Mugwort Leaves, Ai Ye, 艾叶, Artemisiae argyi

Disclaimer    For educational purposes only.  Do not use as medical advice

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Health Benefits
For: Nose bleeds • Uterine bleeding • Bloody mucous • Bloody urine • Bloody stool • Excessive menstrual bleeding • Bleeding gum
Attributes: Antifungal • Anti-tumor • Anti-inflammatory • Antibiotic • Antitussive • Antifungal • Antioxidative • Antimutagenic • Expectorant • Cholagogic • Hemostatic • Antiasthmatic
Products (online examples)

Dried Herb


Moxa Rolls

Dried Herb




Moxa Rolls

Research (sample)


Constituents:  Camphor • Artemisia alcohol • Alpha thujene • Cineole • TerpenoidsSesquiterpene • 2-hexenal • Tricyclene • Alpha pinene • Thujyl alcohol • Beta Pinene • Sabinene • Borneol • Isoborneol • Carvone • Eugenol • Bourbonene • Humulene • Copaene • Quercetin • Eupatilin • Matricarin • Lupenone • Fernenone • Matricarin

Photos (Click to enlarge)
Fun Facts
Other Names: Silvery wormwood • Chinese mugwort • Ai cao • Ai hao • Gaiyou • Mugwort
Plant Family: Asteraceae
Ai Ye is the herb popularly used in Moxibustion / Acupmoxa.  Bei Ai (Artemisia Vulgaris) is often a substitute.

Artemisia Capillaris (Yin Chen Hao)• 茵陈蒿 - Popularly used for jaundice.  Good for liver diseases and gastric ulcers.

Artemisiae Scopariae (Mian Yin Chen) • 绵茵陈 - the  Eurasian species similar to A. Capillaris.

Artemisia Annua (Qing Hao) • 青蒿 • Sagewort - Antimalarial.  On WHO's list of drugs against malaria.  It's the source of artemisinin, the active ingredient in antimalarial pharmaceutical drugs.

Artemisia Absinthium (Ai Hao)艾蒿- Digestive issues, liver disease, depression, worm infections, Crohn's disease, sexual stimulant, insecticide, hallucinogenic.  It is used to make the alcoholic beverage call Absinthe.  This beverage is banned in France, Switzerland and the United States. [ref], [ref2]

Artemisia Argyi (Ai Ye) • 艾叶 - Stops bleeding.  Nosebleed, excessive menstruation, bloody mucous, bloody vomit, bloody urine, bleeding gum.  Used in moxibustion sticks.  

Artemisia Vulgaris (Bei Ai) • 北艾- Insect repellent and intestinal worms.  Often used as a substitute for Artemisia Argyi (Ai Ye).

Artemisiae argyi is NOT in the USDA database. 

USA: Artemisiae argyi is not found in the wild.  Other species like Artemisia Annua, Artemisia Absinthium, and Artemisia Vulgaris are in the USDA database, but are very different varieties and should not be used as substitutes.  Some are poisonous.

USDA Zones:

World: China, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Russian Far East

Habitats: Dry mountain slopes, wasteland, roadsides, river banks, poor dry soil.

Properties, Actions, Indications, etc.              Category: Stop Bleeding 
English: Mugwort Leaves    Pinyin:  Ai Ye      Pharmaceutical: Folium Artemisiae Argyi  
Organs: Spleen • Liver • Kidney  Temperature: Warm  Taste: Bitter • Pungent  Toxicity:   
Patterns:  Cold deficiency • Cold dampness • Restless Fetus • Bleeding 
Actions:  Stop bleeding • Relieve pain • Dispel cold • Warm channels • Calm Fetus • Dissolve phlegm • Relieve asthma • Relieve cough • Relieve itching
Indications: Uterine bleeding • Excessive menstrual bleeding • Nosebleed • Cough • Cold deficiency • Cold dampness
Contraindications: Yin deficiency heat • Cold deficiency • Cold dampness • Blood heat
Typical Dosage: 3g to 9g          Guidelines
Parts Used: Leaves           Substitutes: Artemisia Vulgaris (Bei Ai)  
Other: Often eaten as food or food additive in Asian cuisine; Overdose (20g - 30g) may cause itchy throat, nausea, and vomiting, dizziness, and spasms.  
Combine With Purpose
E Jiao Extensive uterine bleeding, excessive menstrual bleeding or potential miscarriage[18],[21].
Gan Jiang Extensive uterine bleeding; menstrual pain [18],[21]
Bai Zhu + Cang Zhu + Dang Gui + Sha Ren Soggy, weak pulse.  Damp cold in lower burner. Clear, ordorless vaginal discharge. fatigue, loose stool [17]
Xiang Fu Abdominal discomfort from deficiency cold and stagnant qi [21]
Wu Zhu Yu + Xu Duan Womb deficiency cold[21]
Di Fu Zi + Bai Xian Pi Cold dampness skin lesions, hives, eczema [18],[21]
E Jiao + Bai Shao + Dang Gui + Shu Di Huang Excessive bleeding from cold deficiency [18]
E Jiao + Dan Gui + Bai shao + sheng Di Huang + Gan Cao + Chuan Xiong Deficiency cold uterine bleeding, and potential miscarriage [17],[18]
Sheng Di Huang + Ce Bai Ye + He Ye Nosebleed, bloody vomit, bloody mucus, red tongue, rapid pulse [17],[18],[21]
Xiang Fu  + Chuan Xiong + Dang Gui + Bai Shao + Wu Zhu Yu + Rou Gui + Huang Qi + Xu Duan Deficiency cold menstrual cramps [18]
Essential oil Cough, wheezing, respiratory discomfort [18]
Pao Jiang Middle burner damp cold blockage, diarrhea, abdominal pain [17]
Huang Qi + Dang Gui + Huang Jiu Lower burner deficiency cold, overactive fetus
Powder: Ku Fan + Ma You Ezema, hives, and itchy skin [17]
Vinegar External wash for abscess [17]
Formulas With Ai Ye
Bai Ye Tang • Jiao Ai Tang • Si Sheng Wan
Variations of Ai Ye

Sheng Ai Ye or Xian Ai Ye - raw leaves, unprocessed.

Ai Rong or Shu Ai - Dried leaves pounded into soft cotton.  Used to make moxa.

Gan Ai Ye - Dried leaves

Chen Ai Ye - Dried leaves that's been aged

Chao Ai Ye - dry fried with vinegar.  Makes herb hot and is good for pain in the liver, dysmenorrhea or infertility from womb cold

Ai Ye Tan or Ai Tan- Charred herb.  Used for excessive menstrual bleeding.

Be cautions with all medicine.
  • Artemisia is a common outdoor allergen throughout China.  Do not use if allergic to Artemisia pollen.
  • May lead to increased appetite
  • Essential oil may cause skin irritation
Potential Drug Interactions

Herbal medicine may interact negatively with pharma drugs and other herbs.  Examples below:


Pharma Drugs:


Information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.  While the original source often came from historical Chinese texts,  variations may result from the numerous English translations.   Always consult a doctor prior to using these drugs.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes. 

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