Uses of mugwort?

Asked September 9, 2019, 8:15 AM EDT

My community garden in D. C. is overrun with mugwort. Other gardeners have mentioned seeing mugwort for sale in natural food stores and also seeing online that it has very healthy properties for medicinal uses. Can you tell me if the mugwort in the pictures here is a certain type of mugwort and whether or not this type can be useful? Is it edible? Thank you.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

Hi, from the photos, we believe this is common mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) which is often found in community gardens in the region. It is used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine and has medicinal qualities. We cannot recommend its use wither as an edible green or medicinal herb. We suggest that gardeners do some serious research before ingesting mugwort. Gardeners should not treat it as a leafy green to boil or sautee in large quantities and eat like spinach, rapini, or Swiss chard.

Our suggestion is to try to eradicate it entirely and not allow gardeners to plant it in the ground (perhaps only in containers raised off the ground). The plant spreads vegetatively by rhizomes. You can kill it by cutting it at ground level and then smothering with heavy duty weed fabric (don't cover the fabric with organic mulch), and quickly digging out any root pieces that re-grow once the wee barrier is removed.