasively in most gardens.
As the most common species, it grows worldwide, including:
- North America
However, the native mugwort plant in Japan is Artemisia Princeps or Yomogi.
It forms part of the sunflower family and grows in most climates across Japan.
The leaves are harvested while still young to retain the most flavor and beneficial compounds for medicinal purposes.
What Does Mugwort Look Like?
Mugwort is a tough green plant that can withstand most climatic conditions.
The dark green leaves have serrated edges with a pale green to white color on the undersides.
Like popular herbs such as rosemary and sage, they are slightly fragrant and have reddish-yellow flowers.
Farmers harvest and dry the leaves to use as an herbal extract for medicinal purposes or to brew mugwort tea.
The drying process is slow and deliberate to retain as many beneficial properties as possible.
Mugwort is not sun dried as exposure to direct sunlight can lead to a decline in the color, nutritional content, and flavor.
Benefits Of Mugwort Tea
Some people may consider mugwort a fast-growing weed that quickly overtakes your garden.
However, this herb has numerous health benefits in Japan and other parts of the world.
It has been used for centuries as herbal medicine and, recently, as an alternative to modern medicine.
Mugwort is used in various forms. It can be processed into supplements, essential oils, powder, or natural dried leaves.
The raw dried leaves are what we use to make mugwort tea as it has the most nutrients.
In Addition – Mugwort contains compounds that act as antioxidants, antifungals, and antibacterial in the human body.
The health benefits of mugwort tea include the following.
Relieving anxiety and stress
Mugwort tea has calming effects, which reduce anxiety and stress by raising energy levels.
Additionally, if you suffer from headaches, it is said to cure them, promoting good sleeping habits and overall blood circulation in the body.
Promotes digestive health
Digestion problems such as gas, bloating, and frequent indigestion get better from taking mugwort tea.
As a result, stomach issues brought on by bacteria are dealt with as mugwort contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
The herb also increases appetite.
So take a cup or two of mugwort tea today to experience the health benefits if you are feeling bloated.
Women reproductive health
For years, mugwort has been given to women with irregular periods to help regularize them.
Mugwort positively affects women’s hormones as it creates a balance that brings on menstruation.
However, it can trigger uterine contractions and cause miscarriage or premature births; hence pregnant women should avoid mugwort tea.
How To Make Mugwort Tea
You can brew mugwort tea by boiling or steeping the leaves.
Alternatively, you can use mugwort tea bags, if available.
Boiling mugwort tea
- A cup of water
- 2-3 teaspoons of dry mugwort tea leaves
- Pour your water into a pan, add the mugwort leaves and bring it to a boil at medium heat.
- Let it simmer for at least 2 minutes on low heat, remove from the heat, and sieve into a cup.
- Stir in your sweetener of choice if you prefer, and enjoy.
Steeping mugwort tea
- A cup of boiling water
- 2-3 teaspoons of dry mugwort tea leaves or one mugwort tea bag
- Place the dry mugwort leaves or tea bag into a teapot, then pour the boiling water to brew it.
- Let the brew rest for about 3 to 5 minutes so the tea steeps.
- Once the color or taste is as desired, sieve the mixture and enjoy your mugwort tea.
Side Effects Of Drinking Mugwort Tea
People with flowering plant allergies may trigger reactions after taking mugwort tea.
An allergic reaction after consuming mugwort has several symptoms, such as:
- Skin rash
- Swelling of the face and lips
- Tingling in the mouth
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Stomach aches
Sometimes, consuming mugwort tea can also cause an adverse reaction that requires immediate medical assistance.
If you experience any allergic reaction after drinking mugwort tea, stop immediately and visit the nearest healthcare facility.
Severe symptoms include:
- Excessive skin dermatitis
- Coughing with difficult breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Painful swelling of the face, neck, or mouth
- Dizziness or fainting
Severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening if you fail to seek immediate medical care.
Pregnant or lactating women should also avoid mugwort as it triggers contractions and may bring on menstruation.
People Also Ask Questions About Mugwort Tea
Can I hallucinate from drinking mugwort tea?
No. Although mugwort tea in high quantities can affect your senses, it does not lead to hallucinations.
To hallucinate on mugwort tea, one must take an excessive amount, which is almost impossible.
Can you overdose on mugwort tea?
You cannot overdose on mugwort tea. However, taking mugwort tea in high doses or chronic use can be toxic in the long run.
Mugwort contains thujone, which causes stomach upset and vomiting, leading to renal issues. Additionally, skin allergies can develop a rash from exposure to mugwort.
Can you drink mugwort tea every day?
While it’s safe to take mugwort tea daily, for safe consumption and to prevent adverse effects from excess mugwort, consider taking a maximum of 4 cups daily.
There is no medically recommended dosage of daily mugwort tea intake but drinking it in moderation lowers its side effects.
Can I smoke mugwort?
Dry mugwort is sometimes inhaled or mixed with tobacco for smoking and ingestion.
Like smoking tobacco, mugwort can cause build-up in your lungs, which is harmful.
Take it in small quantities and consult a doctor if you experience any respiratory or adverse skin reactions.
Are there alternative ways to take mugwort besides tea?
Mugwort has various ingestion methods and uses besides brewing in tea.
For example, the Japanese use mugwort leaves to make a green sticky rice cake eaten in spring known as kusa mochi.
Also, sweet makers use mugwort leaves as a natural ingredient instead of green food coloring.
Besides Consumption – Mugwort is mixed with essential oils by the Japanese to create a soothing bath tea. Its aromatherapy ingredients and fresh smell calm the body and mind.
Lastly, the Chinese have used mugwort for thousands of years as alternative medicine. They burn the herb to nutrify the body and skin, adding warmth, moisture, and softness.
Traditional Chinese herbalists believe using mugwort can help pregnant women have a natural birth.
You can readily get mugwort tea online and at physical herbal stores anywhere in the world.
The Japanese love tea and consume plenty of it, so getting native Japanese mugwort, Yomogi is relatively easy in Japan.
As an all-day drink, you can add a sweetener to your mugwort tea if you like it sweet.
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