Tracing the Principles & Realities of Traditional Iranian Medicine

Medicine in Iran has a long history. From medicine in the burnt city of about 3,000 years ago to years later when the likes of Ibn Sina and Zakaria Razi became prominent in the history of Iranian medicine. Tehran, however, has a different story in the history of medicine. Since the city became the capital, many Persian physicians came to Tehran to serve in the court of the Qajar kings, and in addition to treating the Shah, they engaged in medical education for the students of the Academy of Arts. This issue was the prelude to the formation of modern medicine in Tehran and then Iran. 

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Medicine in the burned city

Referring to the history of medicine in Iran, it has a rich history. About 3,500 years ago, the first brain surgery was performed in the burned city of Sistan. A skull from a grave was found in the burnt city, and the incisions on the skull show that brain surgery was performed on this person. “The most important thing is that from the bone fusion, it can be seen that the surgery was successful and that the person lived a few years afterwards.

Medicine in Tehran has a special feature. With the capital of Tehran during the Qajar period, medical education was concentrated in this city. As a result, European doctors opened their feet to Iran and Traditional Medicine gave way to Modern Medicine. 

Persian physicians in Iran
The first Western physicians came to Iran in the mid-Safavid period. The Iranian branch of the East India Company brought English and Dutch doctors to Iran. Prior to the Qajar period, French physicians who came to Iran had no contact with ordinary people. Even before Nader Shah, kings did not trust doctors because they were Christians.

In the Qajar period, due to the effective role of Western physicians in controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the country, they gained more trust. Among them, we can mention Dr. Karmik, who was the special physician of Abbas Mirza and the life of this Qajar prince was largely in his hands. Karmik also played a major role in controlling the 1831 global plague in Iran. After him, Dr. Klokeh came to Iran and became Mohammad Shah’s special physician.
Dr. Pollack, an Austrian, was Nasser al-Din Shah’s physician for 10 years. He started the medical department in Al-Fonun and played a great role in shaping modern Iranian medicine and wrote various books in the field of medicine. After him, Dr. Toulouse of France became a special physician for Nasser al-Din Shah for 30 years and one of the most influential people in Iranian medicine. Toulouse was a specialist in infectious diseases and set up a General Assembly, which later became the Ministry of Health. After him, Dr. Fourier came to Iran and became Nasser al-Din Shah’s physician for three years. She was one of the first doctors to examine the king’s wives and advised the king on political issues, such as the Reuters contract.

Tehran and medicine in the capital
In medical history, we seek to analyze discourses, and a linear view of history is useless. In fact, in studying medical history, we should look for what happened in medical history that we are standing at today. As a result, to study the history of medicine in old Tehran, we must become familiar with the duality of Pollack and Toulouse. Pollack, experts believe, founded clinical medicine and Toulouse social medicine in Iran.

Tehran was the capital and this issue caused this city to become a medical center. Tehran is influential in shaping the nature of modern medicine in Iran. Baladieh or the municipality of Tehran is one of the influential institutions of this city on medicine. Because the doctors on duty were located in a room in the municipality, and if anyone wanted a doctor, he had to contact the municipality. 

In the meantime, the impact of medicine and doctors on Tehran should not be overlooked. Dr. Alam al-Dawla Khalil Saghi was the third mayor of Tehran. He is also the founder of the city’s cleaning department. Maryam Mirhadi is also a dentist who founded the Literary Association in Tehran. Also, people like Dr. Abdolbaqi Nawab were one of the best calligraphers in Iran.

Medical culture in old Tehran is full of concepts that no longer exist today. One of these concepts is gratitude. Older newspapers are full of ads for doctors who have thanked the pharmacy or their colleagues. There are also patients who have thanked doctors or pharmacies. Thanks ensures the durability and survival of a system. Physicians with artistic and cultural talents, along with a spirit of perseverance and diligence, also played a major role in the culture of medicine in Tehran.

Changing the pattern of physician-patient relationship

Physicians have always had a high status in Iranian culture. At the time of the constitution, physicians were elected by the people in parliament. They also had an important place in parties and politics, and the people trusted them. Doctors not only treated people with physical ailments but also helped people with mental and family problems. This issue existed until the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, but over time, the role of doctors in social life and people’s lives diminished.

“In the past, the doctor was sometimes a member of the family, speaking of the reasons for the change in the position of doctors in the Iranian lifestyle. The “patient” was addressed to the physician, but today the physician’s goal is the “disease” and is encountered as a science and technology. The doctor and the patient also met. Later, however, with the formation of medical economics groups, the patient’s human status and social interaction with each other diminished, and with it the role of the physician declined. “As a result, it can be said that medical schools and the trend of medical economics today do not correspond to the pattern of interaction between patient and physician.

Suffering from getting sick in Tehran

The process of treating a patient has not necessarily been easier, but even more difficult, than in the past 50 years in Iran. Financial support is social support and the science of medicine and technology. In terms of financial support, the patient needs quality health insurance, which unfortunately is not provided in our country, and even if he becomes ill, he spends a lot of money out of pocket.

