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Manufacturing of Moxa

We have been manufacturing moxa in a traditional way based on the special method which is passed down for generations.

Picking Mugwort

The raw material for moxa, mugwort leaves are picked from May to August. After removing stems and roots, only leaves are dried by exposing to the sun for a while. In late August, these dried leaves are gathered from farmers, stored until the start of the manufacturing.
Drying by the Heat

The manufacturing of moxa starts in the beginning of December, which is the beginning of winter and dry season in Japan. Even after sun drying, leaves still need further drying process by heating in the drying room. Heat the drying room up at first, then leaves only the quantity needed are put into the heated drying room, dried up for hours.

Grinding with the Stone Mills

These dried leaves are roughly ground with the first stone mill before they get wet. Then leaves are ground further with other stone mills in order to make them up to the certain fineness of the fiber or the texture of the moxa depending on required quality.

Sifting

Ground leaves still have impurities such as stems and mesophyll. Thus only hairs of the leaves are separated from the others by sifting in the machinery called Nagadoshi.

Purifying

To make higher-grade moxa, such as moxa floss product for direct moxibustion, further purifying process is required with machinery called Tomi. After several hours purifying, rough moxa floss turns to golden, quality, fine product.

Blending

The quality of finished products depends on climate, so they are blended to make it consistent quality.

Grades of the moxa

In moxa floss products, there are roughly 3 grades depending on the purpose.


For direct moxibustion
  • made from only white tomentose hairs on the underside of the leaves. The color is shiny golden and its fiber is fine, curled and pure
  • easy to make a rice-grain size cone shape
  • do not generate excessive heat
Directions: apply small moxa cone on the skin directly, then light it with thread incense. Highly-skilled practitioner can avoid burning the skin with this quality of moxa.

For warm needling moxibustion
  • made from not only tomentose hairs but also slight impurities of powdery leaves
  • in warm needling moxibustion, moxa is burnt on the handle of the needle and gives radiant heat, so the burning temperature should be higher than one for direct moxibustion
  • easy to shape to hold on the handle of the needle
Directions: make a moxa boll and put it onto the handle of the needle which has already inserted to the skin then light it.

For gentle moxibustion
  • more impurities of powdery leaves than the others
  • the color is darker
  • generally used with an insulator such as pieces of garlic or instruments, so the burning temperature should be higher than one for warm needling moxibustion
Directions: Use with an instrument or a sliced piece of Kampo material. Also this quality of moxa is currently used for the easy-to-use indirect moxibustion product.

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