Chart relating to moxa, c 1690.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving of the meridian points on the human body which are used in moxabustion, the burning of leaves of moxa, the Chinese wormwood tree. The parts of the body are thus linked to various disorders, which can be cured by the application of moxa. Acupuncture and moxabustion use a system of about 800 points arranged along 14 lines or meridians which run from head to foot. From 'The History of Japan' (1727) by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716). Kaempfer was a German physician working at the Dutch trading post in Japan from 1690-1692. He asembled a large collection. On his return to Europe he wrote 'The History of Japan', which records many aspects of the country in the Genroku period (1688-1704).