Iranian Traditional Medicine

Iranian Traditional Medicine

Irani-tebb or Irani Traditional Medicine, also called Tebb e Sonnati is one of famous forms of traditional medicine which is grounded in the four humours concept: Phlegm (Balgham), Blood (Dam), Yellow bile (Ṣafrā’) and Black bile (Saudā’). Some traditional medicine forms are in this base. Unani and Graeco-Arabic are the most famous of that. It is based on the teachings of Greek physician Hippocrates and Roman physician Galen, and developed by Rhazes, Avicenna (Ibn Sena) into an elaborate medical system.

The old medical system was developed by a number of nations. Irani-tebb, although often presumed as part of Unani medicine because of a great overlap between these two, still is a separate tradition with roots further in the ancient Iranian and Indian past.

The practice and study of medicine in Persia has a long and prolific history. The Iranian academic centers like Gundeshapur University (3rd century AD) were a breeding ground for the union among great scientists from different civilizations. These centers successfully followed their predecessors’ theories and greatly extended their scientific research through history.

In recent years, some experimental studies have indeed evaluated medieval Iranian medical remedies using modern scientific methods. These studies raised the possibility of revival of traditional treatments on the basis of evidence-based medicine.

One of the main roles played by medieval Iranian scholars in the scientific field was the conservation, consolidation, coordination and development of ideas and knowledge in ancient civilizations. Some Iranian Hakim (practitioners) such as Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi, known to the West as Rhazes, and Ibn Sina, better known as Avicenna, were not only responsible for accumulating all the existing information on medicine of the time, but adding to this knowledge by their own astute observations, experimentation and skills. “Qanoon fel teb of Avicenna” (“The Canon”) and “Kitab al-hawi of Razi” (“Continens”) were among the central texts in Western medical education from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

In the 14th century, the Persian language medical work Tashrih al-badan (Anatomy of the body), by Mansur ibn Ilyas (c. 1390), contained comprehensive diagrams of the body’s structural, nervous and circulatory systems.

Ancient Iranian Medicine, the basic knowledge of four humours as a healing system, was developed by Hakim Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna in the west) in his medical encyclopedia The Canon of Medicine.