The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Review: Moxibustion to treat high blood pressure

    Moxibustion is a traditional East Asian medical therapy that uses heat generated by burning herbal preparations containing Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood) to stimulate acupuncture points.

    Prof. Ernst and colleagues evaluated the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • 4 studies were included in the review.

    And, the results.

    • 2 studies failed to report favorable effects of moxibustion on blood pressure compared to antihypertensive drug treatment alone.
    • A third study reported significant effects of moxibustion when it was added to antihypertensive drug therapy compared to antihypertensive drugs alone.
    • The fourth study addressed the immediate (rather than long term) blood pressure-lowering effects of moxibustion compared to no treatment.
    • None of the studies attempted to prevent the evaluator from knowing the treatment given to the patients — no attempt to blind the evaluator.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “There is insufficient evidence to suggest that moxibustion is an effective treatment for hypertension.”

    Prof. Ernst appears to be focusing on moxibustion. Already this year he has published 2 reviews of moxibustion to treat ulcerative colitis and cancer.

    In both areas, as in this review, there’s a problem in study design that limits the ability to assess the results and the value of moxibustion treatment.

    7/7/10 20:16 JR

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