Allergy Facts, Symptoms, and Treatment

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is commonly known by several names, including wild wormwood, felon herb, and common wormwood.1,2 Endemic in Australia and the Northern Hemisphere, mugwort is widespread in Europe and throughout northern Asia.1,3 Growing up to approximately 122 centimeters (4 feet) in height, the herbaceous perennial has long been used as an herbal medicine in Europe and Asia.1 Mugwort produces large amounts of wind-borne pollen, which is severely allergenic.4 During the mugwort pollen seasons of late summer and fall, mugwort pollen is one of the main causes of allergic reactions in Europe, where it affects roughly 10 to 15 percent of patients suffering from pollinosis.4,5

Where is mugwort found?

Endemic in Australia and the Northern Hemisphere, mugwort is widespread in Europe and throughout northern Asia.1,3 It also has been naturalized throughout southern Canada and various parts of the United States.1

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Are there other allergens I could be sensitized to?*

Many patients with mugwort allergy can experience symptoms when exposed to other allergens such as tree, weed, or grass pollens, making it difficult to determine which pollen is causing the symptoms, especially when pollen seasons are overlapping. This is called cross-reactivity and occurs when your body's immune system identifies the proteins, or components, in different substances as being structurally similar or biologically related, thus triggering a response.7 Other respiratory allergens that may cause reactions associated with mugwort are certain grasses, trees, and weeds (e.g., birch, alder, juniper, ragweed, olive, goosefoot, etc).

If you experience an itchy mouth or throat after eating fresh fruit or raw vegetables, you may suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), sometimes called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS). This condition is caused by your immune system's reaction to similar proteins, or components, found in different allergens. It is quite common, with up to 25 percent of children with allergic rhinitis (i.e., hay fever) also suffering from OAS.8 Common plant foods involved in OAS for mugwort include melon, watermelon, citrus, banana, pineapple, persimmon, zucchini, tomato, hazelnut, peanut, apple, peach, cherry, and many more.7

Knowing the proteins, or components, within each allergen that are triggering your symptoms can help guide your management plan. With that in mind, and based on your symptom history, your healthcare provider may suggest something called a specific IgE component test, which can help reveal other pollens and foods you may react to. Results from this test can also help your healthcare provider decide if allergen immunotherapy may reduce your symptoms.7

Already have your specific IgE component test results?

Your component test results will include the name of the components (a series of letters and numbers). Your healthcare provider will likely review the results with you, but here you'll find an at-a-glance breakdown you can use as a reference. Simply match the component names to the list below to see what they mean in terms of symptom management.7

nArt v 1

  • Indicates that symptoms may be caused by pollen from mugwort, ragweed, sunflower, or feverfew pollen.7
  • Mugwort pollen immunotherapy may be considered.7

nArt v 3

  • Indicates that symptoms may be caused by mugwort.7
  • May be associated with PFAS symptoms after ingestion of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Investigation of food allergy may be considered.7

rPhl p 7

  • Indicates symptoms may be caused by grass or by other pollen, e.g., from trees and weeds. Further examination may be considered to confirm all allergy triggers.7
  • May be associated with more severe symptoms and higher prevalence of asthma than other grass pollen allergies.7

rPhl p 12

  • Indicates that symptoms may be caused by grass or by other pollen, e.g., from trees and weeds.7
  • May be associated with PFAS after ingestion of fruit and vegetables such as melon, tomato, apple, and celery. Further examination may be considered.7


  • Positive specific IgE for mugwort in combination with MUXF3 CCD (Cross-Reactive Carbohydrate Determinant) being the only positive component test indicates that the cause of symptoms may be something other than mugwort pollen.7

Test results should be interpreted by your healthcare provider in the context of your clinical history. Final diagnosis and decision on further management is made by your healthcare provider.

*These products may not be approved for clinical use in your country. Please work with your healthcare provider to understand availability.

How do I manage my allergy?

The management of allergic rhinitis includes avoidance of relevant allergens, symptomatic treatment, and allergen immunotherapy.8-10

  • Check local pollen counts daily and limit time outside when pollen counts are high. Rain helps clear pollen from the air, so the best time to go outside is after a good rain.
  • Delegate outdoor chores whenever possible and wear a pollen mask if you must do outside tasks. 
  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning instead.
  • Wash bedding at least once a week in hot, soapy water.
  • Wash your clothes after outdoor activities and dry all clothes in a dryer as opposed to line drying outdoors.
  • Bathe and wash your hair every day before bedtime to keep pollen out of your bed.
  • Wipe off any pets to remove pollen before letting them into your home.
  • Ensure everyone removes their shoes before entering your home.
  • Use certified asthma and allergy air filters.
  • Pharmacological treatment, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, and saline douches.
  • Allergen immunotherapy as directed by your healthcare provider.

Looking for more allergy info and management tips?

Visit the Living with Allergies section

Common Symptoms

Mugwort allergy symptoms can be similar to many other pollen allergies and may include:6,8

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy throat and eyes
  • Wheezing

If you're sensitized to mugwort and have asthma, the weed pollen may trigger or worsen asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.6,8

How do I know if I'm allergic?*

Together with your symptom history, skin-prick testing or specific IgE blood testing can help determine if you are sensitized to a particular allergen. If you are diagnosed with an allergy, your healthcare provider will work with you to create a management plan.

*These products may not be approved for clinical use in your country. Please work with your healthcare provider to understand availability.

Pollen Season

During its pollen season of summer and fall, mugwort produces large amounts of wind-borne pollen.4

  1. Missouri Botanical Garden [Internet]. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden; 2020. Available from:
  2. [Internet]. Plymouth Meeting, PA: IMS Health Inc.; 2020. Available from:
  3. Pablos I, Wildner S, Asam C, Wallner M, Gadermaier G. Pollen Allergens for Molecular Diagnosis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2016 Apr;16(4):31. doi: 10.1007/s11882-016-0603-z. PMID: 27002515; PMCID: PMC4803804. Available from:
  4. [Internet]. Plymouth Meeting, PA: IQVIA Inc.; 2020. Available from:
  5. Wopfner N, Gadermaier G, Egger M, Asero R, Ebner C, Jahn-Schmid B, Ferreira F. The spectrum of allergens in ragweed and mugwort pollen. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2005 Dec;138(4):337-46. doi: 10.1159/000089188. Epub 2005 Oct 24. PMID: 16254437. Available from:
  6. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology [Internet]. Arlington Heights, IL: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; 2014 [2018 Apr 23]. Available from:
  7. EAACI, et al. Molecular allergology user's guide. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2016 May;27 Suppl 23:1-250. doi: 10.1111/pai.12563. PMID: 27288833. Available from:
  8. Roberts, G., Xatzipsalti, M., Borrego, L., Custovic, A., Halken, S., Hellings, P., Papadopoulos, N., Rotiroti, G., Scadding, G., Timmermans, F., Valovirta, E. Paediatric rhinitis: Position paper of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Allergy. 2013 Sep;68(9):1102-16.
  9. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America [Internet]. Arlington, VA: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; 2019 Apr 9. Available from:
  10. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Rochester, MN: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2020 Apr 16. Available from: