Significance of Artemisia Vulgaris L. (Common Mugwort) in the History of Medicine and Its Possible Contemporary Applications Substantiated by Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies

Molecules. 2020 Sep 25;25(19):4415. doi: 10.3390/molecules25194415.


Artemisia vulgaris L. (common mugwort) is a species with great importance in the history of medicine and was called the "mother of herbs" in the Middle Ages. It is a common herbaceous plant that exhibits high morphological and phytochemical variability depending on the location where it occurs. This species is well known almost all over the world. Its herb-Artemisiae vulgaris herba-is used as a raw material due to the presence of essential oil, flavonoids, and sesquiterpenoids lactones and their associated biological activities. The European Pharmacopoeia has listed this species as a potential homeopathic raw material. Moreover, this species has been used in traditional Chinese, Hindu, and European medicine to regulate the functioning of the gastrointestinal system and treat various gynecological diseases. The general aim of this review was to analyze the progress of phytochemical and pharmacological as well as professional scientific studies focusing on A. vulgaris. Thus far, numerous authors have confirmed the beneficial properties of A. vulgaris herb extracts, including their antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antispasmolytic, antinociceptive, estrogenic, cytotoxic, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. In addition, several works have reviewed the use of this species in the production of cosmetics and its role as a valuable spice in the food industry. Furthermore, biotechnological micropropagation of A. vulgaris has been analyzed.

Keywords: biological activity; chemical composition; medical history; safety of use; traditional medicine.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artemisia / chemistry*
  • History of Medicine
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts* / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts* / therapeutic use


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts