Ai Ye – Mugwort leaf – Artemisia argyi or A. vulgaris or A. lavandulaefolia

Nature: bitter, acrid, warm

Enters: Liver, Spleen, Kidney

Actions: Stops bleeding; warms the channels; disperses cold, relieves pain; warms the womb; pacifies the fetus

• Yang deficiency cold: bleeding, including prolonged menstrual bleeding, uterine bleeding.
• Cold and Yang deficiency of the liver and kidneys: cold and pain in the abdomen, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, leukorrhea, restlessness of the fetus, threatened miscarriage, vaginal bleeding.
• Cold in the womb: infertility.
• Compared to Rou gui: both can alleviate abdominal pain due to cold. Ai ye is most effective when the pain is due to damp-cold. Rou gui is most appropriate for abdominal pain due to cold from deficiency where the extremities are cold, as in Yang deficiency or Yin and Yang deficiency. Also, while Ai ye calms a fetus, Rou gui will stimulate it.
• The fresh, crushed herb can be applied to warts. When used several times a day in one study of 12 patients, warts fell off within 3-10 days.
• Antibiotic (in vitro) against such pathogens as staphylococcus, streptococcus, shigella, and salmonella.
• Malaria: large doses given for two days to malaria patients two hours before onset of symptoms showed control of symptoms in 89% of cases, plus negative blood examinations for the parasite in over half of those cases.
• In its raw form, the herb is relatively neutral and may be used for bleeding due to heat patterns (e.g. heat in the blood) when combined appropriately.
• Char the herb to enhance both its warming and hemostatic properties.
Michael & Leslie Tierra: Ashes from moxibustion are even more effective than the unburnt herb to stop bleeding. They can be effectively applied to the feet for non-healing sores from diabetes.
Kenner & Requena: Emmenagogue, slight tonic, stimulates secretion of pituitary gonadotropins (FSH and LH).
• Wood yin, earth yin, metal yin.
• Wood: stimulates bile secretion, increases appetite, facilitates digestion, abortifacient (not without danger)
• Hypotension, syncope, epilepsy, hypo-estrogenic amenorrhea, functional uterine bleeding, menstrual cramps, neurological and psychiatric syndromes which originate with the liver, dyspepsia.

