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Traditional Medicine

Traditional Medicine in Iran

Traditional medicine in Iran came back to thousands of years ago. It results from observations, herbs identifications and benefits, patients' treatment using herbs, understanding the human bodies and pain points, and four temperaments. Thousands of Iranian scientists have historically researched this science and passed on the achievements of their later societies. Among these great scholars are Avicenna, Zakariya al-Razi, Hakim Aqili Khorasani, Hakim Mohammad Azam Khan and others. Traditional medicine, along with the writings of great botanical scientists, in many cases came to the help of modern medical science. It can be said that all of humanity's efforts have been to preserve human survival and health. We live in societies where, historically, many people have been cured with traditional medicines. One of the oldest methods of this science in Iran is phytotherapy. In this method, herbalists use spices and herbs in their therapeutic practices. Extracts and benefits of herbs are used in distillations, teas, oils, powders, and tablets. Among other traditional medicine, methods are wet cupping, dry cupping, medicinal leech therapy, bloodletting, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture.

Therapeutic Methods of Traditional Medicine in Iran


Phytotherapy is one of the most used and oldest treatments in Iranian traditional medicine. It is used to prevent and treat many physical and psychological conditions. Phytotherapy is based on identifying four temperaments related to each person's Body. The four temperaments are melancholy, cholera, sanguine and phlegmatic. In this method, herbs and spices are used in the form of leaves, roots or flowers. The interesting point is that herbs that grow in one's living environment are most commonly used to treat his diseases. Herbal treatments are personalized. The amount, combination, duration of use and dosage of the medication is determined by the herbalist considering its condition and need. It should be noted that not all diseases, especially those that require surgery, are treated in this way. In some cases, the symptoms that occur after taking herbal remedies do not mean a complete cure, and the treatment period may be longer.

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Some of the Medical Conditions that Improve with Phytotherapy

  • Elderly insomnia
  • Obesity
  • Urticaria
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency
  • Stress
  • Joint pain
  • Uterine pain
  • Depression
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Indigestion
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Skin inflammation
  • Oily hair
  • Constipation
  • Oral pest

Wet Cupping

Wet cupping is another type of traditional medicine that has been one of the most commonly used treatments in Egypt, China, and the Middle East. This method uses a glass, bamboo, ceramic or silicone cup. In this way, the cup placed on your skin will suck air on the surface of the skin. A plastic pump is used to make this suction. Alternatively, a flammable material such as alcohol, herbs or paper may be used. The suction causes your skin to swell and your blood vessels to expand. The cup is usually held for up to 3 minutes. The therapist then removes the cup and makes small, superficial cuts on the skin. Then, he does the suction for the second time to extract a small amount of blood. In the first session, you may be given 3-5 cups or maybe just try one according to the therapist's diagnosis. Using more than 5-7 cups per session is not appropriate.

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The Effects of Wet Cupping on the Body

  • Regulation of the human immune system
  • Regulation of endocrine discharge and exocrine secretion
  • Affecting the sympathetic and parasympathetic system
  • Affecting lymph drainage
  • Effective on toxins disposal and blockages
  • Effective on increasing endorphin secretion
  • Excretion of blood wastes (triglyceride-lowering, blood concentration, blood glucose, uric acid, hypertension)
  • Toxins disposal and body infection
  • Adjusting the four temperaments of the Body
  • Removing vascular obstruction (helping to treat atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, neurological headache, migraines, sciatica)

Dry Cupping

Like wet cupping, dry cupping is also done by placing a glass, bamboo, ceramic or silicone cup on the skin. The transparency of the cup allows the therapist to observe the process of cupping. He places the cups on the skin's surface and then pumps out the air inside them or creates a vacuum place through heat. This action results in suction on the surface of the skin. Increasing blood flow to the desired location cause repair or reconstruct of the tissues and stimulate them. The cups suck the skin for a few minutes. The detoxes then enter the cup through the pores of the skin. Therefore, the Body is cleaned from toxic materials. Cupping is not suitable for children, older people, pregnant women, and women during menstruation.

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The Effects of Dry Cupping on the Body

  • Detoxification
  • Skin inflammation reduction
  • Immune system improvement
  • Blood flow improvement
  • Kidney function improvement
  • Maintaining cardiovascular health
  • Prevention of diabetes
  • Pain reduction
  • Relaxation
  • Headache reduction
  • Metabolism rate improvement

Medicinal Leech Therapy

Medicinal leech therapy (MLT) or hirudotherapy is one of the traditional blood sampling methods. It is essential to treat various conditions such as inflammatory diseases and the amount of hirudin that is injected into the Body by leeches. Hirudin in leech saliva is an anticoagulant that dilutes the blood and opens tight vessels, increasing blood supply and oxygenation to the brain. In leech's saliva, there are more than 100 kinds of vital substances. This small parasite has a tremendous ability to treat diseases. For these reasons, it has gained a special place in medicine. Every leech has no therapeutic effect. For therapeutic purposes, leeches are used that grow in mossy waters where frogs live. People with anemia, those who have problems in their arteries, children under 18, and pregnant women avoid having leech therapy.

