Traditional Medicine Definition:
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traditional medicine is a set of knowledge, skills, and practices based on indigenous theories, beliefs, and experiences in different cultures.
- On the recommendation of this organization, the guidelines of traditional medicine, regardless of whether they can be explained with new medical information or not, are used to maintain health and also in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illnesses.
- A noteworthy point in traditional medicine is the cultural and indigenous roots of this medicine. In different geographical areas, there are different traditional medicines that differ in both theories and therapies, such as the type of native medicinal plants and therapeutic actions (Hijama, cupping, Bloodletting, Leech therapy and …).
- Studies around the world show that people are increasingly willing to use this medicine.
- Maintaining health is the best approach that traditional medicine pays attention to.
A Brief History of Traditional Medicine
Persian Traditional Medicine
Iranian traditional medicine (ITM) or Persian traditional medicine is one of the world’s medical doctrine with a history of ten thousand years, which, unlike the word “traditional” that is added to its name, is completely consistent with scientific and experimental foundations, like other sciences.
In the Iranian traditional medicine doctrine, maintaining health is prioritized over treatment, and the correct principles of lifestyle are presented based on the conditions of each person; As Sheikh Al-Rais Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) says in the Book “Canon of Medicine”: “Medicine is a science through which the condition of the human body is known in terms of what causes health and illness, to maintain the existing health, and in case of loss, bring it back to the body.” Therefore, the first duty of a doctor in Iranian traditional medicine is to maintain health.
Persian traditional medicine is a holistic doctrine, which means that in order to correctly recognize the disease and provide the appropriate treatment, the health of all parts of the body, genetics, life conditions, mental characteristics, age, geographical conditions, etc., must be considered, to find the factor that disturbs the physical or mental balance of the patient.
To treat the disease in the first stage, the lifestyle and especially the nutrition of the patient will be corrected, and after that his/her lifestyle will be corrected, medicine treatment and medicinal practices such as massage, hijama, cupping and … are also among the other principles of treatment in Iranian traditional medicine.
Medicine treatment in this doctrine is being done very cautiously, contrary to what many of its claimants do, as Muhammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi says about the treatment method: “As long as you can treat the patient by correcting the diet, do not use medicine and as long as you can treat the patient with simple medicine, don’t use combined medicine.”