Asian American Herbalism and Tea Asian American Herbalism and Tea

What is Moxa?

What is Moxa?

Moxibustion therapy is the use of moxa herbs to warm acupuncture points and meridians for therapeutic benefit.

Moxa is made from the leaves of the mugwort plant (Artemisia argue) and is processed into various forms. It provides a deep penetrating heat that is healing and comforting. Its use predates written history and is thought to have paved the way for mapping out the acupuncture channels that we use today.

How to Use Moxa: Light one end of the moxa stick with a lighter or hold over a candle. When lit, there will be an orange ember at the tip and a pleasant radiating warmth. Hold the lit end of the stick over the area to be treated, taking care that there is never any direct contact with the skin. 

The moxa stick is moved slowly over the area being treated and the area will begin to feel pleasantly warm. Ash that forms on the end of the stick is brushed or tapped off on the edge of the jar, so that the moxa remains hot and the ash does not fall off and burn the skin. Re-light if there is no longer any heat coming off off the moxa stick. Never touch the lighted end of a moxa stick even if it no longer appears to be glowing.

When finished, place the moxa stick in a glass jar with dry rice or sand, with the lit end pointing down. When the lid is screwed on firmly the moxa stick is deprived of oxygen and cannot burn. The moxa stick can then be re-lit and used for repeated treatments.

Common areas treated: low back and hips, lower abdomen, inner ankles and calves, soles of the feet.

Learn more about Moxibustion at our Stoking Winter’s Heat workshop this Saturday with Dennis Von Elgg @the_redwood_needle. ⠀ ⠀ Still a few seats available on our website. 

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