“Another issue is social support. In advanced treatment systems, there is no need for companionship for the patient. But in Iran, having a companion is necessary for the patient, while being with a patient is very difficult and exhausting, and this is one of the sufferings of getting sick. If there is adequate social support for the patient, the person should not have to worry about their job, life and other daily affairs during the illness. Finally, the last pillar is the medical system, which of course, as the number of doctors increases, the quality of university output may also decrease. This issue, along with the medical and propaganda sub-sciences that exist against doctors, makes it more difficult to trust and respond to the medical system.

Iran’s oldest modern hospital
Now a few words about Sina Hospital, the oldest active hospital in Iran and Tehran. The first hospital in Tehran was built by Dr. Pollack for military use in 1268. The hospital, called the Military Hospital, was built outside the government gate. But the hospital was closed due to some sabotage. Of course, after this hospital, Pollack tried to establish a private hospital with the help of the Qajar princes, which he was not able to provide financially.

The current Sina Hospital, or the former government hospital, is the first modern public hospital in Tehran and still stands very firm. The hospital was built at the suggestion of Etezad al-Saltanah and with the consent of Nasser al-Din Shah in 1284, on the grounds of the former military hospital, and provided the need for the students of the Dar al-Fonun medical school to have a space to practice their lessons. This hospital has different names, such as the government hospital and Ahmadieh hospital, and finally in 1319, Sina hospital.

Traditional Medicine in Iran

People who do not have proper nutrition with their temperament in terms of cold and heat, as well as their dryness or humidity are in the category of mood disorders, and also people who are born with a defect in the body are in the category of diseases related to the composition or normal number of organs. It is a misalignment and people who have a fracture or a bad boil in one part of the body and limit their movement are in the category of diseases of separation and connection. Also in traditional medicine, medicinal plants and substances derived from animals and nature. Are common. Experts believe that taking herbal medicines of traditional medicine simultaneously with other medicines used by the patient may have the opposite effect or dangerous side effects. Iranian traditional medicine is one of the best medicine in the world. Also, traditional medicine Iranian has also been used in Europe.


Traditional medicine in Iran has many treatments that we intend to address these methods as well.

One of the treatment methods of traditional medicine in Iran is herbal medicine. In this medicine, the treatment of various physical and mental diseases by plants is called herbal medicine and also one of the oldest methods in the world is herbal medicine. God has placed all diseases and pains in nature. The father of traditional Iranian medicine is Mr. Hakim Hossein Khair Andish.

Another treatment method of traditional Iranian medicine is massage therapy. It is used to treat musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, headaches, stress and depression, as well as improving blood flow and increasing oxygen delivery to tissues and healing dozens of other diseases Properties of massage therapy Some massage therapies include: Yomiho, Thai massage, soothing massages and beauty massages. The Iranian traditional medicine association is much more advanced in its methods.

Another borrowed traditional Iranian medicine is Shiatsu; Squeezing vital parts of the body for health with the fingers is called shiatsu. This method is more preventive and is a healthy and effective technique and is used as a form of physiotherapy for certain diseases. In this method, patients get their stored energy and strength from this method and people who suffer from stress, tension, depression or insomnia can be treated with this method.

Another method of treatment of traditional Iranian medicine is cupping. Cupping in Persian means healing and is also a method of blood sampling that is to prevent diseases and treat some diseases. Also, cupping is done in two types, which include; Dry cupping is also wet cupping, which in dry cupping is without razor and blood sampling, and wet cupping is accompanied by blood sampling, and also Abu Ali Sina has introduced cupping as a therapeutic pillar. Cupping is used to treat and prevent diseases such as esophagus, drug addiction, indigestion, migraine and nerve headaches, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure and skin diseases. Soon we will also introduced beauty of Mashhad to you.

Another treatment method of traditional Iranian medicine is ballooning, which is used in balloon therapy, which creates suction in some different parts of the body in order to expand the body’s blood vessels and divert the material from a specific point, which is also called dry cupping. Also, by doing a balloon and turning a glass on the body of paralyzed people due to stroke and heart attack, it makes these patients better, and also in some patients, doing a balloon with a combination of special oils should be done.

Another treatment method of traditional Iranian medicine is leech therapy, which is one of the medical blood sampling methods. Also, this method has a special place in traditional medicine. In addition, not every leech has a therapeutic effect, and also in leech saliva, there is an anticoagulant substance that dilutes the blood and opens narrow arteries, and as a result, increases blood supply and oxygenation to the site or organ. Leech therapy is used for diseases such as coronary artery stenosis, skin grafting, organ transplantation, varicose veins, skin lesions, joint diseases, osteoarthritis, hemorrhoids, skin beauty and strengthening the immune system.

