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Making Moxa from California Mugwort
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California Mugwort from a Chinese Materia Medica Lens

          Although not in any Chinese materia medica, California mugwort is easily translated into the language of traditional Chinese medicine, due to both the herb's long and recorded history of use in Western herbalism, and the instructor's extensive use of it in the TCM clinic.

BOTANICAL NAME:  Artemisia douglasiana (Artemisia vulgaris var. californica, Artemisia heterophylla)

COMMON NAME:  California mugwort

FAMILY:  Sunflower (asteraceae)

PHARMACEUTICAL NAME: Herba Artemisiae Douglasianae

PLANT CHARACTERISTICS:  Plant:  Bitter, pungent, aromatic, cool.  Essential Oil: Green-blue color, middle note, green, slightly sweet, pungent, bitter taste, smoky, cool. Hydrosol: Same as the oil except very sweet, floral, and less bitter.

CHANNEL TROPISM: Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Bladder, Spleen, Kidney and Uterus.

PHARMACALOGICAL ACTIONS: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, emmenagogue, analgesic, sedative, antioxidant, cytoprotective, antiulcerogenic, spasmolytic, anthelmintic and antimicrobial.

ACTIONS & INDICATIONS (for internal use of Artemisia douglasiana):

1.  Cools the Stomach:  For digestive dysfunction with stomach pain, gastro-esophageal reflux and inflammation of the mucus membranes of the digestive tract (e.g. gastric, duodenal ulcer, heartburn, colic and acid reflux).

2.  Clears Heat and Drains Damp:  For Damp-Heat in the Intestines with diarrhea, tenesmus, dysentery and colitis.

3.  Clears Heat in the Lower Jiao and Activates Qi:  For chronic bladder infection (in paraplegic youth) from Stagnation causing Heat.

4. Activates Qi and Relieves Pain:  Topical as a poultice or moxa for body aches and pains (e.g. rheumatism, arthritis and soreness).

5.  Regulates the Menses:  For dsymenorrhea (menstrual cramps), amenorrhea and excessive menses.

6.  Kills Parasites:  For pinworms.

7.  Clears Fire Toxin:  Topical for poison oak rash (can be used internally when fire toxins have entered the blood).

DOSAGE:  3-9 grams

CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: Contraindicated for internal use during pregnancy. Internal use is cautioned and should be prescribed and supervised by a trained herbalist. Artemisia ssp contain a ketone, thujone, which is neurotoxic at high doses.  Extremely long term use at the full dose of 9 grams could cause toxicity because of the gradual build up of thujone.

 

 


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California Mugwort:  An Herbalist's Perspective

Clinical Notes

          The moxa made from the woolly fiber from the underside of the leaf has proved an excellent remedy for stomachache and pain when burned above certain acupuncture points.

          The crushed leaf makes a soothing stuffing for pillows that can be used to induce lucid dreams, for comfort when ill, or to allay fear when entering the spirit world.  The flower essence of California mugwort is used to integrate the psychic and dream experiences with daily life allowing a “multidimensional consciousness” to develop (Kaminski and Katz 344).  The essential oil is also excellent as an aid to meditation, a “helper” aroma during acupuncture/healing treatments, and balancing of women’s hormonal problems such as premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.  Internal use of the hydrosol or extract has effectively treated stomach disorders (especially GERD), acidic stomach, ulcers, systemic poison oak rash and insomnia.  California mugwort hydrosol, essential oil and tea is used for balancing the hormonal system during and after childbirth, after the cessation of birth control pills, trauma, or/and menopause.

 

 


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Ethnobotany

          California mugwort has a rich medicinal and a fascinating magical history that is worth sharing.  It was used by the Chumash Native Americans, the native to the Central Coast, to induce vivid dreaming and worn in talismans around the neck to protect the wearer from ghosts, reveries about the dead, or harmful thoughts.  They treated wounds, skin cancer and rheumatism by burning direct moxa cones made of California Mugwort leaf (which they called ‘apin) similarly to Chinese moxibustion.  The Chumash made moxa from California mugwort leaves by crushing the leaves between the palms of their hands until all the green leafy matter fell off the woolly fibers.  They then twisted the fibers tightly into a cone using the fingers of one hand against the palm of the other and sometimes using chewed tobacco spittle as glue. Cones were placed over areas of pain, lighted simultaneously and allowed to burn producing an aromatic smoke until the skin was cauterized.  Alternatively, a stone pipe full of burning mugwort wool held over the diseased area by a “sucking doctor” made a small blister.   Often elderly Chumash had dime sized shiny scars on the legs and other areas of the body (Timbrook 38).  Chumash Maria Solares said, “It kills your infirmity, your ache (Timbrook 38).” The Chumash treated pasmo, an illness caused by rapid chilling after being overheated, by lying on a thick mattress of mugwort leaves laid over a bed of coals. 

