Which of the following schools of medicine systems is more similar to that of Middle Eastern traditional medicine? The Greco-Roman Medicine, traditional Chinese Medicine, or Ayurvedic medicine from India? Welcome back to our course. In the following lesson, we will be discussing the key concept associated with the practice of traditional herbal medicine in the Middle East with an emphasis on traditional Islamic medicine. We will begin with a case report, which illustrates the multifaceted aspects of Traditional Herbal Medicine, THM, which characterize this region of the globe. Yasmin was a 51-year-old married Muslim woman who was referred to by her oncologist to our integrative oncologist service, situated with an outpatient oncology setting as part of the supportive care service for patients undergoing chemotherapy. The consultation was provided by an integrative physician, who is a both certified family physician, dually trained in supportive cancer care and traditional integrative medicine. The consultation focused on Yasmin's concerns regarding her symptoms, quality of life, and function, as well as her expectations from the integrative medicine treatment program. These require the integrative physician to listen to her narrative, her story, and to try to understand her health belief model. Yasmin told the IP, the integrative physician, that until recently, she had been in generally good health and spirit with a promising academic career ahead. Her symptoms began after she began chemotherapy, the most severe of which include fatigue, nausea, and the metallic taste in her mouth. Yasmin decided to come to the IP consultation in order to hear how integrative medicine could help reduce her symptom load. She was especially interested in hearing about herbal medicine and nutrition, which were familiar to her, for what she knew from traditional Arab medicine and Palestinian cuisine. For example, the application of carob paste to the gums in order to alleviate mouth sores. Traditional herbal medicine offers patients like Yasmin treatments which can help relieve symptoms associated with chemotherapy and other conventional oncology treatment. However, in Middle Eastern societies, traditional medicine, al tibb al-taklidi, or complementary medicine, al tibb al-mukamel, are provided in parallel to conventional cancer care. In the case of alternative medicine, al tibb al-badil, these therapies are offered as a replacement for standard care. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of cancer centers which are integrating traditional herbal medicine within conventional supportive oncology care. This is considered to be what is now called integrative medicine in Arabic, al tibb al mudmaj, and as with Yasmin, it is becoming more and more a part of the standard of care throughout the Middle East. Alternative medicine, al tibb al-badil, has roots which go deep into the rich medical culture of ancient societies of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Persia. During that period, herbal medicine was considered to be an integral part of what was then conventional medicine and not as alternative form of treatment. However, as early as the fifth century BC, and onward, the ancient art of healing in Middle Eastern countries was slowly replaced by classic Greek medicine reflecting a most structured and systematic approach in which herbs were prescribed according to clear cut diagnosis. How did traditional medical practitioners of these ancient period relate to the use of medicinal herbs, where the herbs being used chosen based on their ability to be seen as an effective as opposed to other neutral or harmful ones? I asked Professor Efraim Lev to explain what has been called the Doctrine of Signatures, an approach which eventually enabled physicians in Medieval Arab and Islamic medicine to trace the source of herbal remedies, and thus record them within the Middle Eastern Materia Medica, the official textbooks of traditional herbal medicine. How did they pick the herbs that are medicinal? I mean, you were talking a lot about the doctrine of signatures. So, what is the rationale there? How do you identify a plant like this one, laura leaves or laurus nobilis as a medicinal property? What's the techniques or technology that you use in order to say, "Wow, this is medicinal. This is safe. This is not safe. This can act or not?" Okay. For that we need to go to a pre-history because people were testing their environment from very early age, and not just they tested, they were watching animals. So, the knowledge was accumulated along the years. We're talking about hundred thousands of years, and maybe a bit later. Interestingly enough, in different places of the world, we can see that people were using some ideas. Some of them were religious, and some of them were more rational, and one of them, one of the most interesting one in my opinion is the doctrine of signature, a doctrine of correspondence. So, what's the meaning of that? What's the doctrine? Meaning of that is that people believed that God created the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom, and so on. He also created all the diseases. But since he created man, or human, and he wanted to help them, so he colored some plants in color that will help people identify how can they use them, and God gave them names, or shapes, and so on. So, the main criteria of the doctrine of signature is to start with the shape. If you have a plant for example, orchid, and the bulb is the shape of a testicle. So, people used it in order to improve the sexual ability of men. The other criteria is the color. So, people in different places, different communities around the world used to use plants that their flower or fruits are yellow. They used them to treat for example hepatitis, okay? Red flowers, or red coral, or red like hematite were used to treat diseases with blood, or other things that are about red, and so on and so forth. So, this is a doctrine of signature. By the way, you can still find it. You can still find it in the markets of present day our world. I'm sitting here with my friend Abu Sabri Saleh Said Kheir from the village of Peki'in in Northern Israel. We are sitting on Mount Peki'in in the Meron mountains. Abu Sabri, I would like to ask you, how old are you? Since, what age you were working or treating patients in traditional medicine in Tib Al-Badil, and how did you learn this practice?