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The history of medicine in Iran is as old and as rich as its civilization. In the Avesta, science and medicine rise above class, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender and religion.
Some of the earliest practices of ancient Iranian medicine have been documented in the Avesta and other Zoroastrian religious texts.
During the Achaemenid era (559-330 BCE), the 21 books of Avesta encompassing 815 chapters were an encyclopedia of science consisting of medicine, astronomy, law, social science, philosophy, general knowledge, logic and biology.
It can be inferred from these books that Zoroastrians placed great importance on personal hygiene, public health and the prevention of contagious diseases.
The best teachers of medicine and astrology were Iranian Magi and Mobeds (Zoroastrian priests) who passed their knowledge on to their pupils from one generation to the next.
According to Avestan texts, King Jamshid was the physician who initiated the custom of bathing with hot and cold water.
Iranians refrained from polluting the four elements. They would not bathe or wash dirty objects in flowing water, and urinating or spitting into water was considered a great sin.