Iran has recently reported the first case of the mutated coronavirus variant in a patient returning back from the UK. The country has reported nearly 1,261,903 cases with more than 55,000 confirmed deaths. Interestingly, Iranians have switched to the Iranian traditional medicine hoping to save themselves from any health complications during this pandemic period.
Some of the oldest herbal medicine shops in Iran have reported a high increase in their customers, demanding Iranian traditional medicine to get over common health problems. They have even reported medicines for COVID-19 patients suggesting that people are relying on herbal medicines to recover from the virus.
This increased demand for Iranian traditional medicine has sparked a new controversy showing public frustration towards the typical medicines. Iran is one of the worst-hit countries by this pandemic and the President has already shared his concerns regarding vaccine-related problems for Iranians. Although the government is trying to sign contracts with foreign pharmaceutical companies and working on producing them domestically, despite the sanctions added by the US, the country has limited treatment options. This explains why people might be searching for other therapeutics which are more easily accessible to them.
Iranian traditional medicine has a long history of usages like Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. Iranian traditional medicine also called Persian medicine was mainly flourished during the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran.
This dynasty ended in 1979 when the country established a theocratic state. But even this new political regime played a part to encourage Iranian traditional medicine. In fact, some medical colleges added it to their curriculum and allowed the students to get expertise in it.
Iranian traditional medicine is very popular and deep-rooted in Iranian culture alongside synthetic medicines. This whole idea of this Persian medicine is based on ‘balancing’ the ingredients as per their strength. For example, lamb which is associated with warmth can save people suffering from viral diseases that need a colder environment to grow.
Some researchers have made efforts to study the efficiency of Iranian traditional medicine to treat COVID-19, suggesting that if these modalities are applied professionally, they can help to get over the virus. But they have also reported that misusing this treatment may induce stress, anxiety, and frustration which is why the self-treatment methods should not be promoted.
Last month, some news resources confirmed the bloom of Iran’s black market after the US has imposed sanctions on international trade. It appears that Iran has not one but two pandemics to deal with; one is the COVID-19 crisis which has added it to the list of worst-hit countries, and the second is $150 billion worth of economic sanctions that the Trump government has imposed on Iran.
Interestingly, all components of the Iranian traditional medicine are easily available in the black market. It also contains personal protective equipment, insulin, and some life-saving medicines.