JAMM, Simurgh and Spiritual Symbol of Medicine


avatar Alireza Zali 1 , *

Functional Neurosurgery Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

how to cite: Zali A. JAMM, Simurgh and Spiritual Symbol of Medicine. J Arch Mil Med. 2014;2(2):e20634. doi: 10.5812/jamm.20634.

Dear Editor,

Referring to Simurgh, as the legend of spiritual aspects of health in ancient Persian literature (1), it is genuine, accurate and highly appreciated.

Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) that is the representative of almost all Iranian health care professionals has officially presented Simurgh as the Iranian Symbol of Medicine which is aimed to be presented worldwide as well.

The symbol of medicine that is widely accepted worldwide is either Rod of Asclepius with a single snake (2, 3) or the Caduceus with its two snakes and wings (4) which both of them are referred to Greek mythology. While according to ancient Persian literature, Simurgh is a benevolent, mythical flying creature considered to possess the knowledge of all ages and roosted in the Tree of life which its seeds were remedy and cure for all of the diseases. She instructed a surgical procedure to deliver a baby-who became the greatest Persian hero-including, the use of surgical knife, anesthesiology and surgical operation. Simurgh played an important role in the life of the hero. She cured his wounds in the battlefields and gave him valuable comments to achieve important triumph against his chief rivals (5). According to Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh (5), Simurgh depicts the whole aspects of a physician which makes her eligible to become the most iconic and prestigious symbol of medicine. On 29th of January 2014, the commemorative stamp of Simurgh was unveiled in a ceremony which is held by IRIMC in Tehran that the medical official bodies and elites have attended. In the mentioned ceremony, Simurgh was officially presented as the symbol of medicine in Iran. As the IRIMC President, I strongly urge all health care professionals to assist IRIMC due to inscribe Simurgh in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list and also make it an approved worldwide symbol of medicine.


  • 1.

    Khoshdel AR, Lashkari MH. From the Persian Ancient Dramas, Jamm and Simurgh Toward the Modern Military Medicine. J Arch Mil Med. 2013; 1 (1) : 1 -5

  • 2.

    Wilcox RA, Whitham EM. The symbol of modern medicine: why one snake is more than two. Ann Intern Med. 2003; 138 (8) : 673 -7 [PubMed]

  • 3.

    Henry E. Sigerist, A History of Medicine. 1987;

  • 4.

    Friedlander WJ. The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus Symbol in Medicine. 1992;

  • 5.

    Schmidt HP. Simorgh. 2003;

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