American Journal of Medical and Biological Research. 2014, 2(2), 46-71DOI:
Abstract: Excretory treatment modalities that excrete pathological substances outside human body deserve more research attention as this may potentiate the therapeutic effects of pharmacological treatments. Overcoming language barrier through translating the national medical literature to medical English to be introduced to the international medical literature is vital. Wet cupping therapy (WCT) of prophetic medicine (Al-hijamah) is practiced in the Arabic medical literature where it is reported to treat many diseases differing in etiology and pathogenesis. Al-hijamah may be referred to as bloodletting cupping therapy or blood cupping therapy in medical studies and reports from Arabic countries. Both Chinese dry cupping therapy and WCT are partial steps of Al-hijamah. In this article, we review scientific principles, methodology, indications and therapeutic benefits of Al-hijamah in comparison with acupuncture and other types of cupping therapy. Scientific and medical bases of Al-hijamah were recently reported in the evidence-based Taibah mechanism (Taibah theory) where Al-hijamah is the only excretory treatment that clears blood, lymph and intercellular fluids from causative pathological substances (CPS). Al-hijamah benefits from the histological structure of the skin in performing a percutaneous pressure-dependent and size-dependent non-specific blood filtration and excretion of CPS through the fenestrated skin capillaries upon application of negative pressure suction using sucking cups. Al-hijamah benefits also from the production of endogenous nitric oxide (vasodilator, antineoplastic and antimicrobial agent). Al-hijamah exerts many other health benefits e.g. enhancement of immunity and pharmacological potentiation. Al-hijamah was reported to clear blood significantly from serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, ferritin (circulating iron stores), uric acid, autoantibodies, cytokine receptors and others. Those therapeutic benefits may treat some diseases e.g. hyperlipidemia, hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart diseases, gout, musculoskeletal pain conditions, hepatitis and iron overload conditions e.g. thalassemia. Importance of Al-hijamah may increase more in modern societies due to western diets and western life style. Therapeutic benefits of Al-hijamah are mainly related to the amount of excreted CPS not the amount of letted blood. Al-hijamah may carry some advantages better than acupuncture and other types of cupping therapy in treating a large number of diseases differing in etiology and pathogenesis.