          Other Native Americans, like the Pomo, used a decoction or infusion of leaves for stomachache, diarrhea and tenesmus. For rheumatism, damp mugwort leaves were bound in large bundles to the painful areas and subjected to heat for several hours (Chesnut 393).  A poultice of warmed leaves was used on a baby's severed umbilical cord. A decoction or infusion of leaves was used for washing itching sores and taken to stop excessive menstruation or to ease menstrual cramps (Goodrich 119). 

          The Tolowa and Yurok Native Americans children took an infusion of fresh leaves for pinworms (Baker 18).

          A very common use of mugwort by Native Americans was as a poultice for aches and pains, arthritis and rheumatism. The fresh leaves were also steamed and used as a liniment for fractures (Baker 18).

          The Karok Native Americans also used Mugwort poultices for rheumatism and arthritis (Baker 18).

          The Washo Native Americans used a decoction of leaves as a wash for headaches and liniment for rheumatism (Train 39).

          Yuki Native Americans drank a decoction of leaves for internal pains and dysentery, used a poultice of pounded leaves for rheumatism, arthritic or back pains, and applied a leaf infusion or poultice to cuts, bruises and sores.  They even gave an infusion of the plant to injured animals (Curtin 45). 

          Costanoans used Mugwort leaf as a compress for rheumatis, pain, wounds and earache (Bocek 25).  They also drank a mugwort decoction for asthma and urinary problems (Bocek 25).

          Miwoks took a decoction of the leaves for rheumatism, placed leaves in their nostrils for headaches and when crying (the pungent odor cleared the head), rubbed leaves on the body to keep ghosts away and wore leaves on a necklace to prevent dreaming of the dead (Barrett 167). 

          Paiute Native Americans used a poultice of crushed, green mugwort leaves as a compress for headaches and inhaled smoke for grippe (Train 39).  They put branches over a bed of ashes and slept on it for colds and fevers (Fowler 125).

          Kawaiisu Native Americans used an infusion of plant when the menstrual flow had stopped and as a hair wash to prevent the hair from falling out (Zigmond 12).  

          Other Native Americans used a leaf decoction for nervous or spasmodic affections, stomachache, headache, poison oak rash, wounds, rheumatism, gout, after childbirth to promote blood circulation and for female complaints (Heizer and Elsasser 227).

 

 


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Moxa - The Essentials

“The present generation should hold in awe acupuncture and treatment with moxa, which cure the diseases of the body.” - Huang Ti Nei Ching, Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

          Moxibustion is defined as the application of heat, in this case burning mugwort wool, on or over an acupuncture point or an affected area to warm and move qi and blood and to affect yin and yang. Moxibustion is known as ai jung chiu in Chinese and mokusa in Japanese (Veith 72).  According to A New Edition of Materia Medica, "The moxa leaf is bitter and acrid, producing warmth when used in a small amount and great heat when used in a large amount. It is of pure yang nature having the ability to restore the primary yang from collapse. It can open the twelve regular meridians, traveling through the three yin meridians to regulate qi and blood, expel cold and dampness, warm the uterus, stop bleeding, warm the spleen and stomach to remove stagnation, regulate menstruation and ease the fetus . . . when burned, it penetrates all the meridians, eliminating hundreds of diseases." 

          California Mugwort leaf can burn slowly and produce mild heat which can penetrate deeply into the muscles.  Some of the mugwort volatile oils (the oils that are present in the essential oil) in the smoke affect the body by entering it either through the skin and/or through breathing the fumes. According to Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, “The acrid odor of the leaf can travel through the meridians, regulate qi and blood, and expel cold from the meridians . . .”  Some practitioners believe the smokeless moxa sticks, intended to eliminate smoke, might actually remove part of the therapeutic action which involves getting moxa ingredients internally through smoke (i.e. volatile or essential oils). The Chinese technique of applying moxibustion for an extended period of time (up to 30 minutes for a treatment session), assures that the patient inhales a substantial amount of the vapors and smoke.  However, it is important to remove these oils by baking the wool in the sun until they have all evaporated if wool is used for direct moxibustion.  Otherwise the wool burns too hot and fast and causes the patient pain. Direct moxa wool should burn slowly and less fiercely, as seen in the photo.

