Cinnamon as a folk remedy for diabetes in Iran
19 July 2012
Ancient Persian scholars discussed diabetes in their medical books more than 10 centuries ago. They considered diabetes as a renal disease due to polyuria which happened in the natural course of this disease. They called this disease “Ziyabithes”. Avicenna for example discussed this disease in four pages in third volume of his book “The Canon of Medicine”.
Avicenna (b: 980 AD, Afshana near Bukhara— d:Hamedan, 1037 AD) was one of the most outstanding and influential Persian physicians and philosophers. He wrote more than 450 treatises on medicine, philosophy, religion and logic. (1)
“The Canon of Medicine” is the most famous work among Avicenna’s medical books. He categorized diseases in the Canon of Medicine based on organ-based arrangement (2)
Avicenna says in this book: “patients with diabetes have polydipsia and polyuria. It seems that kidneys can not retain water in the body”. He also says: “Progress of diabetes may lead to patient cachexia”.
They also considered Cinnamon in the treatment of diabetes in their book. Cinnamon has been a folk remedy for diabetes in Iran for several years. In our evaluation of 224 patients with diabetes in a diabetes clinic in Shiraz, a city in southern Iran, Cinnamon was routinely taken as a complementary treatment for diabetes. They don’t inform their physician about their use. They also believed that Cinnamon helps them to better control blood sugar with a lower dose of drugs. However, Cinnamon has a potential effect in controlling diabetes which should be more investigated.
1. Gorji A., Khaleghi Ghadiri M. History of epilepsy in Medieval Iranian medicine. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2001 Jul;25(5):455-61.
2. Zargaran A., Mehdizadeh A., Zarshenas MM., Mohagheghzadeh A. Avicenna (980–1037 AD). J Neurol. 2012 Feb;259(2):389-90.
Competing interests: None declared
Research center for traditional medicine and history of medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, medical school. Zand street, Shiraz, Iran
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