"Plague" in Tradition Persian Medicine and Modern Medicine

Farzaneh Zare, Seyed Hamdolah Mosavat, Fatemeh Atarzadeh, Amir Mohammad Jaladat



Background and Aim: "Plague" is one of the oldest infectious diseases with high mortality caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. It is characterized by the sudden onset of fever, followed by pain and lymphadenopathy. The aim of this study is to review the viewpoints of Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM) concerning the plague and to compare the findings of the study with conventional medical approach.

Materials and Methods: In this study, we reviewed the reliable resources of TPM in various centuries including The Canon of Medicine, Zakhireh kharazmshahi and Exir-e-Azam to make a comparison between traditional and conventional approaches concerning the plague.

Findings: Plague in traditional resources has a similar definition in comparison to conventional medicine; as a febrile disease accompanied with warm swelling of soft parts of the body. Septic air and body dystemperaments (abnormal changes of the whole body or an organ temperament) are predisposing factors of catching the disease. Moving from hot septic air into fresh air, eating some medicinal fruits and preparations such as pomegranate, prune and vinegar, also using perfumes like joss stick, sandalwood, and rose water are the most common hygienic recommendations of Persian traditional practitioners for the disease. Applying Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria) and Armenia's clay are the other therapeutic recommendations in dealing with plague.

Conclusion: Recent findings show that Persian traditional approach on plague meet today's scientific standards. New research ideas can be derived from reviewing written resources of TPM in dealing with infectious epidemics such as the plaque.

Please cite this article as: Zare F, Mosavat SH, Atarzadeh F, Jaladat AM. "Plague" in Tradition Persian Medicine and Modern Medicine. Med Hist J 2017; 9(32): 85-95.


Contagious Disease; Traditional Persian Medicine; Medical History

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