This is a peculiar method of counter-irritation long practised in the East, and occasionally employed in Europe, for the relief of chronic, nervous and rheumatic pains, or for chronic diseases of the joints. One or more small cones, formed of some porous vegetable substance, such as German tinder, or linen or cotton impregnated with nitre, are placed on the skin over the affected part, and then set on fire, and allowed to burn away so as to form a superficial eschar. The surrounding skin must be protected by a piece of wet rag, with a hole in it for the Moxa.

The Moxa sometimes is made use of for the purpose of causing an irritation or redness on the surface, or even a slight blister, without making a deep-seated sore. This is done by holding a roll of lighted German tinder in a pair of forceps, at a little distance from the skin; the surgeon at the same time blowing upon it with a blow-pipe, till the skin becomes red.