At present, intestinal flora has attracted more and more attention from scholars in China and foreign countries, and its association with ischemic stroke (IS) has gradually become a new research hotspot in the field of stroke. Studies also showed that intestinal flora may be a risk factor which directly or indirectly affects the occurrence and development of IS through bacterial metabolites and immune activities. In the present paper, we review the positive effect of acupuncture and moxibustion in alleviating the symptoms of limb locomotor, speech, swallowing dysfunction, cognition, etc. to improve the IS patients' daily life ability and in strengthening the cellular immune function of the body. In addition, acupuncture and moxibustion have a positive effect in regulating intestinal flora and immune inflammation. Hence, in the present paper, we discuss their relationship and the possibility of application of acupuncture and moxibustion therapies to the treatment of IS according to the theory of "intestinal flora-immune response". It is thus reasonable to speculate that acupuncture and moxibustion can be used to promote the recovery of brain tissue injury and neurological function after stroke via correcting intestinal flora disturbance and reducing immune inflammatory response. In-depth exploration of the role of "intestinal flora-immune response" in the treatment of IS and the specific regulatory function of acupuncture and moxibustion will provide new ideas and research approaches to reveal their mechanisms in the treatment of stroke from a new perspective.
Keywords: Acupuncture and moxibustion; Immune inflammation; Intestinal flora; Ischemic stroke.