Another treatment method of traditional Iranian medicine is venipuncture, which causes the excretion of many toxins in the body, especially in cases of soda overdose, and also removes waste products that accumulate and increase in the blood. It should be performed by skilled and specialized people. Veins have many uses, including: sciatica, hemorrhoids, cleansing of the dominant nature, gastrointestinal diseases, etc.

Another method of treatment of traditional Iranian medicine is hydrotherapy or abzans, in which it is used with or without herbal essential oils. This method has many applications to improve scarring, skin lesions, joint pain, sciatica, vitality. It is used to strengthen the body, strengthen muscles and repair body pores, warm up and increase body moisture.

There are also complications in traditional Iranian medicine, which are associated with potential risks associated with the performance of physicians and traditional medicine products: use of counterfeit or poor quality products, insufficient skill of the doctor or therapist, misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis or failure to use effective effective treatments, encountering misleading or unreliable information, occurrence of side effects or action and there are unwanted reactions to treatment.


The tariff for diagnostic and treatment services is approved every year by the Council of Ministers and the Scientific Association of Traditional Medicine of Iran, based on the book of relative value of health services.


You must know that the more sputum in our body increases and exceeds the normal level, the more the body gets sick. There are four phlegms in the body. Soda is one of the four sputums in our body that has a cold nature. This sputum is actually a blood deposit that settles and is therefore heavier and thicker than other mixtures. Most of it is said to be stored in a part called the spleen and a small amount of it mixes with the blood. This sputum has different types, which have different treatment methods based on the characteristics of each. In the traditional way to remove soda, you can use a combination of vinegar, honey and mint sweat. It is also recommended to use honey syrup which contains honey, sour lemon and water.


In traditional Iranian medicine, each plant is studied separately or in combination. So far, various experiments have been performed in this field, and good results have been obtained. There are many herbs that have amazing medicinal properties. Ever since it was seen in nature, animals have been rubbing their bodies with grass to heal their wounds, and the spark of using herbs has been on their minds.  


Iranian medicine has a history of ten thousand years, which is completely based on scientific and experimental principles. In this medicine, the first priority is to maintain health and then define the principles of lifestyle for a better life. In this medicine we have an overview of the body, in the sense that in order to be able to correctly diagnose the disease and also to prescribe for its treatment, all parts of the body, genetics, living conditions, mental characteristics, age, geographical location And so on and so forth. That is why in this medicine, the first task of a doctor is to maintain good health.

For treatment in this medicine, in the first stage, changes are made in the lifestyle, especially the patient’s nutrition, and after its correction, medication and physical therapies such as massage and other methods are prescribed. The use of medicine in these methods is very cautious.  As much as you can treat the patient using dietary and lifestyle modifications you can avoid taking medication. Given that today we are witnessing an increasing use of traditional medicine around the world, some believe that combining it with modern medicine is a good way to improve the health of society and individuals. It should also be noted that the World Health Organization has recognized the various schools of medicine for many years and has even developed strategies for traditional and complementary medicine in recent years.


Recently, the head of the Faculty of Iranian Medicine announced the opening of four health centers of traditional medicine in the holy city of Mashhad. In this regard, currently two clinics equipped to provide traditional Iranian medicine services. These centers have been set up with the aim of better access to standard and specialized services in the field of traditional medicine. Not to mention that there are about 8 traditional health centers in the city that applicants can consult, temperament, nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle counseling, cupping, ballooning, purging, leech therapy, massage, acupuncture, etc.


One of the useful things that has been done in order to advance traditional medicine in Iran is to set up a site to sell books in this field. At present, there are many experienced physicians who, based on their personal experience and knowledge, have written and marketed books to cure and cure various diseases using this method. Having a collection or library was felt so that those interested in this field could easily access their desired books in this field.


There are many doctors in all cities of Iran that you can refer to to treat your diseases using traditional medicine. Be sure to do the necessary research in choosing a doctor to choose the best one. You must know that the characteristics of a doctor are his experience and level of education. Undoubtedly, doctors who deal more with patients have more experience. Responsibility is also another characteristic of a good doctor. You can always ask your frequently asked questions from our experts in person or by phone.


Is Iranian traditional medicine used today to treat diseases?

There are good doctors in this field and they can be relied on to treat many diseases.

How old is Iranian traditional medicine?

According to reports, this method of treatment has been invented and used for tens of thousands of years.

Is traditional Iranian medicine practiced in Mashhad?

At present, in addition to Mashhad, this medicine is used in other parts of the country to treat diseases.

For more information regarding the ways to connect traditional medicine doctors in Asian countries and Ukraine please write us at for the direct bridge to Asia or directly refer through us your questions to Elena Mozgovaya (Dr. MD-PhD), a leading Medicine science specialist of Western & Oriental treatment methods combination in Kyiv Ukraine, who while leading hundreds of fertility preservation and anti-aging programs in Gynecology can host you for consultation and the right colleague reference regarding of your problem, details please click here

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