Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Medicine in Zoroastrian School
Alamdari A., Zarifi A., Mohammad Hossaini S.
Faculty of Nursing, Yasouj University of Medical Sciences, Yasouj, Iran
Medical history in ancient Iran began with the immigration of Aryans to Iran about 30 centuries before Christ. Zoroastrians believed that the first physician was Thirta and the great physician in Zoroastrian era called Thraetoon was the inventor of medical science and the killer of the wicked soul. Followers of Zoroaster claimed that Ahoramazda created goodness and Ahriman managed to create pain and suffering out of conspiracy. As a result there was a continuous fight between evil and good, between disease and health, and between Ahriman and Ahoramazda. Aryans knew disease to be a disaster sent down from the sky and mental diseases were claimed to be the manifestation of the wicked souls in human beings.
There were two medical schools in Ancient Iran, namely, Mazdisna and Akbatan. In Mazdisna School, having Avesta as its Holy Book, examining and treating diseases and referring to physician were parts of the Zoroastrian teachings. The emergence of the term physician and separating superstition from medication which is attributed to Boqrat is also true of Iranians.
Akbatan School, which came into being about 100 years after Zoroaster, was founded by one of his students named Saena Poure Ahumstate. In the past, medicine was related to religious beliefs all over the world and likewise medical practice was within the responsibility of the religious scholars and Zoroastrian priests. Ase and Hista appeared to be a spiritual being capable of treating and curing diseases. In fact, the role of talisman, prayers, and invocation was quite important in the eyes of the ancient Iranians like other tribes.
Individual health and the hygiene of the boroughs, villages, and towns were included in their responsibilities and governors were charged with providing general health. Some typical examples of health in Zoroastrian School were washing up body and clothes as well as prevention from drinking water from others’ glasses, touching corpse, and contaminating fire, earth, water and plants.
Some kinds of treatment were used by physicians in ancient Iran the most important of which were psychotherapy, herb therapy, and surgery or using knife. If not successful with herb therapy, the skillful physician could employ a knife to treat wounds, tumors, and also to cut body organs. For the first time cesarean was invented by Iranians and it was referred to as manual delivery.