Persian Medicine Non-Pharmacological Therapies for Headache: Phlebotomy and Wet Cupping

J Tradit Chin Med. 2018 Jun;38(3):457-464.


Objective: To describe the common causes of headache as well as the different methods of Phlebotomy (Fasd) and wet Cupping (Hijamat) based on Persian Medicine.

Methods: In this study, we searched Google Scholar, Science Direct, PubMed and Scopus to get any in vitro or clinical evidence of the efficacy and possible mechanisms of phlebotomy or wet cupping on different types of headaches. Also different types of headaches, according to PM, under the title of ""Sodaa""; extracted from famous Persian medical text books with key words including ""Sodaa"", ""Bayze"" and ""Shaqiqe"".

Results: According to PM, diseases (dystemperament) are created by abnormal alteration in temperament. Temperament is a monolithic quality yielded by interaction between opposing qualities of four elements that are coldness, hotness, dryness and wetness. Headaches are caused by dystemperament (sue-Mizaj) in brain or in total body that are divided into simple and corporal. Common forms of the latter type are Vaporal and Migrant headache (Bokhari and Rihi). Each of these headaches is treated either through phlebotomy or wet cupping.

Conclusion: In Persian Medicine, Fasd and Hijamat are easy and economical methods for treatment of headache with reasonable results. By describing the precise areas and indications of phlebotomy and wet cupping, this study provides the first step for future clinical trials in this field.

Keywords: Cupping therapy; Headache; Persian Medicine; Phlebotomy; Sodaa.

Publication types

  • Review