Medical tourism.. Egypt's Lost Treasure

Thousands of years ago, our Pharaoh ancestors believed that man would be resurrected after dying and become an immortal. That is why they were very careful in preserving the bodies of the dead which led to them coming up with the science of embalming, the science through which they wanted to preserve the bodies of the dead. In addition, they buried the bodies of the dead away from the ground water, putting them in tombs that were similar to forts, and spread them in dry places within the Egyptian deserts whether it be inside the pyramids, or the temples that were scattered here and there. According to the archeological discoveries, this process was carried out under the advanced medical sciences and by efficient doctors qualified enough to use all what nature and the Egyptian soil have got to offer from pharmaceutical and chemical materials.


“Edwin Smith, Ebers, Hearst, Ramesseum, Kahun, Chester Beatty, and Brooklyn” are some examples of the papyri on which Pharaohs documented medical remedies.  If you are one of the people who keep an eye on the medical papyri found mid-nineteenth century and early in the twentieth century, you will find a complete record of all the natural and medical remedies that the Egyptians have written. Five thousand years ago, Egypt gave birth to the dean and leader of global medicine, “Imhotep”, on whom the consensus of historians agreed. Imohotep is the minister of high priests and the chancellor to the pharaoh of the third dynasty. Furthermore, he was the one under whom the first ever stone edifice was built, namely, Pyramid of Djoser or the step pyramid in Saqqara desert in Giza. He was among the first and the greatest people brought to Earth in the field of medicine to the extent that he was worshiped in Memphis as the god of healing.

We should not forget that the Greeks were the first to mention the importance of alternative medicine and draw the attention to Egypt's importance in such a field. For instance, Socrates, who was one of their most well-known philosophers and sages and who was considered one of the founders of natural climatic therapy science, mentioned Egypt in one of his famous papers titled “Egypt and Climatic Therapy.” In fact, one of their greatest doctors of all time, Galen, advised the peoples of the world to move to Egypt and enjoy its warm atmosphere, and refreshing sea breeze. Moreover, Herodotus, the Father of History, although he did not work or even understand the various fields of medicine, he did not miss the opportunity to historically document what the Egyptian nation enjoyed that distinguished it from other nations. For example, he wrote that the Egyptians, with what they have in life from a homogeneous atmosphere without climatic fluctuations, are way healthier than the rest of them people.

Day after day, as the archaeological discoveries increased, the medical and clinical unique importance of Egypt's nature rose and the papyri and inscriptions showed the significance of several archaeological sites. Consequently, the healing nature of sites has emerged such as Helwan, known as the "Holy Healing City", Al Fayoum, South Sinai, Safaga, Wadi Mariout (Mariout Valley), (Wadi Al Natroun) Al Natroun Valley, Wahat Mina (Mina Oasis) in the Westen Sahara, Wahat Amun (Amun Oasis), Ain Sokhna, and Cleopatra's pools in the Red Sea, etc. Our ancient monuments have revealed to us, long ago, what these sites have from mineral water, sand, and dunes capable of treating and healing the modern diseases, such as dermatological and rheumatic diseases.


“Egypt's Lost Treasure” is probably the most accurate description to depict the natural medical tourism in Egypt as Egypt has been and still is ‘the place’ to go if you are seeking medical and/ or surgical treatment. This, of course, gives a distinctive background that supports the eminent cultural reputation of Egypt and its people which will, undoubtedly, reflect on other fields including the economic field.

Within the Egyptian territories, there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of mineral, sulfur, natural water wells and springs varying in depth, capacity, and temperature from 30° C to and 37° C. The laboratory analyses have proven that most of them contain the highest rates of sulfur in comparison to the other springs scattered all around the world in addition to other elements that have a healing value such as sodium carbonate, and mineral elements such as magnesium, and iron.


The student of this type of Egyptian alternative medicine will realize that this natural healing map have places all around Egypt. There are approximately 16 significant places that offer natural treatments to various types of diseases. These places contain what comes close to 1400 different springs and wells. These wells and springs have shown a great potential in treating diseases like rheumatism, vitiligo and psoriasis. For instance, there are 5 springs in Helwan, 3 in Ain Al-Sira, 36 in Fayoum, 4 in Wadi Al Rayan, 33 in Sinai, 315 in Wahat Al Bahariya oasis, 106 in Siwa, a huge number (almost 564 ones) in Wahat Al Dakhla Oasis, 188 in Wahat Al Kharga Oasis, 75 in Farafra Oasis, and a whole other bunch spread in the Gulf of Suez, Qattara, Wadi Al Natrun, and Al Garah Oasis.

Egypt's sands are as rich as its groundwater as all the laboratory studies have proven that its sand dunes contain safe and also highly beneficial levels of radioactive elements. In fact, treating sick people by burying them in the sand for specific calculated periods of time have shown great results in healing a long list of diseases such as rheumatism, rheumatoid and pains caused by spinal diseases, etc.


The most significant things to draw attention to are the natural resources for medical tourism in Egypt as it has enough resources required to make it one of the world's most prominent medical tourism centers. These resources include the following:

  1. Firstly, the high and spacious places there that help in healing asthma, pertussis,bronchitis, and pneumonia.
  2. Secondly, sun rays, as the New Valley (Al Wady Al Gadeed) is one of the brightest places with some of the highest levels of sunlight. The sun’s importance lies in its great ability to reduce the multiplication and reproduction of microbes. In addition, it affects the secretion of gastric juice, and the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also increases the body's resistance and immunity to diseases.
  3. Thirdly, the fresh air near the mineral springs that are rich in some beneficial substances that have a special effect in the healing processes such as, sulfur and radon gas.


What do we need to restore this lost treasure? This is the most crucial question to pose. For Egypt to recover and regain its global status in medical tourism, it has to have a number of important elements and resources. I thinks the most important of which is the fundamental infrastructure needed for every patient who comes to Egypt seeking natural therapy methods. It will be necessary to build special roads, places for parking, restaurants, and cafeterias, and provide sports equipment and supplies whether it be for therapy or for pleasure. Furthermore, there should be parks, green spaces, hotels, restrooms, cinemas, theaters, and libraries. Moreover, we should not forget how necessary it will be to make feasibility studies for projects concerned with the field of medical tourism, open the door for investment, and encourage joint investment projects in this field.

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