The practice and study of medicine in Persia has a long and prolific history. Medical sciences including pharmacy has a long history in Middle and Near East and goes back to the ancient Mesopotamian period (Beginning with Sumer 3000 BC). There are many cuneiform tablets from cities as ancient as Uruk (2500 BC), the city of Prophet Abraham (PBUH). The bulk of the tablets that do mention medical practices have survived from the library of Asshurbanipal at Nineveh (668 BC) Assyria.
So far 660 medical tablets from this library and 420 tablets from the library of a medical practitioner from Neo-Assyrian period, as well as Middle Assyrian and Middle Babylonian texts have been published. The vast majority of these tablets are prescriptions, but there are a few series of tablets that have been labeled “treatises”.
One of the oldest (the oldest surviving copy of this treatise dates to around 1600 BC) and the largest collections is known as “Treatise of Medical Diagnosis and Prognoses”, which consists of 40 tablets.
The diagnostic treatise is organized in head to toe order with separate subsections covering convulsive disorders, gynecology and pediatrics.
Virtually all expected diseases exist, they are described and cover neurology, fevers, worms and flukes, venereal disease and skin lesions. The medical texts are essentially rational, and some of the treatments (such as excessive bleeding) are essentially the same as modern treatments for the same condition. The ancient Iranian medicine was combined by different medical traditions from Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and Greece for more than 4000 years and merged to form what became the nucleus and foundation of medical practice in the European countries in the 13th century. The Iranian academic centers like Jundishapur University (3rd century AD) were a breeding ground for the union among great scientists from different civilizations.
These centers successfully followed their predecessors’ theories and greatly extended their scientific research through history. Iranian physicians during the glorious Islamic civilization had a tremendous share in the progress of medical sciences. The excellent clinical observations and physical examinations and writings of Iranian scientists such as Rhazes (Al-Razi, 865-925 AD), Haly Abbas (Ali ibn-al Abbas-al Majusi, died 994 AD), Avicenna (Abou Ali Sina, 980-1037) and Jurjan (Osmail ibn al-Husayn al-Jurjani, 110 AD) influenced all fields of medicine The new era of medicine in Iran begins with establishment of Dar-ul-funoon in 1851, which was the only center for modern medical education before the establishment of Tehran University. Following the establishment of the Tehran university school of medicine in 1934 and the return of Iranian graduates from the medical schools in Europe, much progress was made in the development and availability of trained manpower and specialized faculties in medicine. After the Islamic revolution by the growing spirit of independence inspired by the Iranian government the number of medical schools and medical students increased more than 10 times. For the 1st time in recent modern history the Iranian medical universities started to offer post-graduate specialized degrees in basic, clinical and engineering sciences.
In recent years, some experimental studies have indeed evaluated medieval Iranian medical remedies using modern scientific methods. These studies raised the possibility of revival of traditional treatments on the basis of evidence-based medicine