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Estafiate (Mugwort relative) tastes sweet and strange. Anyone else with experience? — The Grow Network Community
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Estafiate (Mugwort relative) tastes sweet and strange. Anyone else with experience?

SiaSia Posts: 2 ✭✭✭
edited February 13 in Home Medicine 101

Hey Grow Networkers,

I have an Estafiate plant, Artemisia ludoviciana. Everything I know about it is that it is supposed to taste very bitter, with some aromatic overtones. Mine has those flavors, but underneath a very forward sweet flavor and an odd flavor profile that a friend of mine described as "pool chemicals." She was not out of the ballpark on that one and ever since she said so, I have been wary of the plant. I have had this plant in a few different location and I have had it at this house for about 2 years. Last year, I took it out of its pot and planted it in the ground in the "flower bed" next to my house. The roots were completely colonized by ants. I am unsure if the roots are still colonized by ants, but seeing as how ants generally live, I am pretty sure that they can survive burial. I have not seen any aphids on the plant.

I have tasted Mugwort, but otherwise, I do not have any other Estafiate plants to compare it to. I am sure of my identification. Does anyone have experience in this realm? Is my plant contaminated with something? Would a plant that "eats" a lot of dead ants have a sweet "pool chemical" taste? The taste seems to either be diminishing now or it is coming and going. I don't know if that is seasonal or if the ant bodies are finally being cycled through, or if the ants have nothing to do with it. I have never tested the soil at my house and I live in an urban area. In fact, my street is an industrial area, but the sweet taste predates me moving to this house. I am not sure about the "pool chemicals" taste because I did not notice that as much until my friend mentioned it.

For now, I am holding off on ingesting it altogether, but that's a shame because the mugworts really are quite nice and special medicines.

Thank you so much for your help


  • toreytorey Posts: 1,595 admin

    @Sia Despite reports on the internet of uses for digestive issues, rheumatism, fevers, etc., I would be very cautious using it internally. A. ludoviciana has properties more closely related to wormwood than mugwort. It is strongly anti-fungal. Not for use during pregnancy or for children. May be toxic to the liver. There may be an adverse reaction if combined with anti-seizure medications. Because it is a member of the Asteraceae family, some people may have a ragweed type allergic reaction. It can cause contact dermatitis in some people. I would leave the medicinal uses of this plant to experienced herbalists or Indigenous elders. I am an experienced herbalist and I have other medicines that are much preferable to White Sage. However, it would make a great foot soak for athlete's foot or toe nail fungus. I tincture our local Northern Wormwood, A. campestris, for treating both those conditions.

  • SiaSia Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    @torey Thank you for your advice and concern. It is always good to have more heads together on an issue and you are correct that Estafiate has some wormwood like qualities, including camphor content. Luckily, the manner in which I was using Estafiate is not a problem.

    I am seeking answers specifically about the very sweet taste of my patch of Estafiate. My Rosemary is planted in the same spot, so multiple plants could be affected if there is contamination. Any ideas?

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