Mugwort

MugwortMugwort is a hardy perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia but now is also present as a weed in North America (especially the eastern United States). It can grow up to 6ft high, is reddish-brown in color, and prefers full or partial sun in moist to dry soils. Mugwort can be found growing wild along streams, on rocky soil, and in rough terrain. Mugwort is part of the Asteraceae family that also includes: daisies, sunflowers, dandelions, and ragweed.

Mugwort has been used for decades by various cultures for medicinal purposes such as treating:

  • Vomiting
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • Warts
  • Pinworms
  • Breech pregnancy
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Malaria
  • Cancer

Currently, there is little to no scientific evidence that mugwort is effective in treating any medical conditions.

When is mugwort pollen season?

Mugwort pollen is released in the late summer or early fall in North America and year-round in some locations in Europe. Mugwort flowers, also known as flowerheads, are located at the tips of their stem turning from whitish-green buds to yellow or purple-green flowers when bloomed. Once the flowerheads blossom the mugwort pollen is carried by the wind to fertilize its female flowers for reproduction.  Unfortunately, the wind also blows mugwort pollen into your home, on your clothes, and into the air where it will enter your nose, throat, and lungs. For this reason, many people experience allergies to mugwort pollen.

What kind of allergy symptoms does mugwort pollen cause?

Mugwort pollen is a very allergenic weed pollen and common cause of hay fever. In allergic people it can also lead to oral allergy syndrome.

Which foods have cross-reactions with mugwort pollen?

Cross-reactions between mugwort pollen and foods can occur due to something known as oral allergy syndrome. With oral allergy syndrome you may experience an itchy mouth after eating raw fruits, vegetables, or nuts. (For more information on oral allergy syndrome click here).  If you have a mugwort pollen allergy you may experience cross-reactions with one or more of these foods:  aniseed, bell pepper, black pepper, broccoli, cabbage, caraway, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chamomile, coriander, fennel, garlic, mustard, onion, and parsley. (To see a detailed oral allergy syndrome food list please click here).

Though oral allergy syndrome tends to be a reaction limited to the mouth, some people with mugwort pollen allergies can have severe allergic reactions to celery and mustard.

Still have questions about mugwort pollen?

For more information regarding the diagnosis of mugwort pollen allergies related to oral allergy syndrome please click here.

For more information regarding the treatment of mugwort pollen allergies related to oral allergy syndrome please click here.

For more information regarding mugwort pollen allergies related to hay fever please click here.

 

References

Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition. Click here to read the full disclaimer.
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