Natural remedies for impotence in medieval Persia
M Khaleghi Ghadiri and A Gorji
International Journal of Impotence Research, Vol.16 (2004)
Abstract: Man’s preoccupation with potency, or the lack thereof, has been present through the ages. Several documents still exist from which the clinical approaches of erectile dysfunction (ED) in medieval Persia can be ascertained. The medieval physicians described definitions and apparent causes of ED. They also noted hygienic and dietary rules as well as long lists of natural substances used in the treatment of ED. Many of the approaches of practitioners in medieval Persia are accurate and accepted even today; however, still more of them could be of use to modern medicine. The present review provides an overview of the knowledge of ED at the time.
Medieval Persian physicians are well informed about the medical traditions of different ancient civilizations. The
Persians not only accumulated all the existing information on medicine of the time, but also added to this
knowledge by their own ingenious studies based on their empirical findings. These practitioners had brought great contributions to pharmaceutical science. They categorized medicinal herbs from Africa to China and studied them in a scientific manner. The medieval medical texts of Persia such as Qanoon- fel-teb (The Canon) by Ebn-e-Sina (980–1037), Razi’s (860–940) Ketab-al-hawi (Continents), and Zakhireh Kharazmshahi by Esmail Jorjani (1042–1136) be- came the most widely read literatures in medieval Europe. During renaissance, medieval Persia had a significant influence on the contemporary medicine; this influence is still felt today.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) represents a highly prevalent social problem; approximately 5–20% of the general mail population suffer from moderate-to-severe ED. The United Nations estimated the worldwide prevalence of ED among men aged 40–70 y at 152 million in 1995, and projected a more than two-fold increase by 2025, to approximately 322 million men. Despite the progress that has taken place in recent years in the development of therapy, there is still a need for more effective drugs for the treatment of impotence. It is hoped that review of clinical approaches to ED used by physicians in medieval Persia will inform further research into the clinical benefits of those treatments for impotence.