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An Evidence-Based Review on Medicinal Value of Clays in Traditional Persian Medicine

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]


Ayda Hosseinkhani, Hashem Montaseri, Ammar Hosamo and Mohammad Mehdi Zarshenas   Pages 2 - 7 ( 6 )


The use of earths and clays for medical purposes dates back to antiquity. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in researches on traditional remedies in the hope of discovering new drug. Iran is an ancient country with a medical backbone acquired from the experiences of ancient Persian scholars, who had made a great contribution to the development of the medical sciences. Many medical and pharmaceutical books by early Persian scientists still exist and may have the potential of leading researchers to new drug discoveries. Owing to the emergence of new and antimicrobial-resistant infections, present-day medicine has recently begun focusing on medicinal earths and clays especially as mineral antimicrobials. The current study is, therefore, aimed at gathering information regarding medicinal clays in traditional Persian medicine (TPM). Five main Persian materia medica with the key word ‘tin’ (clay) and current databases such as PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were searched by key words ‘white, green, red, maroon, violet, black, grey and pink clays’ and ‘pharmacological effects’. Twenty three clays were found in Persian manuscripts. Although their mineralogical compositions are unknown, different pharmacological properties have been attributed to these mineral medicaments. Clay’s properties were widely used in medieval times for the treatment of infections to poisoning. They were also used in compound formulations, possibly for their pharmaceutical formulation modifying effects. Modern scientific proofs have also been found in many of the medicinal clays reported in Persian manuscripts. Although many of the reported clays are still unknown, their characterization may lead to new medicinal developments. Novel analytical methods available today make it possible to elucidate the chemical compositions of these minerals as parameters responsible for their medicinal effects.


Review, medicinal clay, traditional medicine, Persia.


Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz

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