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Borneol, Artemesia and Moxa

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Moxa is shredded artemisia that is burned on or near the body to produce local ..... needles, the constituents of the moxa do not interact with the skin and the ...

Borneol, Artemesia and Moxa BORNEOL, ARTEMISIA, and MOXA by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon RELATIONSHIP OF BORNEOL, ARTEMISIA, AND MOXA Borneol refers both to a specific chemical compound (see Figure 1) and to a mixture of similar compounds (of which borneol is one) in a resinous crude material obtained from certain herbs. The chemical constituent borneol is one of the active ingredients of artemisia, which contains other aromatic compounds of similar structure and medicinal function. Both borneol (as a crude resin) and artemisia are utilized internally and externally in the practice of Chinese medicine. Moxa is shredded artemisia that is burned on or near the body to produce local heating, as well as to generate an additional influence from the moxa material itself, perhaps imparting borneol and other active constituents to the body. In this article, the properties, uses, and interrelations of borneol, artemisia, and moxa are explored. The medicinal agent borneol (bingpian) refers to the resin obtained from Dryobalanops aromatica (see Figure 3) or from Blumea balsamifera. Both plants are rich in the natural chemical constituent borneol (also known as borneol camphor). Synthetic borneol, obtained by simple chemical transformation of camphor and turpentine oil, is sometimes used in China as a substitute for the natural product. In recent years, new sources of natural borneol have been discovered, mainly certain species of Cinnamonum tree (cinnamon tree). These may eventually become a resource for natural borneol. Borneol was first recorded in the Tang Bencao (Materia Medica of the Tang D ...

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