How to Identify Wormwood
Many friends know that the fragrance of wormwood can repel mosquitoes and purify the air, and has the effect of expelling pathogenic factors and moxibustion and other physiotherapy and health care effects. It can also be eaten, but they don’t know what it looks like. Recently, when I saw wormwood at a friend’s house, I realized that there was a piece of wormwood in my yard. So what does it look like?
Morphological characteristics of wormwood
The morphological characteristics of wormwood include the following aspects:
- The whole grass is covered with off-white soft hairs, two or three feet high.
- The stems and leaves are fragrant, the base of the stem is round and purple, and the upper part is ribbed.
- The leaves are alternate, the elder is four or five inches, the belly is green, the back is off-white, the leaves are divided pinnately, and the lobes are divided again. The basal lobes are like stipules, without petioles.
The growing environment of wormwood
Wormwood is easy to multiply and grow, has strong adaptability to climate and soil, and is resistant to cold and drought. It can be planted in various environments such as field edges, fields, hillsides, and wastelands. The soil requirements are not strict, but it prefers fertile, loose, and well-drained soil.
Breeding of wormwood
Wormwood can be propagated by seed or division. Seed propagation is generally carried out in early spring, and sowing is selected in March-April. Sow the wormwood seeds evenly in the cultivation pot or the prepared planting bed, cover with a thin layer of soil, keep the soil moist, and the distance should be 40-50 cm. However, the germination rate of wormwood seed propagation is low. Another method of propagation is by division. Dig new tubers from the side of the old wormwood for transplanting. This method grows fast, and the wormwood will automatically reproduce after a certain period of time.
Harvest of wormwood
Harvesting of wormwood is usually done before or after the plants bloom. Harvest when the color of the leaves turns from dark green to light green. Usually the picking of mugwort leaves is divided into three times, forming three phases of mugwort. The first picking is before the Dragon Boat Festival, which is called early moi, and the second picking is called mid-term moi about a month later, and the third picking is around October. The picked wormwood needs to be aired to ensure it is completely dry. You can choose to dry in a ventilated place, or use a special drying rack. After drying, store wormwood in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Moxa is soft fluff made by making wormwood. Fresh wormwood contains a large amount of volatile oil. With the extension of storage time, the volatile oil will gradually decrease, and the smoke will be smaller when burned. The moxa smoke has a certain effect of sterilizing and purifying the air. It is said that the burnt ashes can be used to wash your face and hands.
The process of making moxa is simple:
- Beating: Put the leaves that have been dried and stored for one year into a clean bag or cloth bag, and beat them gently with a hammer or similar tools to loosen the leaves and facilitate subsequent processing. You can also use an electric powder machine for quick beating, saving labor and time.
- Screening and impurity removal: Pour the beaten mugwort leaves on a flat surface, shake and shake gently with your hands to sieve out impurities and debris to ensure pure mugwort leaf velvet. Only mugwort leaves can be made into velvet, and the branches and stems cannot be shaved into velvet. They must be beaten until they become soft and delicate fluff like cotton. Just grab something that does not feel thorny.
- Store moxa: Store screened moxa in a dry and ventilated container, such as an airtight bag, jar, or cloth bag, to prevent moisture and direct sunlight.
According to the degree of processing and storage years, moxa can be divided into several grades. The best quality moxa is made from aged mugwort leaves that have been stored for three years, and is called super moxa. If you make moxa at home, you don’t need such a delicate processing process, and you can make it according to your needs and actual conditions.
If you want to use mugwort for moxibustion or other purposes at home, you can make your own moxa sticks. Here’s an easy way to make moxa sticks:
1. Prepare the required materials: choose a wooden stick of your favorite size and a piece of plastic paper.
2. Use plastic paper to roll the wooden stick a few times and fix it with tape.
3. Put some moxa on the plastic sheet and spread it out.
4. Put the wooden stick on the plastic paper, then put a piece of paper about 20cm long under the stick.
5. Start to roll the wooden stick and stick the paper tightly. You can use glutinous rice glue to spread on the paper to fix the moxa, and the moxa stick is completed.
6. To make glutinous rice glue, just add a spoonful of glutinous rice flour to ten times the ratio of water and boil it into a paste.
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