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Which moxa is best with which technique?


There are three forms of application in our Japanese moxa offering: Direct Moxa, Needle Moxa and Indirect Moxa. For each of these forms, Kobayashi-rouho makes 4 purity or refinement grades. They are designated with 2 to 5 stars. 2 stars corresponds with the top commercial standard grade found in Europe, 5 stars represent the very highest quality.


Click on the application technique in the table, e.g. Technique: Needle Moxibustion, or on the stars to find the most suitable moxa you are looking for.





Technique: Rice Grain






1/2 Rice grain


1/2 Rice grain & larger



1 Rice grain & larger

Technique: Needle Moxibustion







Technique: Cone Moxibustion with Underlay

Technik: Kegelmoxibustion mit Unterlage







Video Direct Moxa

Video Needle Moxibustion


Video Cone Moxibustion without Underlay

Video Cone Moxibustion with Underlay


Video Moxas used with Devices




What is moxa?

Moxa is derived from the Japanese word Mogusa and refers to the herb made from the dried leaves of the artemisia plant, also called moxa wool. Rich in health promoting substances and possesses beneficial actions, it is irreplaceable in heat therapy. No other "burning herb" so far has achieved a comparable energetic effect.


The plant species Artemisia of the aster family encompasses about 250 species. The name refers back to the goddess Artemis in Greek mythology. In Europe and the Americas it is known as common mugwort (botanical: Artemisia vulgaris), which is unsuitable for moxa production. Moxa can only be made from certain species. The quality of moxa is predetermined by the choice of Artemisia specie.


In Japan moxa of the highest quality is made from the Asian specie Artemisia Princeps Pampanini. It is named after the Italian botanist Renato Pampanini (1875-1949). In literature, it is also referred to as Artemisia vulgaris L. var. indica Maxim.


Doc Save Moxa from Japan

The small owner-managed firm Kobayshi-rouho (translated: old shop Kobayashi) is located in a mountain village in the Shiga prefecture at the foot of Mount Ibuki. The climate at this high elevation is ideal for growing Artemisia.


The family-run business has had over 230 years of experience in moxa production: Here Moxa of the highest grade has been hand made by masters since 1780. Mr Kobayashi Senior is the sixth generation moxa master and his son is following in his father’s step as the seventh.


After several visits to Kobayashi-rouho, Doc Save is confident of their deliberate, painstaking technique that leads them to producing as perfect a moxa as possible. The firm’s centuries-long knowledge and know-how on manufacturing result in the stellar quality of their products.


Find a list of all Kobayashi-rouho products here.



The Japanese production process

The artemisia princeps pampanini plant is harvested before the flowering period between May and June. Over the summer the leaves are carefully dried in the shade. They are kept in a dark room until processing. The leaves are now ready for processing:


1. Drying: Manufacturing takes place in winter. Moxa leaves are placed into a charcoal-fired furnace room for a 24-hour period for further drying.


2. Cutting: Moxa leaves are unbraided and cut into uniform lengths. The process is similar to the production of flax.

3. Coarse grinding: The cut leaves are placed into a stone pestle and crushed, and then sifted. The lowest grade of indirect moxa is created from this.


4. Fine grinding: To make a high grade moxa, the leaves are finely grounded using different sizes of mortar and pestle, varying numbers of revolutions. The moxa is then sifted once more.

5. Sieving: The moxa is separated and sifted in a rotating sieve. The process is repeated several times.


6. Fine sifting: The toumi sieve - a device used in Japanese agriculture in olden days - rids the moxa of impurities. Rotation frequency, fineness and length of process affect the quality. Only about 2 to 3% of the moxa produced make it to the highest grade.

Steps 4 to 6 are repeated until the purity grade is achieved.


Characteristics of a good quality moxa


Fine, mild fragrance. Moxa benefits by long storage, which brings out natural essential oils.


Good malleability and adhesiveness, all of which are affected by the length of the fibers and their flexibility. This criterion is especially important for needle and direct moxa.


Easy combustibility, brief burning period and a niedrige, low, mild heat.


High firmness of the ashes.


Free of impurities including stalks and stems, which can lead to unwanted fluctuations of temperature.


No contaminants in raw material.


The Artemisia herb used by Kobayashi-rouho possesses all of these characteristics. Organic moxa is made from wild growing plants and are free of herbicides and pesticides. The moxa is aged for two years before sales.



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