Medicina (Kaunas) 2020 Feb 26;56(3). Epub 2020 Feb 26.
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Master Course in Cosmetic Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 43, 44121 Ferrara, Italy.
Iran has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, consisting of a complex traditional medicine deeply rooted in the history of the territory that goes back to the Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations. The ethnomedical practices that can be identifiable nowadays derive from the experience of local people who have developed remedies against a wide range of diseases handing down the knowledge from generation to generation over the millennia. Traditional medicine practices represent an important source of inspiration in the process of the development of new drugs and therapeutic strategies. In this context, it is useful to determine the state of the art of ethnomedical studies, concerning the Iranian territory, and of scientific studies on plants used in traditional Iranian medicine. Data regarding 245 plants used in Iranian ethnomedical practices and scientific studies conducted on 89 plants collected in the Iranian territory have been reported. All of the scientific studies here reported draw inspiration from traditional medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly called for an intensification of the scientific validation processes of traditional medicines intended as an important contribution to public health in various parts of the world. The process of study and validation of Iranian ethnomedical practices appears to be at an early stage.