Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseMoxibustion

Review: Moxibustion for ulcerative colitis

Prof. Ernst and colleagues report, “Several studies have reported that moxibustion is effective in ulcerative colitis.”

But, is that enough?

First, the details.

  • 5 studies were included.
  • All were of low methodological quality.
  • They compared moxibustion to conventional drug therapy.
    • 3 tested moxibustion vs sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
    • 2 compared moxibustion vs sulfasalazine plus other drugs.
  • Data were combined for a meta-analysis.

And, the results.

  • The meta-analysis of 5 studies showed significantly favorable effects of moxibustion on treatment response compared to conventional drug therapy.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Even though the trial data are unanimously positive, most of included trials had high risk of bias. More rigorous studies seem warranted.”

More on the concept of bias in medical research and a discussion of study design and methodology is here.

4/26/10 21:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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