By Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, PhD

Iranian traditional medicine prioritizes health maintenance over treatment

May 24, 2017

Overlooking Iranian traditional medicine, the most ancient medicine in the world, both nationwide and worldwide is what has deprived the country not only from introducing its primeval medical advances but its rich culture to the world.

Studies and researches reveal that some of the earliest records of history of ancient Iranian medicine can be found in 8,000 to 6,500 B.C. while it is remarkable that Hippocrates, a Greek physician who is considered as one of the outstanding figures in the history of medicine belongs to about 500 B.C.

Nonetheless globally medicine reached its peak by the rise of Islam in Iran concurrent with the lives of great polymaths such as Muhammad ibn Zachariah al-Razi, Avicenna, and Esmaeil Jorjani (9th to 12th c.).

Studies and researches reveal that some of the earliest records of history of ancient Iranian medicine can be found in 8,000 to 6,500 B.C.According to a definition given in one of the first Iranian Islamic medical textbooks called Hidayat al-Muta’allemin Fi al-Tibb [literally meaning ‘A Guide to Medical Learners’ containing articles about the elements, temperaments, humors, hygiene, anatomy, physiology, pathology, signs and symptoms of diseases and treatment of many diseases] written in Persian by Abu Bakr Rabee Ibn Ahmad Al-Akhawyni Bokhari in 10th century, medicine is a craft of scientifically and practically maintaining human beings’ health and restoring it once it deteriorates.

Therefore, firstly it is important to recognize and ensure one’s health and then in case of a disease nurse them back to full health, which is the most comprehensive definition of medicine provided today that underscores the primary mission of medical practices.

Consistently Iranian traditional medicine strength comes from prioritizing health maintenance over treating diseases.

Six core principles

As it is religiously obligatory to know the rudimentary rules and regulations set by Islam it is also mandatory for all human beings to familiarize themselves with basics regarding healthcare to avoid illnesses as much as possible and manage to treat mild illnesses to prevent refractory and chronic disease.

What we are trying achieve is to give the readers a general view on the Iranian-Islamic traditional medicine to help them choose the kind of lifestyle that suits them best in accordance with their temperaments by cutting down on things which are unhealthy and consuming what is beneficial to their health.

Medicine is a craft of scientifically and practically maintaining human beings’ health and restoring it once it deteriorates.Food and drinks, climatic conditions and environment, physical activities and rest Iranian traditional medicine, psychiatric conditions including that of sadness, happiness, depression, and stress, sleep and wakefulness, absorbing key nutrients and ridding body from waste materials (sweat, urine, or feces) are the six fundamental and guiding principles behind the Iranian traditional medicine lifestyle and issues one must take into account while trying to maintain their health.

The first step to ensure optimum health is recognizing one’s temperament (physical and mental characteristics from Iranian traditional medicine point of view) to get useful information to find the best route to a healthy life. These articles are pretty helpful to achieve and sustain physical and mental balance.

Seyed Mahdi Mirghazanfari, MD, holds a PhD degree in medical physiology and is an Iranian-Islamic traditional medicine researcher. He is also an assistant professor in AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

MQ/MG

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