Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing, strengthen the blood and stimulate the flow of qi.
Research has shown that mugwort, also known as artemesia vulgaris, acts as an emmenagogue, that is, an agent that increases blood circulation. Moxibustion is used on people who have cold or stagnant conditions.
The indirect burning of moxa on specific meridian points, expels the cold and warms the meridians, which leads to a smoother flow of blood and qi.
Examples of cold/stagnant symptoms are: cold hand & feet, slow metabolism, muscle tension, menstrual cramps and infertility. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the Bladder meridian.