Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine: A Conceptual Model for Clinicians and Researchers

  •  Sara AlRawi    
  •  Michael Fetters    


Eighty percent of the population in the developing world relies on traditional medicine, and 70-80% of the population in developed countries utilized complementary therapies. Though a vibrant healing tradition pervades modern life in the Arab and Muslim world, no clear definition or model exists to organize it’s multiple and intertwined elements . We define Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) as a system of healing practiced since antiquity in the Arab world within the context of religious influences of Islam and comprised of medicinal herbs, dietary practices, mind-body therapy, spiritual healing and applied therapy whereby many of these elements reflect an enduring interconnectivity between Islamic medical and prophetic influences as well as regional healing practices emerging from specific geographical and cultural origins. Our definition and conceptual model represents a novel addition to the literature on Arab and Muslim health practices, and  presents an opportunity to address a global health concern.

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