Preventive Care for Gastrointestinal Disorders; Role of Herbal Medicines in Traditional Persian Medicine


Maryam Mosaffa Jahromi 1 , 2 , Mehdi Pasalar 2 , 3 , * , Suleiman Afsharypuor 4 , Rasool Choopani 3 , Mahmoud Mosaddegh 5 , Mohammad Kamalinejad 6 , Abdolali Mohagheghzadeh 1 , Ali Mohammad Tamaddon 7 , Kamran Bagheri Lankarani 8

1 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran

2 Research Center for Traditional Persian Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran

3 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

4 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran

5 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

6 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

7 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Biomaterials Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran

8 Health Policy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran

How to Cite: Mosaffa Jahromi M, Pasalar M, Afsharypuor S, Choopani R, Mosaddegh M, et al. Preventive Care for Gastrointestinal Disorders; Role of Herbal Medicines in Traditional Persian Medicine. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2015;10(4):e21029. doi: 10.17795/jjnpp-21029.


Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products: 10 (4); e21029
Published Online: October 18, 2015
Article Type: Review Article
Received: June 8, 2014
Revised: November 29, 2014
Accepted: January 19, 2015


Context: Preventive care is a basic rule in current medical practice and traditional Persian medicine (TPM) scholars have introduced a large amount of publications in this valued field. According to TPM principles, healthy stomach has a significant role in providing a fit body and herbal medicines are capable of helping stomach perform this role.

Evidence Acquisition: A wide-ranging search in main TPM books and web engines was performed to compare preventive care in gastrointestinal (GI) diseases through a librarian review study.

Results: There is a close interaction between GI system and other body systems; any ailment in a system could result in dysfunction of stomach and vice versa. There are various herbal medicines that help achieving a healthy stomach following a seven-part preventive rule and in this article, we briefly reviewed some of them such as amla, clove, lemon, black mustard, saffron, ginger, aloe, and mastic.

Conclusions: Following a simple seven-part rule of healthy stomach will result in balanced GI function and a healthy body. Properly consumption of recommended TPM herbal medicines could reinforce the stomach and a healthy GI system through preventive mechanisms.

1. Context

Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are among the most common disabilities worldwide. They cause morbidities, economic, and social effects such as decreased quality of life, higher cost of care, and school absenteeism (1-3). One of the most effective experienced ways to overcome the abovementioned hazards is substituting prevention for treatment (4) and consequently, health policymakers should pay more attention to promotion of preventive care and progressively invest in this filed (5, 6). Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM), as an ancient valuable school, concentrates on preventive principles (Osul-e Hifzosiha), especially in the field of GI system (7). Based on quadratic elements (fire, air, water, and soil) and their qualities, GI system accomplishes its inborn normal function. As every subject has specific quality related to its element(s) dominancy in its structure, called temperament or mizadj, different effects are considered (8-11). According to TPM scholars’ view, stomach has a cardinal role in body health (12). It functions as a main system in supplying other organs requirements including growth and development. If it works correctly, balanced humors will be generated, which are essential for health (8, 13). The aim of this study was to review the preventive principles of TPM in healthy stomach topic and evaluate them with new scientific findings.

2. Evidence Acquisition

We searched main books of TPM scholars including Al-Havi (by Razes), Canon of Medicine (by Avicenna), and Exir Azam (by Hakim Azam Khan) for GI prevention explanations. Moreover, a comprehensive web search was performed in PubMed, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and scientific information database (SID) through March 2014 with the following keywords: stomach, prevention of GI disorders, and traditional medicine.

4. Conclusions

According to TPM resources, GI system including stomach has special preventive instructions to be obeyed accurately. Observing the seven-part rules of healthy stomach will lead to a balance in hotness, coldness, moistness, and dryness of stomach and an empowered stomach faculties. Appropriate use of recommended TPM herbal medicines with specific temperaments (Table 2) and observing essential prerequisites for the prevention of diseases (Osul-e Hifzosiha) for healthy stomach are of great importance in the abovementioned rules (14). The efficacy of some herbal medicines for good function of GI system has been proved in modern medicine. For example, most of 51 essential oils discussed in TPM resources have GI usage for diverse disorders ranging from otitis to hemorrhoid in special dosage forms (40-46). Although the safety and the detection of mechanism of action in herbal preparations are always a matter of concern, the attention has been curved towards ancient medical systems and herbal medicines because of the adverse effects and increasing failure of contemporary drugs (47-49). These effects have been discussed in TPM based on their temperaments and their components could explain these qualities. For instance, mastic is rich in phenolic compounds, which are attributed to hot and dry temperaments (mizadj) (16). The common note seen in modern studies about plants usage in prevention of GI disorders is gastroprotective effect of such herbal medicines. They are good sources of antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, anti-H. pylori, and gastro-protective agents. The fundamental role of antioxidant agents in gastric protection is documented through diverse pathways including regulation of acid secretion and improvement of mucosal blood flow (50-52). On the other hand, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, anti-H. pylori, and gastroprotective characteristics of drug plants on GI system fitness are not necessary to be discussed, considering the importance of the preservation of gut microbiota (53). Furthermore, most of these plants are good sources of essential oils (Table 1). As we know, essential oils are secondary metabolites of aromatic herbs and their protective role as antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents has been established (54) and it is surprising that we understand that scented plants have tonic effect on organs such as stomach regarding TPM views (8, 9, 14). The long list of priorities of preventive care makes the application of seven-part rules of healthy stomach rational and intellectual. There are numerous trials evaluating herbal medicines in TPM field (55, 56), but there is a vast area for new clinical trials on TPM herbal medicines, as preventive remedies, waiting for clever scientists.




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    niki vakili says:

    To whom it may be considered Dear publisher, Do you publish kind of important case reports? Thanks for your attention Sincerely,

    Rebeeca says:

    Maeng da kratom is used to get relief from chronic pains, remove anxiousness, mind wellness as well as for enhancing mood. Furthermore, people can reduce their stress and depression by using this herb. This has lots of health benefits.