The Origin of Lu Li Mugwort
There’s more than two thousand years’ history of planting, cultivation and using of Ruyang Lu Li Mugwort. Ruyang Lu Li Mugwort has always been ranked the first in terms of length of planting history, distribution areas and production for making medicine amongst the 100-plus kinds of Chinese herbals planted in Ruyang County. At the end of the Qin Dynasty and the beginning of the Han Dynasty, “Four Elder Masters in Shangshan” lived in seclusion in Shangshan mountain located in the west of Ruyang county town. There was a lack of medical treatments and medicines at that time. Mr. Lu Li found that the mugwort in “Tiger Hill” of Shangshan mountain had the features of being fragrant, removing evil and being slightly bitter and with sweet aftertaste. Thus he began to gather mugwort for treatments. According to legends, in the early period of the Western Han Dynasty, “Four Elder Masters in Shangshan” assisted Liu Ying getting enthronement.” After Empress Lu murdered Mrs. Qi, the Emperor Hui Liu Ying got a serious illness, while he got recovery soon after being cured by Mr. Lu Li through moxibustion therapy. At the same time, Lu li taught people the skill of moxibustion therapy and has made the art of moxibustion being spread widely. The Emperor Hui Liu Ying, for showing gratitude to Mr. Lu Li’s merits and virtues, granted the name “Lu Li Mugwort” to the mugwort in the “Tiger Hill” of Shang Mountain in Ruyang County and granted the name “Lu Li Street” to the place of Lu Li’s former residence. He also built Shangshan Temple and Shangshan Monastery! A poem of Liu Yuxi in the Tang Dynasty goes, “Work in Xingtai as a puye, come to Lu Li visiting my teacher for learning”. The poem “the Overlook of Yichun at dawn” of Li Deyu, the prime minister of the Tang Dynasty, goes, “How the descendants of Han Dynasty pretend to be resident of ZHONGNAN Mountain, because Mr. Lu Li is in the valley”. The ancient poets have highly praised Mr. Lu Li. As “the tablet inscription of rebuilding Shangshan Temple” and “the records of Yiyang County” (Yang Country was called “Liang County” “Yiyang County” in ancient times) in the Jiajing region of Ming Dynasty recorded: Lu Li, one of “Four Elder Masters in Shangshan”, using moxibustion treatments in Xiangshan, incredibly cured Huasi, Pox and sores and wounds for men and women and Jiu disease for married woman and girls...People worshiped him as “Shangshan Providence”. After then, the local people built temples and ancestral halls for him and worshiped him as “Shangshan Providence” age after age. Ruyang people called the mugwort in Shanghu “Tiger Hill” as Lu Li Mugwort. Since the Tang Dynasty, Ruyang County has had multiple repairs of Shangshan Temple and the south street of county town is named as “Lu Li Street”. Even the folk Lu Li row drum has been spread up to now. In the animal and plant product list of “the records of Luyang County”, Lu Li Mugwort is included into the category of herb products. In the “A Glance of the Histories of Villages in Luo Yang”, regarding the industries of Fan Tan village in Taoying Town, it makes much account of Lu Li Mugwort planting; as recorded in “Spring Tide of the Ancient Capital”, in 90s, the government of Ruyang County has actively guided the research and development of Lu Li Mugwort…
As recorded in Liu Zhongshu’s “Record of rebuilding Shangshan Temple”, in Yuan Dynasty, there was a businessman named Pu, being well versed in medical skill, who used snake and Lu Li Mugwort for medical treatment, whoever asking him to treat ulcer and pox were all cured. When being asked for his family's background, he answered he came from Shangshan. So people worshiped him for repaying. So it got the name “Shangshan Temple”. What the poet of Li Deyu (the prime minister of the Tang Dynasty) written is exactly Mr. Lu Li, one of Four Elder Masters in Shangshan in Han Dynasty. The doctor Pu in Yuan Dynasty, who treated people with Lu Li moxibustion therapy inherited from Mr. Lu Li, was named as “doctor of providence” among local people.
Among people in Ruyang County, Ruyang Lu Li Mugwort is regarded as an auspicious staff. Because Mr. Lu Li teaching people with Lu Li Mugwort medical treatment, the local people still keep the custom to gather mugwort on the Dragon Boat Festival festivals. Folk songs go, “On 5th day of the 5th lunar month, the master riding a mugwort-made, using calamus leaves to kill the centipedes, all the worms return to the netherworld.” “Lu Li mugwort leaves smells good, the calamus growing beside stones, the smokes of leaves can remove diseases, and we stay health on each Dragon Boat Festival”.
When Ruyang folks have cupping treatment to cure rheumatism, Lu Li Mugwort is the best fuel, which is called Lu Li Mugwort moxibustion therapy. It uses the stems of Lu Li Mugwort to make into moxa and has the moxa burning in surface body acupoints. Using appropriate fire moxibustion to iron acupoints to stimulate acupoints, it can help to remove cold evil and warming meridians, promote blood circulation and remove weakness, return Yang and solid deficiency, erasing scar and scatter boil, support Right and remove evil to remove disease and ensure health. The “Miraculous Pivot - Function” of “Inner Canon of Huangdi” goes, “wherever needle is not appropriate, moxibustion takes its role”; “Introduction to Medicine” goes, “when medicine cannot cure and needles cannot reach, it must use moxibustion”. Thus Moxibustion therapy has long been paid great importance by people thanks to its high safety ensuring, non-toxic side effects and health care function, thus it has been widely spread. At present, the government of Ruyang County, aiming for increasing agricultural production and farmers’ income, has greatly pushed forward the planting and development of Ruyang Lu Liai, the County has been planted nearly forty thousand acres of mugwort. Moxibustion therapy has become the order of the day!