 

 


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Moxa - The Essentials Continued

          California Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana) moxa is less warming than Chinese Mugwort (Artemisia argyi or vulgaris) moxa but similarly circulates Qi and Blood in cases of stagnation.  The following is a refresher on the actions and indications of Chinese moxa, with commentary on how California moxa can be substituted when appropriate.

CHINESE MUGWORT MOXA ACTIONS AND INDICATIONS:
1.  Activates Qi, Induces the Smooth Flow of Blood, and Alleviates Pain: For chronic or acute body aches and pains and injury. Moxibustion can induce the Qi to flow upward of downward. If excess above moxa on K1 will lead the qi downward in cases of liver yang rising (Cheng 340).

          California moxa action's are similar to Chinese moxa as far as activating qi, inducing the smooth flow of blood, and alleviating pain.  It is a terrific substitute for Chinese moxa for such indications.

2.  Warms the Meridians, Expels Cold, and Transforms Damp:  The Miraculous Pivot states, “If stagnation of blood in the vessels cannot be treated by warming up with moxibustion, it cannot be treated by acupuncture.” It also states, “Depressed symptoms should be treated by moxibustion alone, because depression is due to blood stagnation caused by cold, which should be dispersed by moxibustion.” In other words, cold obstructs and slows the Qi. The heat produced by the moxa moves and quickens Qi and Blood.

          California moxa is less warming than Chinese moxa, but it still transforms damp.  However, in cases of true and intractable cold, Chinese moxa is a better choice.

3.  Strengthens the Yang from Collapse: Miraculous Pivot it says, “Deficiency of both yin and yang should be treated by moxibustion.” When yang disorder caused by yin excess leads to cold and a fatal pulse moxibustion should be applied (Cheng 340).

          Because Chinese moxa is more warming, it is a better choice for yang collapse.  However, to treat deficiency of both yin and yang, California mugwort moxa is a better choice because it is more neutral.  Furthermore, geographical location and and constitutional body-type should be considered.  There is less need for a hot-type moxa in the warmer coastal and inland climates of California and the Southwest.  Even for cold conditions, the intensity needed to warm in Southern California is different than what would be needed to warm a patient in the dead of winter in upstate New York.  In addition, patients in the United States tend to exhibit a more overt yin deficiency, and the warming produced by Chinese moxa may create too much heat.

4.  To prevent diseases and keep healthy: According to Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, “If one wants to be healthy, you should often have moxibustion over the point zusanli (ST-36).” Notes on Bian Que’s Moxibustion states, “When a healthy man often has moxibustion to the points Guangyuan (Ren 4), Qihai (Ren 6), Mingmen (GV 4), and Zhongwan (Ren 12), he would live a very long life, at least one hundred years' life (Cheng 341).”
Moxa also is regulates the Chong and Ren and repositions the fetus.

          Diane Ackerman says in A Natural History of the Senses, “There is a furnace in our cells, and when we breathe we pass the world through our bodies, brew it lightly, and turn it loose again, gently altered for knowing us.”  We breathe air that the plants create for us and likewise plants breathe air from our bodies knowing us more intimately than any lab test or medicinal diagnostic technique, thereby being able to create the perfect medicine for us. It follows that local plants that breathe our air would be most suited for our maladies, and the best suited to remain healthy.

CAUTIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS: Contraindicated for high fever, Wind-Heat or Yin deficiency, scarring moxibustion on the face or head or near large blood vessels and the abdominal or lumbosacral regions of pregnant women (Cheng, 346).

          California mugwort moxa is also contraindicated in high fever and Wind-Heat.  However, California mugwort moxa is not contraindicated for Yin Deficiency, due to its more neutral temperature.

