PRIMARY QUALITIES IN PHYTOTHERAPY AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINES
Objectives: The significance of principles of traditional medicines in research protocols are emphasized by World Health Organization. Primary qualities, traditionally referred to as â€œhotâ€, â€œcoldâ€, â€œdryâ€ and â€œwetâ€, are fundamental concepts of many medical traditions of antiquity such as Persian, Chinese, Greek, and Indian. In Humoral-based traditional medicines, these qualities are regulating factors and act in dynamic balance to maintain health. Therefore, understanding of the primary qualities of body humors and drugs is decisive for treatment, self-care and prevention of diseases in many traditional medicines. The main goals of this study are to consider the relationships among primary qualities and botanical or phytochemical profiles of the traditional Iranian Medicinal herbs.
Method: A number of 489 medicinal plants were accommodated with proposed scientific names and the corresponding primary qualities were extracted from Old Persian pharmacopeias. Based on literatures, two data sets screened for statistical study. To ensure consistency and similarity of screened samples, they were examined by Chi-square (Ï‡2) test. Influences of botanical families on primary qualities were studied by screening of 339 plants in 29 botanical families tested with Ï‡2 test. In the second stage, major phytochemicals of 192 herbs were categorized based on existence of 23 groups of phytochemicals and a model based on traditional medicine concepts was made using logistic regression.
Results: Statistical outcomes revealed that although a few botanical families tend to correlate in specific primary qualities, most others displayed no significant relationship. The proposed phytochemical model was able to estimate the relationship between primary qualities and phytochemical classes in more than 77% of the cases. The findings were in accordance with literatures.
Conclusion: The botanical family classification is not an empirically acceptable indicator of primary qualities in medicinal plants. On the other hand, phytochemical profile of a plant is an authentic indicator of primary qualities.
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