Coronavirus: Using Moxibustion to Detoxify the Air

In light of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, it appears that those with pre-existing disease or low immune systems may be most at risk. With this knowledge, it would be wise to take action to boost our immune systems. The COVID-19 virus can be spread by water droplets when an infected individual sneezes or coughs, so it is important to take steps to minimise contamination within homes or workplaces. Along with disinfecting surfaces, regular hand washing and sneezing into a tissue, we also recommend using moxibustion to detoxify the air.

In Chinese medicine, moxa has been used for centuries to cleanse and detoxify the air. Moxibustion, a form of heat therapy, has been found to have anti-bacterial effects and help to boost front-line immune defences [1]. Moxibustion is often used in conjunction with acupuncture and has been practiced in east Asian medicine for thousands of years. Moxa is made from a herb called Ai Ye or “Mugwort Leaf” in English (Folium Artemisiae Argyi). It is commonly manufactured into a wool-like texture to become “moxa floss”.  We stock a variety of moxa floss and moxa rolls in our online shop.

By burning moxa in the home, the essential oils that are released into the air may help to kill bacteria and viruses. Try these methods of moxibustion:

1. Burning Pure Moxa Sticks 

Detoxify the air with moxibustion

You can purchase moxa sticks in various forms. The cigar shaped moxa sticks are most popular for this job. Simply light the end of a moxa stick and wave it around in your home or clinic. After a few minutes of waving the moxa stick, extinguish the moxa stick using a moxa extinguisher or a cup of sand.

Pure moxa sticks will produce smoke when lit, so be mindful of smoke alarms. Smokeless moxa sticks create less smoke and odour and may be more suitable for clinic environments.

2. Burn Moxa Within a Copper Burner
Detoxify the air with moxibustion

When burning moxa to detoxify air within a home, we recommend burning pre-cut moxa cones within a copper burner to minimise fire hazards. For a smokeless version, try the smokeless moxa cones. Simply place the moxa cone within the burner and light, then close and secure the burner. Once the moxa is exhausted, it will stop burning. Ensure that you place the copper burner away from flammable objects when in use. We stock copper burners with a belt, which can be used upon the body.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for qualified practitioners only. Please consult a qualified herbalist or acupuncturist for further advice. Ensure that you take care to avoid burning moxa near any flammable objects to prevent fire hazards.


[1] Li, X., Guo, G., Shen, F., Kong, L., Liang, F. and Sun, G. (2014). Moxibustion Activates Macrophage Autophagy and Protects Experimental Mice against Bacterial Infection. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014, pp.1-6.

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