Korean J Phys Anthropol.  2011 Sep;24(3):155-163.

A Review of Studies and Experimental Methodologies on Moxibustion in Korea for an Establishment of Application Standard

  • 1Department of Alternative Medicine, Jeonju University Graduate School, Korea. khwhang@paran.com


For an establishment of application standard of moxibustion, this review was undertaken to consider the current methodologies of moxibustion therapy. Research articles appearing in 3 web-based databases were selected using 9 key words; moxibustion (Korean words; gubeob, guyobeob, tteum, tteumyobeop, ssugtteum, guchiryo), moxa cone, direct moxa, and indirect moxa. In vivo or in vitro studies were grouped and the types, sizes and numbers of moxa cones employed in those studies were abstracted and compared. Total 109 articles reviewed here included 56 clinical studies, 39 animal studies and 14 in vitro studies concerning combustion of moxa. For clinical studies, indirect moxa are mostly employed (33/56), whereas direct moxa for animal studies (34/39). Moxa cone size appeared highly variable, ranging from 0.05 to 50 mg in rice-sized moxa (miripdae) and numbers of moxa cone used in a single treatment varied between 1 and 9. Moreover, there was no correlation between the moxa cone size and the number of moxa cones per treatment. Moxibustion therapy is being increasingly used but is under the neglect of the proper type (direct or indirect), size and numbers of moxa cones. Standard protocol thus needs to be established for an evaluation of therapeutic potential and further clinical application of moxibustion.


Moxibustion; Miripdae; Moxa cone; Direct moxa

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