 

 


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The Range of Moxa

           The highest quality moxa comes from Japan or Korea and is called Moxa Gold.  This means the ratio of whole leaves before grinding to the finished product of woolly fiber after grinding is 30g to 1g.  Aging the wool in the sun for 3 years will turn the wool from a very light green to a golden or a brown and imparts more yang energy to the moxa. High quality moxa wool is made of pure mugwort plant fiber and is devoid of any green leaf matter and twigs.  This is so that when using moxa wool for direct moxa it will easily hold together in small rice sized cones and burn less hot so as to avoid harming the skin.  Lower quality moxa that has plant matter and thus volatile (essential) oils in it can be used for indirect moxa but makes quite a bit more smoke and burns very hot, like in the photo above. The essential oils in mugwort are so therapeutic in nature that some believe this “lower quality” moxa is very useful even though some caution against using it because of the smoke inhalation.  Moxa should be stored in an airtight dry container and it should be completely dry before use.

 

 


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Plant Identification

          California Mugwort is difficult to miss. It is common and found in sunny or shady roadsides, fields, and mainly creeks. Its range is California to Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Baja California.  It is a branching perennial growing up to 7 feet tall in rare cases but 3 feet on average.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Plant Identification Continued

          The 2 to 6 inch leaves are alternate, lance-shaped or oval.  The leaf margins (edges) are either entire (smooth) or have 3 to 5 shallow and irregular lobes (points) near the tip of the leaf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Plant Identification Continued

          It is dark greenish grey on the top side of the leaf and silver white hairy or woolly on the bottom side of the leaf.

Not sure if you have correctly identified Artemisia douglasiana?  Take a photo and email it to me and I'll be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Plant Identification Continued

          The flowers are disk florets arranged in dense leafy spikes. The bracts are silver and woolly.  They bloom from July to November and begin as many tiny silvery bobbing heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Plant Identification Continued

The flowers open into tiny delicate greenish yellow flowers.

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Wildcrafting and Harvesting

          The general rule of thumb in sustainable wildcrafting is if a plant is rare in an area do not pick it!  Even if the plant is prolific elsewhere, if it is a small population in any one given area do not disturb it. If there are less than 10 plants visible in the area also do not harvest! Another general rule is to harvest less than 10% of the plants in any area especially if gathering roots.  However, with mugwort more can safely be harvested if the plant is cut at least a foot above ground. It will sprout several stems and keep growing and flowering even more abundantly after being pruned.  Often if it is government land a permit must be required to harvest.  It is illegal to harvest in National Parks.  Always use good judgment and gather with integrity while honoring nature’s gifts.

          Once harvested, dry the stems and leaves by laying them on a screen or hanging in a bundle or a paper bag in a warm place. They may also be dried in a food dehydrator. In China, the traditional method of harvesting mugwort for moxa was on the 5th day of the 5th month in the Spring because yang is increasing and near its peak during this time of year, and then dried in the sun for 3 years to absorb the yang energy of the sun.  Also this is when the leaves may be the thickest with the most wool.  It was considered too late to harvest mugwort for moxa once the plant had flowered or gone to seed.

 

 

 


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Moxa Wool Production  

          Once the California mugwort leaves are completely dry you can make moxa. There are two ways to make moxa, the first being labor intensive and the second fairly easy.

          The first is to use a mortar and pestle to grind the leaves, making sure all stems are removed.  Occasionally use a sieve to sift out the green powder, which is the leaf matter that contains volatile oils.  You will be left with the white fluffy moxa wool (also known as moxa floss).

          The photo shows the mugwort leaf ready to be hand-ground in a mortar, the green leaf powder that was sifted out of the moxa, and moxa wool.

 

 


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Moxa Wool Production Continued

          Alternatively, you can use an herb grinder (or coffee grinder) instead of a mortar and pestle to grind the leaves, occasionally sifting the contents through a sieve to remove the green powder, until you have only a whitish or very light green wool.  It is the fluffy wool that you are trying to make devoid of all green plant matter powder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Making Moxa Cones and Sticks

Moxa Cones

          Roll and shape a pinch of moxa between the fingers and thumbs into a cone the size dependent upon the type of moxibustion. For direct moxa the cone should be the size of a grain of rice or wheat.  For indirect moxa the cone can range from the size of a half a “date stone” to “the size of the upper part of the thumb” (Cheng 341).

