When was the last time you tried a herb tea that’s not the usual chamomile or peppermint? Mugwort tea may sound novel, but it’s been around for ages and for good reason. Mugwort is a plant that has various uses. It is a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine and has been used in Europe since the Middle Ages.
In this post, we’ll guide you through how to make mugwort tea for yourself. We’ll cover what mugwort tea is, its benefits, and how to prepare and drink it. We’ll also give some precautions and safety considerations to keep in mind before consuming mugwort tea.
What is Mugwort Tea?
Mugwort tea is a herbal tea that comes from the mugwort plant known scientifically as Artemisia vulgaris. The plant is usually found in North America, Asia, and Northern Europe. Mugwort belongs to the same family as bitter wormwood which is used for making absinthe, a popular alcoholic drink.
Mugwort tea has a distinctive aroma and taste. The herbal infusion has a slightly bitter taste with a woody, slightly sweet aroma. It’s often compared with chamomile or green tea.
Benefits of Mugwort Tea
Mugwort has numerous health benefits, and tea is an excellent way to consume its nutrients. Some of the benefits associated with drinking mugwort tea include:
1. Reducing anxiety: Like many other herbal teas, mugwort tea is often consumed for its calming and relaxing effects.
2. Managing menstrual discomfort: Mugwort is known to soothe menstrual cramps, regulate menstrual flow, and reduce heavy bleeding.
3. Digestion and gut health: Mugwort tea is known for its digestive properties. The tea can help relieve symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
4. Promoting sleep: People often turn to mugwort tea as a natural sleep aid.
5. Antimicrobial properties: Mugwort tea has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that help fight infections.
6. Anxiety and stress: Mugwort tea contains antioxidants that can help reduce the effects of oxidative stress, which is often a causative factor in anxiety and stress.
Before preparing mugwort tea, you’ll need to harvest and dry the mugwort plant. You can buy it from a herbal store, but it’s always best to use freshly dried leaves. Here’s how to harvest and dry mugwort leaves:
1. Harvest the mugwort plant: You can harvest the plant from early summer to late fall. Look for young, tender leaves before flowering.
2. Cut the stem: Cut the stem around 2 inches below the leaves.
3. Dry the leaves: Tie the leaves in a bundle and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to keep them away from any direct sunlight or moisture.
4. Remove from the stem: Once the leaves are dry, remove them from the stem, and store them in an airtight container.
How to Brew Mugwort Tea
Once you have your dried leaves ready, it’s time to brew mugwort tea. Here’s a simple recipe to follow:
1. Boil water in a pot. Use 1 cup of water for every 1 teaspoon of dried mugwort leaves.
2. Add the leaves after the water has boiled. Turn off the heat and let the leaves steep for around 5 minutes.
3. Strain the tea using a sieve or a tea strainer.
4. Add sweeteners if desired. Add honey or sugar for a sweeter taste.
5. Serve hot.
Health and Safety Considerations
Mugwort tea is generally safe to consume. However, some people may be allergic to mugwort, so it’s best to be cautious when drinking it. Here are some safety precautions to consider before consuming mugwort tea:
Potential Side Effects
While drinking mugwort tea has numerous benefits, it is important to be aware of possible side effects. Here are some potential side effects:
1. Allergic reaction: People who are allergic to mugwort or other plants in the Artemisia family may display symptoms of an allergic reaction.
2. Drug interactions: People taking medications for diabetes, seizures, or blood thinners should avoid consuming mugwort tea as it may interact with these types of drugs.
3. Narcotic properties: Mugwort tea contains a chemical compound known as thujone, which can cause drowsiness, and nausea, and result in hallucinations in rare cases. It is important not to exceed the recommended dosage when consuming mugwort tea.
Precautions to Take Before Consuming Mugwort Tea
1. Consult with a healthcare provider. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming any new herbal tea.
2. Reinforcing allergies. Ensure you’re not allergic to mugwort by testing with small amounts and monitoring any reactions.
3. Dosage control. Mugwort tea should be consumed in moderation. Stick to the prescribed dose
4. Avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid drinking mugwort tea as it can lead to miscarriage or harm the baby.
Mugwort tea is a herbal tea that has a distinct taste and aroma. It’s a popular tea that has numerous health benefits when consumed appropriately. It is important to be cautious when consuming mugwort tea and to seek medical advice beforehand.
In conclusion, mugwort tea is an accessible and cost-effective way to enjoy the benefits of mugwort. Whether you’re looking to reduce anxiety, improve digestion, or promote general well-being, mugwort tea is an excellent option to try.