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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 306515, 19 pages
Review Article

The Effectiveness of Moxibustion: An Overview During 10 Years

1Department of Meridian and Acupoint, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegidong, Dongdaemungu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center (AMSRC), Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegidong, Dongdaemungu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 21 May 2009; Accepted 30 August 2009

Copyright © 2011 Song-Yi Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Moxibustion has been used to treat various types of disease. However, there is still insufficient evidence regarding its effectiveness. This study was performed to summarize and evaluate the effectiveness of moxibustion. A search was performed for all randomized controlled trials in PubMed between January 1998 and July 2008 with no language restriction. The results yielded 47 trials in which six moxibustion types were applied to 36 diseases ranging from breech presentation to digestive disorders. Moxibustion was compared to three types of control group: general care, Oriental medical therapies or waiting list. Moxibustion was superior to the control in 14 out of 54 control groups in 46 studies. There were no significant differences among groups in 7 studies, and the outcome direction was not determined in 33 studies. Seven studies were included in a meta-analysis. Moxibustion was more effective than medication in two ulcerative colitis studies (relative risk (95% CI), 2.20 (1.37, 3.52), P = .001, I2 = 0%). Overall, our results did not support the effectiveness of moxibustion in specific diseases due to the limited number and low quality of the studies and inadequate use of controls. In order to provide appropriate evidence regarding the effectiveness of moxibustion, more rigorous clinical trials using appropriate controls are warranted.