Moxa Sticks

          Roll moxa into a paper of some sort, historically mulberry bark, 20 cm long and 1.5 cm diameter (Cheng 341).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Direct Moxibustion

          Non-scarring

          A thin layer of ointment is applied to the acupuncture point on the skin.  Next, a rice-sized cone is placed on the point and ignited with an incense stick.  When the moxa cone has burned one half to two thirds or the patient starts feeling discomfort the cone is removed and replaced with a new cone that is then lit. This method is useful for chronic cold conditions including respiratory and digestive disorders (Cheng 342).

          Scarring

          The above non-scarring procedure is used however the cones burn without being removed until they have completely burned. Five to ten cones are used.  There will be a blister or burn locally that may not show up until later.  It is important to create this blister in order to achieve the therapeutic effect, however, since the blister may not occur until later, even the next day, the cones do not have to produce a blister immediately.  This method is used for cases of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma (Cheng 342).

          The use of scarring moxa is not normally used in the Western clinic, for obvious litigious reasons.  By providing this information, the instructor does not condone the use of scarring moxa.

 

 


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Indirect Moxibustion

          For indirect moxibustion a medium is placed between the burning moxa cone and the skin. Which medium used is determined by the indications, the most common being ginger (with numerous holes punched in it), garlic, Fu Zi (aconite), or salt on the skin.  For ginger, garlic or Fu Zi, the approximate width should be less than 1/4 inch or 0.5 cm.
        Moxa burned on ginger is used for SP/ST deficiency to treat diarrhea, abdominal pain, joint pain and Yang deficiency (see photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Indirect Moxa Continued

          Moxa burned on garlic is used for skin problems such as scrofula, early stage skin sores such as boils, insect bites and for tuberculosis.

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Indirect Moxa Continued

          Salt is used to restore Yang Collapse indicated by hernia, abdominal pain, pain around the umbilicus, vomiting and diarrhea, dysentery, and for excessive sweat, cold limbs and a minute pulse.  Salt is placed in umbilicus to the level of the skin (see photo).

          Moxa placed on Fu zi is used to warm the Yang, expel Cold and persistent Yin-Cold treating impotence and premature ejaculation.

          Alternatively, salt moxibustion and ginger moxibustion may be combined by placing salt on Ren 8 followed by a slice of ginger and then a cone.  This treatment is especially useful for acute abdominal pain or indigestion and Yang collapse with diarrhea and prolapse.

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Stick & Needle Moxibustion

Moxa Stick Moxibustion

          For moxa stick moxibustion, warm or “sparrow peck” the point until the area is red. Moxa sticks may also be moved back and forth or in circular motion depending on how the practitioner wants to move the Qi.  The practitioner should place a finger on either side of the area being warmed in order to feel if the area is getting too hot to avoid burning the skin.  Each area or point should be warmed using a moxa stick for 5 to 20 minutes.

Needle Moxibustion

          This technique adheres a cone to the end of an acupuncture needle after insertion and the arrival of qi until there is a mild heat sensation (Cheng 344).  Artemisia douglasiana moxa may be rolled into cones and placed on needles with tinfoil placed underneath the burning moxa to protect the skin.  The cones are allowed to burn completely and a hemostat or other clamping device is used to remove the used cone, followed by placing a new cone on the needle.  The handle of another needle can be used to make a hole in the bottom of the moxa cone taking care not to push all the way through the cone but only 2/3 of the way. Appropriate points for needle moxibustion include ST 36, REN 12, Ren 4, Ren 6, Du 4.  This method treats painful, cold, numb joints and paralysis.

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Using California Mugwort as an Essential Oil  

          The essential oil can be used neat (direct application without dilution) on the skin.  Place a small drop on the arm first to test for allergy.  If there is a reaction of burning, redness, or rash add 15 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of vegetable oil (such as apricot kernel, grape seed, jojoba, or hazelnut oil) and retest with the diluted essential oil.  If there is another allergic reaction discontinue topical use.

          Inhalation: Diffuse essential oil through an atomizer into the patient’s room continuously for acid reflux, heartburn, stomach ulcer, insomnia, menstrual disorder, parasites, headache and fever.

