Effects of Aromatherapy on Sexual Dysfunction: A Review of Persian Traditional Medicine

Document Type : Review Article


1 PhD in Persian Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 PhD in Traditional Pharmacy, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 PhD in Persian Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Assistant Professor, Department of Persian Medicine, Essence of Parsyian Wisdom Institute, Persian Medicine and Medicinal Plant Incubator, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Introduction: Aromatherapy is a historical method in ancient Persia. Recent scientific findings have confirmed that herbal fragrances are affect human sexuality and fertility. According to the references of the Persian Traditional Medicine, odorous drugs are used in the treatment of sexual dysfunction and infertility in various forms. The present study aimed to review this therapeutic approach in the references of Persian Traditional Medicine in comparison with recent findings.
Methods: This review was conducted via searching in Persian Traditional Medicine references, including Avicenna Canon of Medicine, Al-Aghraz-al-Tibbiya, Tebe-Akbari, Sharhe Asbab va Alamat, Exir-e-Azam, Makhzan al-Adwiyah, Tohfe Hakim Momen, and Qarabadin-e-Salehi using keywords such as Booidan or Shomoomat (smell) and Bu (odor). In addition, the recent findings in this regard were obtained from electronic databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar through searching for scientific terms, as well as keywords such as aromatherapy, infertility, and sexual disorders.
Results: In Persian Traditional Medicine, odorous materials could be used via smelling, topical application, incense, and smoke for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. For instance, hot smells (musk, jasmine, and narcissus) could enhance sexual desires, whereas cold smells (Egyptian lotus, camphor, and myrtle) have been shown to reduce the libido. In this regard, special emphasis has been placed on the use of aromatic substances (cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg) in the treatment of uterine diseases, especially oligomenorrhea.
Conclusion: According to the results of the review, adherence to the recommendations of Persian Traditional Medicine regarding the use of odorous materials in the treatment of nervous disorders and improvement of the reproductive system could lay the groundwork for novel clinical trials.


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