Artemisia argyi (or A. vulgaris)
The aromatic mugwort leaf is prescribed for a range of gynecological problems. In China, mugwort is harvested at the end of spring or in early summer, when the leaves are growing vigorously but flowers have not yet bloomed. Traditional Chinese medicine characterizes the herb as bitter, acrid and warm. The best leaves are grayish white in color, with a thick, hairy texture.
Mugwort leaves are available in bulk at Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores. The herb is also available in pills. The dried, aged, powdered herb can be rolled into a cigar-like cylinder, using tissue paper; one end is burned near the site of an injury to increase blood circulation and relieve pain. Acupuncturists sometimes use this technique instead of inserting needles.
Combinations: A mixture with gelatin is prescribed for vaginal bleeding and pain during pregnancy, or spotting between periods. For menstrual pain, mugwort combined with dried ginger. And a preparation of mugwort leaves and kochia fruit is applied to itching lesions on the skin. For information on dosages and other preparations, check with an herbal practitioner.