          Topical: For stomach disorders add 1 drop of essential oil or hydrosol to the following acupuncture points- Ren 12, ST 25 and ST 36.  Alternatively add 15 drops of essential oil to 2 Tbsp of talcum powder or vegetable oil and rub on the abdomen in clockwise direction (or use Japanese abdominal massage techniques).   For insomnia apply mugwort essential oil to H 7 and Anmian, and Du 26. For fever and headache apply oil or hydrosol to LI 4, Du 14 and GB 20.  For a high fever add the essential oil to warm water and sponge the patient to bring the fever down. Soreness, swellings, itching, or menstrual cramps: Add 5 drops of essential oil or 1 oz of hydrosol to bathwater or a poultice and soak for 15 minutes.  Spray the hydrosol on areas of pain or stagnation.  Apply essential oil to poison oak rash directly.

          The essential oil yield is about .6-.8% of dry aerial plant material (Kuhajek et al. 1771).  Below are some known or researched constituents of the major components of Mugwort's essential oil:

Camphor (29%):  an analgesic, antiseptic, antidiarrheic, antidysenteric, antineuralgic, antipruritic and antiacne, antifibrosistic, antispasmodic, CNS stimulant, cancer preventative, carminative, decongestant, expectorant, nematicide, vibriocide, verrucolytic, rubefacient.

Artemisia ketone (26%)

Artemisia alcohol (13%)

Alpha-thujone (10%):  antibacterial, emmenagogue, abortificant.

1,8-cineole (8%):  a terpenoid oxide also called eucalyptol (anti-inflammatory, antinoceptive, analgesic, inhibits leukemia cell growth (Santos et al. 240), and expectorant).

Hexanal (5%):  antibacterial, antiseptic, antisalmonella.

Dehydroleucodine (active constituent):  DhL is a sequiterpene lactone (antioxidant, antiulcer, cytoprotective) that prevents the formation of gastric lesions through glycoprotein synthesis (glycoprotein (5%) and water (95%) make up the gastric mucus or “gel layer” that protects the gastric mucosa or “stomach lining” from lesions or ulcers) thus preventing the occurrence of gastric and duodenal ulcers or aiding in healing of ulcers once they have occurred (Guardia et al. 507). DhL isolated from Artemisia douglasiana shows a pharmacological cytoprotective effect, decreased diarrhea and colon weight, and significantly prevents the formation of gastric and duodenal lesions and colitis (Wendel 339).

Vulgarone B- antifungal (Kuhajek et al. 1771).

Verbenone- (Kuhajek et al. 1771.):  coleopterifuge.

Azulene:  a sequiterpene with 15 carbon atoms (antiallergic, antihistaminic, antibacterial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiulcer, hepatoregenerative. This oil is the ingredient that imparts the green quality to the essential oil (See Figure 15).

Chamazulene:  an important sequiterpene (antiphlogistic, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antiseptic, vulnerary).

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Using California Mugwort as a Hydrosol

          Many of the actions for the essential oil and hydrosol will be similar to the medicinal properties of the whole plant. The essential oil is usually stronger in action than the herb because it is concentrated. However, it doesn’t necessarily perform the same actions in the body because it is missing various plant components. Some of these other plant components can be found in the hydrosol, which is a condensate water solution co-produced during steam distillation containing micro droplets of essential oil and hydrophilic plant components. Concerning hydrosols Suzanne Catty says, “Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. Here we have the water-soluble components, the essential-oil molecules, the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected. It’s all there in a matrix of water that is so much more than water, one of the most recognized holographic substances in healing (11)”. Hydrosol is the author's preferred form of internal delivery of Artemisia douglasiana because it is the most similar to the whole plant, very safe to ingest, and patient compliance is high due to the ease of taking it.  There will be some differences between the whole plant and its distilled essential oil and hydrosol that can only be discerned at this time through clinical use. The information presented will most likely change and be added to in the future as this newborn modality grows and emerges into the world of TCM.

          Internal: For stomach and intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, peptic ulcer, bladder infection, poison oak rash, fever, menstrual disorders, and parasites drink 2 tablespoons of hydrosol in a liter of water throughout the day.

          Topical: For stomach disorders add 1 drop of essential oil or hydrosol to the following acupuncture points Ren 12, ST 25 and ST 36.

          For fever and headache apply oil or hydrosol to LI 4, Du 14 and GB 20.

          Soreness, swellings, itching, or menstrual cramps: Add 5 drops of essential oil or 1 oz of hydrosol to bathwater and soak for 15 minutes.  Spray the hydrosol on areas of pain or stagnation.

