The Effect of Wet Cupping Therapy on Heavy Metal Levels: A Single-Arm Clinical Trial

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Heavy Metals
Complementary Therapies
Wet Cupping Therapy

How to Cite

Ramazan Benli A., & ErsoyS. (2020). The Effect of Wet Cupping Therapy on Heavy Metal Levels: A Single-Arm Clinical Trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 22(4). Retrieved from


Objectives: In this study on the steelworkers, we aimed to investigate the impact of wet cupping therapy (WCT) on heavy metal levels in the blood.

Methods: This single-arm clinical trial was performed at Karabuk University Training and Research Hospital from January to August 2018. All patients received three WCT sessions once every month. Venous blood specimens were drawn prior to the first WCT session (venous 1) and following the third session (venous 2). Cupping blood samples were also obtained during the first session of WCT. Heavy metal levels were assessed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) device. Thirteen metals were subject to examination: aluminum (Al), antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chrome (Cr), cupper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn). Relationships between the blood samples were examined using Wilcoxon Signed Rank test by R statistical software.

Results: Forty-four subjects completed the study. The levels of Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb (P < 0.001 in all), Hg (P = 0.024) and Pb (P = 0.012) were significantly lower in venous 2 samples compared to venous 1, while no significant changes were observed in the levels of Fe, Zn, and As (P = 0.575, P = 0.090 and P = 0.195, respectively). When compared to venous 1 the levels of Mn, Zn, As, Sb, Hg (P < 0.001 in all), Al (P = 0.003), Cr (P = 0.004), Cu (P = 0.022) and Mo (P = 0.014) were found significantly higher in cupping blood while Cd, Pb, and Ni were not at significantly different levels (P = 0.160, P = 0.079 and P = 0.713, respectively). Fe was found significantly lower in cupping blood (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study showed that WCT has significantly reduced heavy metal levels in the blood. It might be useful in workers who work in jobs where heavy metal toxicity can be seen.



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