Review of Sodae (Headache) in Persian Medicine

Majid Talafi Noghani, Hasan Namdar



Background and Aim: Studies on the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders are abundant but headache is still known as a prevalent, debilitating and costly disorder. Persian Medicine may be used to assist modern medicine in the management of this disorder.

Material and Methods: With a purposive sampling method and criterion based approach all topics related to headache disorders from most important Persian Medicine Textbooks; Ghanoon, Al-Kamel, Al-hawi, Zakhireh, Sharhe-Gharshi, Sharhol-Asbab, Moalejaat and Ekseer were studied and summarized. In addition, The textbook of "The Headaches", The International Classification of Headache Disorders, and a number of treatment guidelines were reviewed. At the end the results were analyzed and compared.

Findings: Headache disorders in Persian Medicine are classified into more than 27 types based on the cranial tissue affected, being primary or secondary, having an internal or external etiology, their location on the head, their severity, having sequels, and the pathophysiology of pain. Some of these types are simple or material distemperments, Khoozeh, Hemicrania, headaches attributed to weakness or strength of sensations. For easier diagnosis one could utilize the algorithm of headache classifications in Persian Medicine which reviews the features of being primary or secondary, material or simple, warm, cold or dry, hypo or hypersensitive. Successful management of any type of headache disorder depends on the resolution of its cause. Nevertheless some measures may improve symptoms in most types of headaches. These are reducing eating and drinking, increasing sleeping time overnight, keeping calm and quiet, avoiding stimulation of humors and vapors, avoiding flatulent, vaporizing and sore tasting foodstuff.

Conclusion: Classification and diagnosis of headaches in Persian Medicine and Modern medicine are different to each other; however, both are in agreement about non-pharmacological treatments. Persian Medicine is capable of improving the management of patients with headache disorders.


Please cite this article as: Talafi Noghani M, Namdar H. Review of Sodae (Headache) in Persian Medicine. Med Hist J 2018; 10(35): 33-48.


Headache; Migraine; Sodae; Persian Medicine; Iranian Traditional Medicine

Full Text:




Stovner L, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarava Z, Lipton R, Scher A, et al. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalalgia. 2007; 27(3): 193-210.

Vos T, Abajobir AA, Abate KH, Abbafati C, Abbas KM, Abd-Allah F, et al. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet 2016; 390(10100): 1211-1259.

Stokes M, Becker WJ, Lipton RB, Sullivan SD, Wilcox TK, Wells L, et al. Cost of Health Care Among Patients With Chronic and Episodic Migraine in Canada and the USA: Results From the International Burden of Migraine Study (IBMS). Headache 2011; 51(7): 1058-1077.

Olesen J, Goadsby P, Ramadan N, Tfelt-Hansen P, Welch K. The Headaches. 3rd ed. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.

Isler H, Koehle PJ. History of the Headache. Edited by Olesen J, Goadsby PJ, Ramadan NM, Tfelt-Hansen P, Welch KMA. The Headaches. 3rd ed. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006. p.1-7.

Rezayat A, Yavari M. Introducing a new category of headache derived from Iranian traditional medicine. JIITM 2014; 4(4): 322-332.

Fazl Joo S, Keshavarz M, Togha M. Participatory Gastric Headache in the Iranian Traditional Medicine. JIITM 2011; 1(4): 383-390.

Ebn-e-Sina H. Ghanoon fi a-Tteb. 1st ed. Beirut: Daro-Ehyae-Torathel-Arabi; 2005. p.226-249. [Arabic]

Kermani N. Sharh-ol Asbab val-Alamaat. 1st ed. Ghom: Jalalo-ddin; 2008. p.5-53. [Arabic]

Aghili M. Moalejaat. 1st rd. Tehran: Moassese Motaleaate Tarikhe Pezeshki; 2008. p.32-75. [Persian]

International Association for the Study of Pain: Taxonomy. Available at: Accesssed February 10, 2017.

Victor M, Ropper AH, Adams RD. Adams and Victor’s Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2010. p.168-197.

Ahwazi A. Kamelo-Ssenaato-Ttebbiyyah. 1st ed. Ghom: Jalalo-ddin; 2008. p.334-341. [Arabic]

Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS). The International Classification of Headache Disorders. Cephalalgia 2013; 33(9): 629-808.

Penning R, Van Nuland M, Fliervoet LAL, Olivier B, Verster JC. The Pathology of Alcohol Hangover. Current Drug Abuse Reviews 2010; 3(2): 68-75.

Panconesi A. Alcohol and migraine: trigger factor, consumption, mechanisms. A review. J Headache Pain 2008; 9(1): 19-25.

Gharshi A. Sharhe Ghanoon. Tehran: Ketabkhaneh Majles; 1976. p.29-30. [Arabic]

MacGregor EA, Steiner TJ, Davies PTG. Guidelines for All Healthcare Professionals in the Diagnosis and Management of Migraine, Tension-Type, Cluster and Medication-Overuse Headache. British Association for the Study of Headache 2010; 3(1): 1-53.

Zagami AS, Bahra A. Symptomatology of migraines without aura. Edited by Olesen J, Goadsby P, Ramadan N, Tfelt-Hansen P, Welch KMA. The Headaches. 3rd ed. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006. p.399-405.

Martin PR. Behavioral Management of Migraine Headache Triggers: Learning to Cope with Triggers. Curr Pain Headache Rep 2010; 14(3): 221-227.

Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A. Foods and Supplements in the Management of Migraine Headaches. Clin J Pain 2009; 25(5): 446-452.

Kelman L. The triggers or precipitants of the acute migraine attack. Cephalalgia 2007; 27(5): 394-402.

World Health Organization. Neurological Disorders: Public Health Challenges. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2006. p.70-85.

Martin PR. Managing headache triggers: think "coping" not "avoidance". Cephalalgia 2009; 30(5): 634-637.

Becker WJ. Headache Triggers, Lifestyle Factors, and Behavioural Therapies in Migraine-Appendix I. Can J Neurol Sci 2012; 39(Suppl.2): S48-S53.

Campbell JK, Penzien DB, Wall EM. Evidenced-Based Guidelines for Migraine Headache: Behavioral and Physical Treatments. US Headache Consortium 2000; 1(1): 1-29.

Rains JC, Penzien DB, McCrory DC, Gray RN. Behavioral headache treatment: history, review of the empirical literature, and methodological critique. Headache 2005; 45(Suppl2): S92-109.

Sargent JD, Green EE, Walters ED. The use of autogenic feedback training in a pilot study of migraine and tension headaches. Headache 1972; 12(3): 120-124.

Ahn AH. Why does increased exercise decrease migraine? Curr Pain Headache Rep 2013; 17(12): 379-382.

Aydinlar EI, Dikmen PY, Tiftikci A, Saruc M, Aksu M, Gunsoy HG, et al. IgG Based Elimination Diet in Migraine Plus Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Headache 2013; 53(3): 514-525.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License CC BY-NC 4.0. Copyright © 2016 Medical History JournalAll rights reserved.  All credits and honors to PKP for their OJS.

For Author | Online Submission | About Contact