Blue Vervain

This beautiful purple flowered plant is called Blue Vervain, and is a wonderful addition to my herb garden.  Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) has been used by herbalists for centuries in Europe and in the United States. The name Vervain is derived from the Celtic word “ferfain” and was used as a diuretic to treat bladder infections. Other common names are “Herb of Grace” or “American Hyssop.”

Presently Vervain is found in many herbal formulas to treat PMS and menopausal anxiety, since it has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. It also helps to expel mucus from the lungs and relieve coughs and induces a sweat during the early stages of a fever.  I have enjoyed watching the bees gathering pollen on the deep purple flowers, that slowly fade to a lavender as the flowers ages.

Do not use Vervain during pregnancy.


cuppingCupping is a part of Chinese Medicine and is a useful  treatment for muscular tension and respiratory issues. I often use it in conjunction with acupuncture and herbs to treat seasonal allergies.

Cupping is an adjunct therapy used by acupuncturists and massage therapists. Today we either use glass or plastic cups, and a vacuum is created using a flame or
suction device, and the cup is applied to the skin. In the past animal horns were used as a cupping device. The suction of the skin helps to increase blood circulation and to release cold or damp energies from the body. If the client has a common cold, allergies, or tight muscles; cupping can be applied to move the Qi and release the pain held in the body.

The cups can be moved and cover areas where there is muscular tension, when they are removed there is a discoloration of the skin that disappears in a few days.

I enjoy receiving this technique myself and encourage you to try it in a treatment!


The Art of Moxibustion


Clients have often asked me in my practice what is Moxa, and how can it be used for healing the body?

Moxa has been used in Oriental Medicine for centuries and is made from the herb MUGWORT also  known as Artemisia vulgaris latiflora.  The plant is prepared by stripping the leaves from the stems and then grinding, and drying to make a substance that is called Moxa wool. Moxa comes in sticks or can be made into small cones.

Moxa is used during a treatment to warm the client when there is a cold condition in the body. For example; if I touch a client’s feet, hands , legs, lower back or abdomen and there is a cold sensation, I may choose to use moxa.Also; if the client’s pulse is slow, and they have a pale face moxa is often indicated.I may ask them if they feel consistently cold and need extra layers of clothes even when it is warm outside. Do they prefer to drink warm drinks and do they avoid cold drinks?

I generally use more moxa during the winter months or during cold and damp weather. First I apply the moxa to the acupuncture points and then I insert the needle. The moxa warms the point and the needle takes the heat into the acupuncture point, for a stronger therapeutic effect. The client will tell me if the moxa gets too hot and the moxa is removed immediately.

There are contraindications for Moxa treatments – some of these are high blood pressure, hot flashes, or diabetic neuropathy. According to many text books; moxa is not used on the face or on the lower back or abdomen of  pregnant women. After childbirth though a moxa stick can be applied to the lower abdomen and moved in a circular motion to warm the entire lower abdomen helping the mother to warm up after loss of blood and to help the uterus return into position.

I have been using moxa in my practice since 1999 and have had great results with clients with cold conditions.

2020 Judith Brooks Acupuncture, LLC