Mugwort: The Korean Matcha - Health and Wellness Benefits, Uses, Recipes

Mugwort: The Korean Matcha - Health and Wellness Benefits, Uses, Recipes

Key Takeaways From The Article: 

  • What is mugwort and how it is rooted in Korean culture
  • The health benefits of Mugwort 
  • How to use Mugwort in recipes 

Mugwort is probably the most common herb in Korea and Koreans enjoy mugwort to make refreshing drinks, soups, rice cake and even desserts. What made Koreans fall in love with this grass-like herb? The history goes back to 5,000 years ago when a bear and a tiger were tested by Hwanung, the son of the “Lord of Heaven,” to eat mugwort and garlic for 100 days to become a human. Soon the tiger gave up but the bear was patient and turned into a beautiful woman that married the Lord of Heaven and gave birth to Dangun who founded the first Korean dynasty, Gojosun. What a long history of mugwort! Now let’s break down all the benefits of this little herb and learn how you can use it to treat multiple discomfort. 

What is Mugwort? 

There are more than 30 kinds of mugwort species in Korea that are naturally grown almost anywhere from mountains to hillside, and even along roadsides. Mugwort is actually a wild herb, so it doesn’t need much care for it to grow. Some can cause serious addiction, so be careful in choosing the right ones to put it in or on your body. Mugwort is one of “Korean Traditional Medicine” because it’s praised for its healing powers. 

Health Benefits

Mugwort consist of minerals, vitamins, calcium, zinc, and folic acid but has a significant amount of vitamin A(β-Carotene) which is known for preventing free radicals in the body as well as disabling toxins. It also has high amounts of cineole which creates that unique earthy and grassy aroma fragrance. 

1. Healthy Blood Circulation 

Mugwort is a warming herb that can help with having a healthier blood circulation. It purifies bad blood and replenishes blood, so it’s good for people with cold hands and feet as well as cold stomach feeling.

2. Menstrual-Friendly Herb 

Mugwort is mostly used to ease menstrual discomfort: aching cramps, sore backs and tight thighs. It promotes circulation in the lower abdomen, which can also help with irregular menstrual cycles. 

3. Detoxifying and Cleansing

Cineole helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and promotes detoxification, helping to suppress the occurrence of E. coli and Diphtheria.

4. Comfortable Stomach 

Beta-carotene and plant compounds help with digestion by promoting gastric juice and bile secretion. It also strengthens stomach walls to prevent heartburn and gastrointestinal diseases. 

5. Aromatherapy

Mugwort has a strong aroma fragrance and it’s used to wind down the body and mind for great relaxation. It’ll ease the nervous system for instant gratification. 

How To Use Mugwort For Medical Treatment 

1. Mugwort Bath Therapy

One of the easiest ways to enjoy mugwort is infusing it in hot water to take a relaxing bath. It’ll help with easing the muscle joints and circulation than regular hot baths. This wellness practice is especially beneficial for women because mugwort helps maintain the warmth around the body, which supports menstrual health. That’s why mugwort baths are the most common bathing features inside the women’s public bathhouse in Korea! It also helps improve dry skin symptoms in atopic dermatitis, so many Korean mothers will bathe their children in mugwort healing waters at home. 

If you are new to mugwort, try out our Female Wellness Mugwort Bath Soak to experience Korean Wellness at home! Grab out 1 soak and you may either brew it for 5 minutes or simply drop it right in the hot tub. Think of it as a giant tea bag. Squeeze the soak multiple times to release everything, and ideal if the water turns into a beautiful amber color. The mugwort fragrance will fill the bathroom to calm down your body, mind and soul. Feel the healing powers of this super herb! 

2. Mugwort Tea

Mugwort tea is great for detoxification and cleansing. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried mugwort in boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Pour in a cup and enjoy. Best when you drink mugwort tea after meal to help with digestion. It’ll also filter out waste and toxins from the blood for a cleaner system. 

3. Mugwort Yoni Steaming

Yoni steaming is a Korean ancient medical practice especially to target OB/GYN symptoms. Usually you will burn dried mugwort powder and place in underneath a yoni steaming seat so that the hot air can circulate around the yoni area. This will help with stimulating blood flow around the uterus and will cleanse toxins. It’s also widely used in postpartum care to heal the vulva and vagina.  

How To Use Mugwort For Recipes 

Mugwort has a distinctive flavor – very different to Matcha. It has a richer earthy flavor but not bitter like green tea leaves. There are so many ways to use mugwort as recipes, and here’s some of our RileyHouse team’s favorite!

1. Mugwort Latte 

You can literally find mugwort lattes everywhere in Korea and it’s even in the Starbucks menu! It’s really easy to create mugwort latte. All you have to do is mix 2-3 teaspoons of mugwort powder in water and add your favorite choice of milk and natural sweetener. Either enjoy it cold or warm! 

2. Mugwort Pancake

Add one tablespoon of mugwort powder to your pancake mix to boost the flavor. Best when enjoyed with honey or maple syrup. 

3. Mugwort Spread

Add 1000ml of milk and 500ml of fresh cream in a pan. Start heating up the pan in low heat and add 60gs of sugar and 3 tablespoons of mugwort powder. Keep the heat on for about 1 hour and stir the mixture several times. Be extra careful so that the mixture does not burn. Ideal if the mixture turns into a brownish color. Pour it into a glass container and let it cool. Store it in a refrigerator when it’s completely cool. 

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