Small cone direct moxibustion (‘moxa’) consists of smouldering rice-grain sized cones of moxa (refined Artemesia Princeps) on specific locations on the skin. This therapy has been used in conjunction with acupuncture (as well as in a stand-alone treatment) in East Asian Medicine for centuries. Techniques weres particularly refined and developed in Japan.
Moxa is known to have positive effects on blood circulation and also to enhance the immune system. Small cone direct moxibustion also has a history which significantly includes documentary evidence of treating and curing patients with TB.
Moxa is extremely low-tech, is safe and is also very cheap. It is also eminently adaptable to resource-poor and remote environments.
Given all of the above we are carrying out investigative research to establish whether moxibustion can help combat TB today.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterial infection and is transmitted through the air when someone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes. TB is both preventable and treatable with special antibiotics, yet every year it kills more people than any other infectious disease. In fact in 2016 more people died from TB than HIV and malaria combined.
Treating this disease is complicated because the bacteria possesses an unusually thick, waxy cell wall which isn’t easy for drugs to penetrate and because it also has the ability to survive in multiple locations in the body. It also has the unusual capacity to ‘hide out’ in the body for years following the first infection – a condition which is called ‘latent infection’.
Because the bacteria are so hardy it means that even straightforward treatment of standard ‘drug-susceptible’ TB needs a combination of four different drugs taken for at least six months. With drug-resistant it needs six drugs with pernicious and often permanent side-effects for between 9 and 24 months with very poor treatment outcomes.
RESULTS OF RESEARCH
RCT PHASE II (Randomised Control Trial)
Conducted by Makerere University's School of Health Sciences, Uganda.
THE STUDY IS COMPLETED!
The data analysed and manuscript is in the final stages of completion for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.