• synonyms


  1. a flammable substance or material obtained from the leaves of certain Chinese and Japanese wormwood plants, especially Artemisia moxa.
  2. 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.
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Origin of moxa

1670–80; by uncertain mediation < Japanese mogusa, equivalent to mo(y)e burn + -gusa, combining form of kusa herb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moxa

Historical Examples of moxa

  • It is really the Moxa of South America under an altered name.


    Robert Gordon Latham

  • Only these portions named might not have a moxa applied to them.


    James J. Walsh

  • Others extended the value of the moxa beyond these affections.


    James J. Walsh

  • Larrey recommends with the same view, after the application of moxa, the use of the aq.

  • The small cone constituting the moxa is placed upon a part, lighted, and allowed to burn to its base.

British Dictionary definitions for moxa


  1. 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
  2. any of various plants yielding this material, such as the wormwood Artemisia chinensis
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Word Origin for moxa

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

moxa in Medicine


  1. A cone or cylinder of cotton wool or other combustible material, placed on the skin and ignited in order to produce counterirritation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.