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The Effects of Medicinal Leech Therapy on the Body

  • Blood flow improvement
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Diabetes treatment
  • Hair loss treatment
  • Treatment of hypertension
  • Treatment of varicose veins
  • Hemorrhoids treatment
  • Skin problems cure
  • Osteoarthritis treatment
  • Joint problems treatment


This method, dating back thousands of years, eliminates many of the Body's toxins when it comes to overcoming melancholy, helping blood purification. It is believed that the human Body is made up of four temperaments of melancholy, cholera, sanguine, and phlegmatic. If the Bodybody's balance is impaired due to the increase or decrease of these temperaments, the person becomes ill. Bloodletting can balance these four temperaments and prevent increasing their levels in the Body and causing disease. In this method, the razor blades were used to cut on one of the large veins, such as the radial vein. Today doctors take some blood from the patient. This method has many advocates and opponents. The procedure is not painful, and if it is done under a physician's supervision, there will be no complications. The veins are cut in different parts of the Body, such as the neck, forehead, back of the knee, etc. Bloodletting is not suitable for children and the elderly, people with stomach and liver weakness and pregnant women.

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Some of the Medical Conditions that Improve with Bloodletting

  • Hemorrhoids pain
  • Uterine pain
  • Indigestion
  • Low back pain
  • Varicose veins
  • Severe nasal bleeding
  • Hypertension
  • Some infertilities
  • Sciatica pain
  • High lipid levels


Hydrotherapy is one of the traditional treatments that has been preferred by Iranians, Japanese, Egyptians, and Greeks. This method benefits from hot water to treat mental illness, reduce pain and increase the joints' range of motion, reduce joint swelling, muscle strengthening, and muscle spasm relief. Swimming is not required for hydrotherapy. Walking, activities taught by a hydrotherapist, and sitting in the water, depending on your illness, are ways of implementing hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy does not have any side effects and is inexpensive. This treatment is an excellent alternative to chemical drugs. Even in the absence of specific physical conditions, you can relax and relieve fatigue by this method.
During hydrotherapy, the body temperature rises. Increasing body temperature increases metabolism. As a result, the capillaries and arteries widen, and blood flow rises. Increased blood flow eliminates body toxins and relieves muscle spasms and cramps. Using hot water increases blood flow to the skin and muscles and reduces muscle tension and pain. As you enter the water, your body weight decreases, it results in less stress on your joints and muscles. By reducing pressure on the joints, exercise can be done better and easier. Doing strength exercises in water because of water resistance will help strengthen the muscles. Doing exercises in the water is easier, and the joints movement is better, so doing these movements in the water will increase the joints' range of motion.

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The Effects of Hydrotherapy on the Body

  • Prevent Osteoporosis
  • Increase muscles strength and regain paralysis muscles ability
  • Reduce spasm and muscle pain
  • Prevent spine deflection
  • Increase blood circulation in the kidneys and bladder and prevent the deposition of minerals
  • Osteoarthritis treatment
  • Strengthens the brain and body
  • Insomnia treatment
  • Increase cardiac activity
  • Increase bowel movements and relieve constipation
  • Treatment of back pain
  • Skin and hair health
  • Increase respiratory volume of the lung


Acupuncture is one of the traditional treatments originated in China. Acupuncture dates back to at least 100 years BC. In this way, very thin needles are inserted through the skin to specific areas of the body. The number of treatment sessions, the number of needles, and needle therapy points depend on the type of illness and the specialist's diagnosis. This method is often used to relieve pain and nausea but should not be used for all pains. The effect of acupuncture on gastrointestinal disorders may be related to its effects on the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. The use of this method is now common in many European, Asian and American countries.

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Acupuncture works to reduce pain in the following areas:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Migraine and chronic headaches
  • Shoulder pain

Other Acupuncture Benefits:

  • Improve mental state
  • Improving insomnia
  • Chronic pain control
  • Improve the immune system
  • Reducing stress
  • Improves stomach pain
  • Adjusting hormone levels
  • Lower back pain (Lumbago) relief
  • Control and reduce allergies
  • Weight control