Mugwort, or Artemisia, L. a genus of perennial plants, comprising 49 species, five of which are indigenous : among these;, the following are the principal.
2. The Ahsinthium, Mucwort, Common Wormwood, or Wormwood-Southern Wood, growing on road sides, rocky places, and on rubbish; it flowers in August.—This herb is extremely bitter ; and, if it be infused in wort, as a substitute for hops, it ren-ders the ale very pernicious to health, on account of its intoxi-ts.—On distilling the leaves and flowers, they yield a canconsiderable quantity of essential oil, which is used, both externally and internally, for destroying worms.-If the leaves be put into sour beer, they speedily correct its acidity ; and, being excellent antiseptics, they are often employed in fomentations, to resist putrefaction.—According to Withering, an infusion of these leaves is a good stomachic; and, with the addition of fixed alkaline salts, proves a powerful diuretic in some dropsical cases. Their ashes produce a purer alkali than most other vegetables. An infusion of the same herb, given to a suckling woman, renders her milk bitter; and, if the plant be eaten by sheep, it also imparts a bitterness to mutton-Although turkeys are fond of it (on the authority of Mr. Hol-lefear), yet it is not relished by horses and goats, while it is refused by cows and swine.-If the plant be macerated in boiling water, and repeatedly applied to a bruise, by way of cataplasm, it will not only speedily remove the pain, but also prevent the swelling and discoloration of the part.- In dyeing, a decoftion of the Common Wormwood produces, with the addition of alum, etc. various shades of yellow; and, if such liquor be applied to bedsteads, chests of drawers, and similar articles, it prevents the generation of vermin. - The smoke arising from the lighted bundles of this herb, expels bees from their hives, when honey is to be collected, without destroying these useful insects.
3. Thevulgaris,CommonMug-wort, or Southernwood, which grows on the borders of fields, ditch-banks, and on rubbish ; it also flowers in August.- This species, possessing a more agreeable flavour, is in some countries used as a culinary aromatic : a decoction of it, is often taken by country-people, for curing intermittent fevers.- The Chinese employ the fresh plant bruised, for healing wounds ; and, according to Dr. Home, a dram of the leaves, dried and pulverized, if taken four times a day, has effectually removed-hysteric fits, after aether and asa- foetida had failed of procuring re-lief. - Dr. Avderson remarks, that sheep are very fond of the Common Mugwort, devouring it with great avidity, especially the roots; though, according to LinnAEbus, these animals, as well as swine, totally refuse it; and horses, cows, and goats do not relish it.