Mugwort Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine

Common Name: Mugwortsmokeless moxa with essential oils

Botanical Name: Artemisia argyi, A. vulgaris

Pin Yin Name: Ài yé

Main Acupressure Channels Activated by Mugwort Essential Oil:

Earth Element (Spleen, Stomach), Wood Element (Liver, Gallbladder), Water Element (Kidney, Urinary Bladder)

Learn How to Use Self-Acupressure Linked Here!

herb leaves

Benefits of Mugwort Essential Oils in Chinese Medicine

Mugwort is often used in Moxabustion with acupuncture treatments; it is burned on needles, near the skin, or in special containers. The problem is that most medical offices do not have sufficient ventilation for moxibustion to be performed. Additionally, it is dangerous for laypeople to apply moxibustion as there is a risk of skin burns. Therefor, topical essential oils are used as a “smokeless” moxa treatment.

Mugwort essential oil is diaphoretic and helps to resolve Wind-Cold external pathogens with aches and pains. Mugwort is specific for delivering penetrating heat to the acupressure channels and it is combined with other essential oils that are Warming in nature to dispel Cold from the acupressure meridians. Our Moxa Acupressure Stick can also be applied to specific acupressure points to warm the related Energetic Organ Systems. Examples include:

Mugwort is highly prized for women’s health disorders including profuse menstrual bleeding, menopausal symptoms, and Cold in the uterus causing infertility. It balances hormones, tonifies the uterus, and normalizes menstruation. Natural healthcare practitioners also use it to expel afterbirth with placental retention.

Properties: Warm, pungent, bitter, drying

Nature: Harmonizing, integrating, penetrating, aware, meditative, opening, receptive, protective, intuitive, connected, spiritual

herb leaves

Diseases, Emotional Imbalances, and Pain Syndromes Treated with Mugwort Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each energetic organ system is assigned to one of the Five Elements. Each element has both physical and emotional symptoms that would indicate imbalances in one or more of the related organ systems. Learn more about the Five Elements here!

Water Element

Energetic Organ Systems: Kidney, Urinary Bladder

  • Kidney Yang Deficiency
  • Pain from Coldness of the Urinary Bladder Channel
  • Pain upon urination due to Urinary Bladder Cold invasion

Wood Element

Energetic Organ Systems: Liver, Gallbladder

  • Pain along the Liver or Gallbladder Channels due to Cold
  • Dispels Liver congestion w/o Liver Heat indications

Fire Element

Energetic Organ Systems: Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, San Jiao

  • None

Earth Element

Energetic Organ Systems: Spleen, Stomach

  • Abdominal pain that improves with application of warmth
  • Pain along the Spleen or Stomach channel due to Invasion of Cold

Metal Element

Energetic Organ Systems: Lung, Large Intestine

  • Cough with copious white or clear phlegm

herb leaves
Plant description: Invasive perennial easily cultivated by seed that prefers full sun and good drainage.
Part used: Flowering tops and leaves

Note: Middle to base

Safety and Contraindications

  • Considered safe used topically at recommended dilutions. Neurotoxin, liver toxin with overdose due to high concentrations. Take break from application each 1 months for 2 weeks (One month on-two weeks off).
  • Avoid use with extreme Yin Deficiency and signs of Empty-Heat
  • Dilute to 4% so not to irritate the skin
  • Recommendations for topical use only
  • Pregnant or nursing women and children-infants should only use essential oils under the guidance of their local practitioner. This essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy.

herb leaves



Soon L, Ng PQ, Chellian J, Madheswaran T, Panneerselvam J, Gupta G, Nammi S, Hansbro NG, Hsu A, Dureja H, Mehta M, Satija S, Hansbro PM, Dua K, Collet T, Chellappan DK. Therapeutic potential of Artemisia vulgaris: An insight into underlying immunological mechanisms. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2019;38(3):205-216. doi: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.2019029397. PMID: 31679308.

Ekiert H, Pajor J, Klin P, Rzepiela A, Ślesak H, Szopa A. 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. PMID: 32992959; PMCID: PMC7583039.

Nano M.G., Bicchini C., Frattini C., Gallino M. On the composition of some oils from Artemisia vulgarisPlante Med. 1976;30:209–215. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1097719.

Xu W, Chen Z, Yan Y. The effect on pain response of heat or moxa oil treatment at ChangQiang point. Acupuncture Research1988;14(3):p. 190. 

Wang L-L. Characteristic of moxibustion and its warming-dredging effect. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion2011;31(10):865–868. 

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.