Mugwort Oil (Artemisia vulgaris)

Mugwort Oil
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Botanical name  Artemisia vulgaris

Family  Asteraceae

Source  Aerial parts

Origin  Morocco

Method of extraction steam distilled

Description / Color / Consistency A thin, pale to dark yellow liquid.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma This has a powerful, fresh-camphoraceous, somewhat green and bittersweet scent that offers a strong middle note.

Blends With Patchouli, Lavender, Rosemary, Pine, Clary Sage and Cedarwood

Product Abstract: Also known as White Wormwood, this aromatic perennial herb has red-purple stems and deeply cut, dark green leaves with white undersides. Panicles of tiny red-brown flowers appear in summer. It is a tall-growing plant, the stems, which are angular and often of a purplish hue, frequently rises to 3 feet or more in height.


The name "artemisia" ultimately derives from the Greek goddess Artemis (Roman Diana), the namesake of Greek Queens Artemisia I and II A more specific reference may be to Artemisia II of Caria a botanist and medical researcher who died in 350 BC.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

A few species are grown as ornamental plants the fine-textured ones used for clipped bordering. All grow best in free-draining sandy soil, unfertilized, and in full sun. Artemisia alba is known as Dusty Miller, but several other species bear that name, including Jacobaea maritima (syn. Senecio cineraria), Silene coronaria (syn. Lychnis coronaria), and Centaurea cineraria.

Mugwort Essential Oil is extracted by steam distillation of leaves, buds, and flowering tops of the Mugwort tree, which has the scientific name Artemisia Vulgaris. The various components of this essential oil obtained from the plant are alpha thujone, beta thujone, cineole, camphene, and camphone.

Common usage

  • Anti-epileptic and Anti-hysteric
  • Emmenagogue
  • Cordial
  • Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant
  • Uterine
  • Vermifuge
  • Cautions 
  • Vermifuge


This oil is toxic, irritant, neurotoxic, and abortifacient. That means, in common words, that it is poisonous, causes irritations, has toxic and narcotic effects on the brain and the nervous system and can cause abortions. It should never be used during pregnancy.

Key constituents

Chrysanthenyl acetate 31.7–32.8%

Germacrene D 12.1–15.9%

b-Caryophyllene 3.8–3.9%

Artemisia ketone 0–3.1%

b-Selinene 2.8–2.9%

1,8-Cineole 2.2–2.9%

b-Thujone 2.1–2.3%

a-Selinene 1.5–2.2%

Sabinene 1.8–1.9%

Santolina triene 0–1.9%

Terpinen-4-ol 1.7–1.8%

Borneol 1.6–1.7%

a-Caryophyllene 1.5–1.6%

Caryophyllene oxide 1.2–1.5%

p-Cymene 0.9–1.5%

b-Myrcene 1.2–1.3%

Phytol 0.9–1.2%

Spathulenol 1.2%

a-Copaene 1.0–1.1%

a-Thujone 0.2–0.3%

Safety summary
Hazards  Slight neurotoxicity.
Contraindications (all routes)  Pregnancy, breastfeeding.
Maximum adult daily oral dose  269 mg
Maximum dermal use level  9.6%

Our safety advice
Our oral and dermal restrictions are based on 2.6% total thujone content with thujone limits of 0.1 mg/kg and 0.25%.

Adverse skin reactions  No information found.

Neurotoxicity  There is a risk of convulsions with moderately high doses of thujone. The thujone NOAEL for convulsions  was reported to be 10 mg/kg in male rats and 5 mg/kg in females.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  No information was found for the essential oil or its two major constituents. Both a- and b-thujone are moderately toxic, with reported oral LD50 values ranging from 190–500 mg/kg for different species.

Antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity  Essential oil of Artemisia vulgaris var. indica strongly scavenged DPPH radicals.

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  Artemisia vulgaris var. indica oil was antimutagenic in an assay with S. typhimurium TA98.

We could not establish for certain whether the chrysanthenyl acetate-rich essential oil sold as deriving from Artemisia
vulgaris might actually be the chrysanthenyl acetate chemotype of Artemisia herba-alba. Artemisia vulgaris is sometimes erroneously given as the source of white wormwood oil.

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