Happy Solstice!

St. Francis of Assisi statue in the town of Assisi

June Events in Saxapahaw to support S.A.F.E.



Witch Hazel

Witchhazel copy
Botanical Name: Hamamelis virginiana
This beautiful shrub has been blooming in my garden through the snow storms of February.
I was amazed by the delicate looking flowers covered with icicles, and how after the ice melt they
retained their beautiful colors.  With Hazel was used externally by Native Americans to heal sprains, cuts, insect bites, skin irritations and hemorrhoids.  Collect the plant in the spring or early summer.  The parts of the Witch Hazel to be collected are: the inner bark and leaves, and twigs less than one half inch in diameter. Carefully strip off the outer bark with a sharp knife!  Steep in rubbing alcohol for 3 weeks and strain into a glass bottle. You now have a wonderful first aid remedy. For external use only!

Enjoy this third in a series of posts about helpful healing herbs.  For more visit my website.

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.