• Earth: antimicrobial, estrogenic and luteotropic.
• Insufficient menses, amenorrhea, insufficiency of corpus luteum due to anemia.
• In Russia, the herb has been used as sedative for convulsions, epilepsy, neurasthenia, dysmenorrhea, labor pain.
• In Japan, the herb is used in mochi for stamina and by new mothers to stop postpartum blood loss, to treat anemia, and to stimulate lactation.
• Amenorrhea from general causes, especially for women with a wood deficiency or metal deficiency constitution.
• Long reputation as a spring tonic.
Yoga of Herbs (Frawley & Lad): Nagadamani: lowers Vata & Kapha; raises Pitta (in excess)
• Bitter, pungent/heating/pungent.
• Emmenagogue, antispasmodic, hemostatic, diaphoretic, anthelmintic, antiseptic.
• Good for Sama Vata conditions (arthritis, nervous conditions with obstructed Vata).
• Strengthens the fetus; opens and purifies the channels (circulatory and nervous), relieves pain; warms the lower abdomen, fortifies the uterus.
• Good for menstrual cramps, headache.
Potter’s Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations: Emmenagogue, diaphoretic, choleretic, anthelmintic, diuretic, stomachic, orexigenic.
• Amenorrhea, anorexia, dyspepsia.
• Threadworm, roundworm.
Matt Wood: Good for perimenopausal women.
Hong-Yen Hsu (Oriental Materia Medica): Antifungal.
Culpeper: Mugwort is an herb of the planet Venus. “Its tops, leaves, and flowers are full or virtue; they are aromatic, and most safe and excellent in female disorders. For this purpose the flowers and buds should be put into a teapot and boiling water poured over them, and when just cool, be drunk with a little sugar and milk; this may be repeated twice a day, of oftener, as occasions require. It is boiled among other herbs for drawing down the courses, by sitting over it, and for hastening the delivery, and helps to expel the afterbirth, and is good for the obstructions and inflammations of the mother. It breaks the stone and provokes water. The juice made up with myrrh, and put under as a pessary, works the same effects, and so does the root. Made up with hog’s-grease into an ointment, it takes away wens, hard knots and kernels that grow about the neck, more effectually if some daisies be put with it. the herb itself being fresh, or the juice, is a special remedy upon the over-much taking of opium. The drams of the powder of the dried leaves taken in wine, is a speedy and certain help for the sciatica. A decoction made with camomile and agrimony, and the place bathed therewith while it is warm, takes away the pains of the sinews, and the cramp. The moxa, so famous in eastern countries for curing the gout by burning the part affected, is the down which grows upon the under side of this herb.”
PJE: As this plant is so frequently used as a charm, and is held in a measure of superstitious veneration by the people, it is a little difficult to determine just where its remedial use in native therapeutics begins. At the time of the Dragon Festival (fifth day of the fifth moon) the artemisia is hung up to ward off noxious influences. This is done either together with a Taoist charm, in which case it is called Ai Fu, and is hung at the head of the principal room of the house, or together with the Shi Chang Pu at the door; the leaves of the latter being formed in the shape of a sword (called Pu Chien) and placed over the door, while a stalk of the artemisia is hung on each door post. That this was efficacious in at least one instance is attested by the fact that the famous rebel, Huan Chao, gave orders to his soldiers to spare any family that had artemisia hung up at the door. The moxa is employed by buddhist priests in initiating neophytes; three rows of three, four, or five scars each being burned on the crown of the head with this substance. Many also use the moxa on a 3 day-old, burning one or more scars on the face; this being supposed to insure the child’s living through infancy. The places for burning are yintang, St-1, St-2, or St-3, and GV-26. Place artemisia in the shoes to gain strength during long walks or runs. For this purpose, pick it before sunrise saying …Tollam te artemesia, ne lassus sim in via.
A pillow stuffed with mugwort will produce prophetic dreams. When carrying mugwort, you cannot be harmed by poison, wild beasts, or sunstroke. In a building, mugwort prevents elves and ‘evil thynges’ from entering. Bunches of mugwort are used in Japan by the ainus (who are they?) to exorcise spirits of disease who are thought to hate the odor. Mugwort is carried to increase lust and fertility, to prevent backache, and to cure disease and madness.
Dr. Peter Eschwey: With regard to our tendency to forget about the waking world when we’re dreaming and to forget about the dreaming world when awake, mugwort provides the bridge of memory between the two worlds.
Peter Holmes: Asian mugwort (Artemisia argyi) is not the same botanical species as the Western mugwort, which is Artemisia vulgaris. The latter was once confused with the former. Moreover, the two herbs cannot be substituted across the board. With its astringent, decongestant, and relaxant actions, Asian mugwort leaf is used primarily to stop uterine bleeding, relieve pain, disinfect and relieve cold and Qi constraint conditions of the uterus. Western mugwort herb, conversely, mainly stimulates the uterus and generally disinfects. Like most remedies in this subsection, Asian mugwort leaf can be seen to activate the Dai and Yang Wei extra meridians in its blood decongestant, astringent and hemostatic action on the pelvic/uterine area. This herb, moreover has the distinction of entering the Ren channel. This is suggested by its historical use for dysmenorrhea, irregular cycles and infertility, as well as in its use for asthmatic and eczematous conditions. Two strongly anticomplimentary polysaccharides have been recently found in Asian mugwort leaf, providing theoretical support for its immune stimulating and interferon producing activities. The use of this remedy for a range of type I or immediate allergic conditions is today well documented.
Karen Vaughan, 2-24-01: Mugwort, harvested in late October after flowering rather than in Summer as in TCM, is traditionally used for dream pillows in Western herbalism. It is smoked as a euphoriant (for which lesser quality with high stem content is best and the effect is stronger with repeated use). A teaspoon or two is eaten to induce sleep.

Dose: 3-9g

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