Design and Performance Evaluation of Dry Cupping Tools Described in the Book Al-Tasreef

Document Type: Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Medical Physics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Research Office for the History of Persian Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Dry cupping is one of the main procedures in many traditional medicine systems all around the world with its root in antiquity. Traditional method of dry cupping is depended on practitioner proficiency and can lead to skin burn if the practitioner is a beginner. On the other hand, Zahrawi (11th century AD), the Muslim physician from Andulus (current Spain) presented two novel forms of cup for cupping to improve and correct cupping problems. In this regards, based on the model described in Al-Tasreef, we tried to redesign and manufacture the tools. These tools were made from galvanized iron owing to its nonconductivity of heat. Zahrawi models were compared with traditional model (with the same material and size) by negative pressure of mercury as well as qualitative test performed by a traditional practitioner. The results showed the superiority of Zahrawi’s models (9792Pa and 10200Pa) over the traditional model, displaying a better and more stable vacuum pressure (mean: 8704 Pa with variation in repeat the test). Furthermore, the introduced models are user friendly; i.e., every practitioner, even the beginner without specialized skill, may work with them easily. Therefore, the new model is suggested for dry cupping.