Carefully passed down in ancient treatises, the guidelines regarding the process of moxa production unveil an intriguing journey into the creation of this exceptional therapeutic substance. Let's delve into the intricacies of moxa manufacturing and the crucial distinctions between mature and immature forms of moxa. Discover how these aspects influence the therapeutic properties of moxa employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine moxibustion treatments.
Table of contents:
1) What is moxa made from?
2) The process of moxa production
3) What does it mean for moxa to be "mature" or „immature"?
4) What types of moxa will you find in TCMstore?
What is moxa made from?
It is well known that moxa products should be made from mugwort leaves that are stored for a long time. Ben Cao Gang Mu, or called Compendium of Materia Medica, which is the largest ancient Chinese work about medicinal materials, says, “Generally mugwort leaves should be stored for a long time before using them. They are made into thin and soft material, which is called mature moxa. If immature moxa is used for moxibustion, it harms muscle and meridians.”
The process of moxa production
Ben Cao Gang Mu records how to make moxa. The production of moxa should use only leaves from mugwort. The leaves are put into a stone mortar and then are crushed by a wooden pestle as a maturing process. After removing impurities through a sieve, the material with a lighter color in the sieve is put into the stone mortar and is hit again by the wooden pestle. The procedure is repeated until the material becomes soft and loose as silk floss. The fibrous material is called moxa floss, or simply called moxa.
Shen Jiu Jing Lun, a moxibustion book written in the 19th century, says, “Old moxa is preferred, because moxa is a material with the nature of pure Yang. New moxa has a violent nature. Moxibustion using it may hurt blood and meridians. It should be collected seasonally and air-dried. After dirt is removed, it is crushed into mature moxa. Three years later, moxa’s nature of dryness is relieved, and its nature becomes gentle. Then it can be used.”
What does it mean for moxa to be "mature" or "immature"?
Therefore, immature moxa may have two meanings. One meaning is moxa that is made from dried mugwort leaves picked in recent months, and the other meaning is dried mugwort leaves that are not crushed. Accordingly, mature moxa may mean moxa made from dried mugwort leaves that have been stored for a long time, or just mean moxa floss.
Mugwort leaves are stored for a long time before the production of moxa, or the leaves are made into moxa before long-time storage, that is the question. Ben Cao Gang Mu and Shen Jiu Jing Lun tell different methods. In reality, the producers of moxa always store dried mugwort leaves for a specific time and then make them into moxa floss, because the long-time storage of moxa floss is harder than that of mugwort leaves, and the long-time storage of moxa floss may make moxa lose more therapeutic effects than that of mugwort leaves.
What types of moxa will you find in TCMstore?
In our store, you'll encounter a variety of moxa options tailored to your preferences. We offer both original loose moxa and classic moxa products derived from it, such as moxa rolls, as well as shorter stick-on and mini moxa. Each type of moxa available in TCMstore comes with a detailed description that highlights the duration of storage the mugwort leaves underwent before processing. While the standard storage period for leaves before processing into moxa is one and a half years, we also provide matured moxa aged for three, five, eight, and even ten years.