I did try to find research on Pubmed in regards to regular moxa versus smokeless moxa and was unsuccessful. Chad, perhaps you can provide a link to the research you've made reference to? I feel it is very important to be conscientious and careful when providing information of this type to young practitioners and patients. After all, patient health comes before sounding like you know it all, right?
It seems as though you may be suggesting that the oil in moxa is absorbed readily by the skin. I have not seen any research confirming this. Furthermore, the irritant in poison ivy is not so much absorbed, as it has a chemical reaction with the skin (contact dermatitis), causing rashing and ulceration. I am sure this is not the typical effect with moxa.
I'm wondering if there are any practitioners who can provide good experiencal information on smokeless moxa. I'm a new member and am excited to see who else is participating!