Moxa. Artemisia chinensis, Artemisia indica, Artemisia vulgaris.
Moxa. Moxa, Fr. Brenncylinder, Gr.—These are small combustible masses used to produce an eschar by being burned in contact with the skin. In Japan and China they are made from the leaves or the downy hairs on the leaves and stems of one or more species of Artemisia. A. chinensis L. and A. indica Willd. (A. vulgaris L.. were indicated by the Dublin College; but Lindley states that it is the A. moxa of De Candolle which is employed. A similar moxa has been made in France, by a similar process, from the leaves of A. vulgaris. According to Percy, the dried stem of the ordinary sunflower may be used for moxa. Artificial moxas may be made by the following processes: One pound of cotton is introduced into a vessel containing two ounces of potassium nitrate dissolved in half a gallon of water, and a moderate heat applied till all the liquid is evaporated. The cotton, when perfectly dry, is formed into thin, narrow sheets, which are rolled round a central cord of linen, so as to form a cylinder from half an inch to an inch in diameter, and several inches long. This is enclosed in a covering of silk or linen sewed firmly around it; and, when used, may be cut by a razor into transverse slices a few lines in thickness. By leaving a hole in the center of the cylinder, the combustion will be rendered more vigorous, and a deeper eschar produced.
Cauterization by fire has been used from time immemorial among savages, half-civilized, and intelligent communities, and is said to have been re-introduced into Europe by the early Portuguese navigators from the Far East. Though at one time much employed for the purposes of revulsion, this form of cauterization has fallen into complete desuetude. The details of its application are described in the 18th ed., U. S. D. The first sensation experienced is not disagreeable; but the operation becomes gradually more painful, and towards the close is for a short time very severe. The pain could probably be prevented by the use of cocaine.