The term “Hefz al-Sehheh” (Maintaining Health) in traditional Persian medicine has roots in six core principles and is based on the concept that maintaining health is prioritized over treatment. In this day and age of significant advancements in medical technology and therapeutics, less emphasis is being placed on maintaining health and preventing illness. This manuscript presents the viewpoints of prominent figures of medieval Persian medicine on maintaining eye health and preventing diseases.


We reviewed the content of six medieval medical reference books written by six most prominent medieval Persian (Iranian) physicians and polymaths, i.e., Rhazes, Haly Abbas, Avicenna, Jorjani, Aghili Shirazi, and Al-Kahhal. Also, related articles were extracted from valid databases using keywords based on entry and exit criteria without time limits.


According to these prominent medieval Persian physicians and polymaths, exposure to extremely hot or cold weather or dusty air; chronic oversleeping or sleep deprivation; sleeping prone on a full stomach; excessive consumption of salty, spicy, sweet, or steamy food; and drinking cold, salted, carbonated water are harmful to eye health. They recommended purging the bowel with laxatives, eating easy-to-digest foods, practicing well-balanced exercise, and avoiding strenuous physical activity and rapid eye movements. Furthermore, they believed that the accumulation of waste products in the body is detrimental to eye health and that therapeutic bloodletting, leeching, rheuming, kohl, and catharsis with laxative drugs are highly effective for maintaining eye health. Moreover, they believed that a person's mental state, i.e., anger, sorrow, grief, joy, and happiness, would influence one's eye health.


The emphasis of medieval, traditional Persian medicine on maintaining eye health deserves our attention, realization, and appreciation of the environmental and lifestyle factors that can affect our eyes and other organs' health and well-being.

Keywords: Medieval medicine, Persian medicine, Traditional medicine, History of medicine, Hefz al-Sehheh, Eye Health.
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