The Chinese Connections

The first traces of a trail appeared to us tentatively in a text over fourteen hundred years old entitled “the Moxibustion Method for Consumptive Disease”. It was written by a Tang dynasty physician called Cui Zhidi but was subsequently lost from posterity. While it was still extant, however, other authors referred to it repeatedly through several centuries.

In the early literature consumptive disease was referred to in descriptive ways in Chinese medicine. The names tell their own stories - “Passing from Door to Door Disease”, “Cadaverous Infixation”, “Steaming Bone Disease”, or simply “Lung Taxation”.

In the twelfth century the Gao Huang Shu Xue Jiu Fa, a famous historical medical text, particularly focused on the treatment of tuberculosis using moxa using one pair of specific treatment points on the back. Later in the Ming dynasty, a golden period for China in many fields including medicine, several famous texts including“the Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion” repeatedly recommend moxa for the treatment of TB, promising reliable results if applied correctly.

We have noted, however, that in all cases that we’ve uncovered from the historical literature, moxa was applied in a far more aggressive fashion than anything we might conceivably use in any Moxafrica protocol. So whilst there is clear evidence of moxibustion's use to treat TB (and other intransigent disease) for centuries in East Asia, it is not necessarily so relevant for today. It is in Japan, however, in the decades just prior to the advent of antibiotics that the trail becomes significantly fresher clearer and more relevant.