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[mok-suh] /ˈmɒk sə/
a flammable substance or material obtained from the leaves of certain Chinese and Japanese wormwood plants, especially Artemisia moxa.
this substance or a similar one of cotton, wool, or the like, placed on the skin usually in the form of a cone or cylinder and ignited for use as a counterirritant.
Origin of moxa
1670-80; by uncertain mediation < Japanese mogusa, equivalent to mo(y)e burn + -gusa, combining form of kusa herb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moxas
Historical Examples
  • The moxas are made of a certain kind of pith, and burn slowly just as the punk does.

    Our Little Japanese Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade
  • The Japanese believe in the use of moxas for many things,—bad children, sickness, and I can't tell you what else.

    Our Little Japanese Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade
British Dictionary definitions for moxas


a downy material obtained from various plants and used in Oriental medicine by being burned on the skin as a cauterizing agent or counterirritant for the skin
any of various plants yielding this material, such as the wormwood Artemisia chinensis
Word Origin
C17: anglicized version of Japanese mogusa, contraction of moe gusa burning herb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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moxas in Medicine

moxa mox·a (mŏk'sə)
A cone or cylinder of cotton wool or other combustible material, placed on the skin and ignited in order to produce counterirritation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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