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Conclusion

         This course has given you the tools to confidently identify, wildcraft, harvest, and produce your very own moxa.  Making moxa by using local plants is both cost-efficient, fulfilling, and effective.  Happy moxa making!

          For a detailed list of moxa point protocols, please see Appendix 1 (click the next page).

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Appendix 1:  Moxa Treatment Protocols

          Moxibustion is first is applied to the Yang portions of the body (back, head) with a lower dose of cones and the Yin aspects of the body (abdominal area, four extremities) with a higher dose of moxa cones second (Cheng 345). Dosage is usually 3, 5, or 7 moxa cones or 15 minutes of stick moxibustion (Cheng 346). For proper dosage odd numbers of cones such as 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 are chosen.

          For chronic digestive disorders, burn 3 to 9 cones on needles or ginger at Ren 12, Ren 6,  and ST 36.

         For acute pain from injury, perform needle moxibustion at local area. Also for pain relief Artemisia douglasiana moxa can be placed in a moxa burner and rubbed over the affected sinew channels or used as a compress by wrapping a large amount (a handful) in cloth and placing a hydrocollator or moist hot towel over the affected area.

          For dysmenorhea from excess cold use needle or ginger moxibustion on Ren 3, B 32, SP 10, LI4, SP8, and LV 3. For dysmenorhea from deficiency use moxa on Ren 4, B 20, B 23, ST 36, and SP6.

The following moxa protocols are listed in Deadman's A Manual of Acupuncture:
1.  For toothache, moxa LI 3 for upper jaw or LI 10 for lower jaw (Deadman et al. 102).
2.  For foot ache, moxa LI 3 for upper jaw or LI 10 for lower jaw (Deadman et al. 102).
3.  For amenorrhea, irregular menstruation, uterine masses, infertility, genital pain and retraction, impotence, seminal emission, leukorrhea, and nocturnal urination moxa ST 29 to warm deficiency and scatter excess cold (Deadman et al. 102).
4.  For staying healthy and preventing illness, moxa ST 36 (Deadman, et al. 160).
5.  For chronic hemorrage causing uterine bleeding, blood in the urine or stools moxa SP 1.  In this case the patient should be instructed on self use and should apply moxa daily (Deadman, et al. 182).
6.  For hemiplegia and loss of speech, 50 cones at SI 16 (Deadman, et al. 245).
7.  For wind-Cold and frequent colds use moxa on BL 12 (Deadman, et al. 266).
8.  For chronic lung deficiency, asthma, and cough that is worse in winter intense moxibustion is performed in the summertime on BL 13 (Deadman, et al. 268).
9.  For disorders of the blood moxa BL 17 (Deadman, et al. 274).
10.  For difficult urination or defecation, moxa all eight Liao For difficult urination or defecation (Deadman, et al. 294).
11.  For hundred syndromes of deficiency-taxation moxa BL 43, Huanmen, BL 17 and BL 19 (Deadman, et al. 304).
12.  To hasten delivery, moxa BL 67 and ST 36 (Deadman, et al. 326).
13.  To reposition the fetus Moxa BL 67.  Stick moxibustion should be performed for 15 to 20 minutes, or by using 5 to 10 cones twice a day on the 34th week (Deadman, et al. 326).
14.  For infertility moxa LV 11 for infertility (Deadman, et al. 487).
15.  For the elderly, for a long live, moxa Ren 4 (Deadman, et al. 502).
16.  To rescue Yang in collapse with a slow minute pulse, moxa Ren 6 (Ren 6 activates and moves the pre-heaven Qi whereas ST 36 tonifies post-heaven Qi) (Deadman, et al. 505).
17.  In cases of Yang collapse indicated by windstroke, shock, and also diarrhea, breast fed infants with diarrhea, and prolapse moxa Ren 8 (Deadman, et al. 508).
18.  For edema in abdominal area due to Spleen or Kidney deficiency, moxa Ren 9 (Deadman, et al. 508).
19. For nosebleed, moxa Ren 14 and 15 (Deadman, et al. 547).
20.  For prolapse of rectum, vagina, and uterus moxa Du 20 (Deadman, et al. 553).
21.  For scrofula, moxa Zhoujian (elbow tip) on the opposite of the affected side (Deadman, et al. 581).


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