Fereydoon Batmanghelidj (1930 or 1931 – 15 November 2004) was an Iranian doctor and writer. He is best known for believing increased water consumption is the cure for most disease, which is considered quackery by medical experts.
Life and family
Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was born in Iran in 1930 or 1931. He attended secondary school in the United Kingdom, at Fettes College in Scotland, and later graduated from St Mary's Hospital Medical School of London University. He then practiced medicine in the United Kingdom, before returning to Iran. There he became a wealthy entrepreneur, helping in the development of hospitals and medical centres, and in sports projects, including the Ice Palace ice skating rink in Tehran.
In 1979, after the Iranian Revolution, he was sent to Evin Prison in Tehran, which housed political prisoners; he was incarcerated there for two years and seven months. Following his release in 1982, he moved to the United States.
He married Lucile, a Belgian, and they had four children: Ardeshir, Babak, Camila, and Lila, who committed suicide while he was imprisoned. His first marriage ended in divorce. He later married Xiaopo Huang Batmanghelidj.
He died from complications related to pneumonia on 15 November 2004.
Batmanghelidj was trained at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, and practised medicine in the United Kingdom before his return to Iran.
He claimed that he discovered the medicinal value of water in treating the pain of peptic ulcers during his detention in Evin Prison by treating inmates with water when medication was not available. He advanced this position in a guest editorial in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 1983.
In 1992, he wrote Your Body's Many Cries for Water. In this book, Batmanghelidj asserts that chronic dehydration is the root cause of most pain and many ailments, opposing the use of drugs to cure conditions that he claimed could instead be addressed by increased water consumption.
Batmanghelidj's ideas about water curing all diseases have been criticised as quackery by medical experts. He also drew criticism for his HIV/AIDS denialism. Physician Harriet Hall has described Batmanghelidj as a "crank who believed dehydration is the main cause of disease. He promoted his Water Cure, which was not based on any scientific evidence."
His ideas have been criticised by Stephen Barrett, co-founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud and the webmaster of Quackwatch, on several grounds, including a lack of any documented peer-reviewed research and exaggerated claims about the number of patients treated successfully. He further questions that Batmanghelidj has practiced medicine in the United States, pointing to his lack of registration as a physician. He was licensed as a naturopath.
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, How to Deal with Back Pain & Rheumatoid Joint Pain (1991), Global Health Solutions; ISBN 0-9629942-0-0
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, Your Body's Many Cries for Water (1992), Global Health Solutions, ISBN 0-9629942-3-5
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, Water: Rx for A Healthier, Pain-free Life (1997), Global Health Solutions; Cas&Bklt edition, ISBN 0-9629942-7-8
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus: Eradicate Asthma – Now!, (2000), Global Health Solutions, ISBN 0-9629942-6-X
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, Water For Health, For Healing, For Life (2003), Warner Books, ISBN 0-446-69074-0
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, You're not sick, you're thirsty! (2003), Grand Central Publishing, ISBN 0-446-69074-0
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, Water Cures: Drugs Kill: How Water Cured Incurable Diseases, (2003) Global Health Solutions, ISBN 0-9702458-1-5
- Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, Obesity Cancer Depression; Their Common Cause & Natural Cure, (2005) Global Health Solutions; ISBN 0-9702458-2-3
- "Physician Fereydoon Batmanghelidj; Wrote About Water's Healing". The Washington Post. 20 November 2004.
- "Colourful character: Camila Batmanghelidjh on her unique approach to charity work". The Independent. 23 October 2011.
- "SCIENCE WATCH; DOCTOR FINDS ULCER REMEDY WHILE IN IRAN PRISON". The New York Times. 21 June 1983.
- "Camila Batmanghelidjh: My family values". The Guardian. 3 January 2014.
- "Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, 73; Advocated 'Water Cure'". Los Angeles Times. 19 November 2004.
- "Some Notes on Dr. Batmanghelidj's Silly "Water Cure"". Quackwatch. 20 November 2004.
- Hall, Harriet. (2010). "The Water Cure: Another Example of Self Deception and the “Lone Genius”". Science-Based Medicine. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- Fitzgerald, Matt. (2014). Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us. Pegasus Books. ISBN 978-1605985602 "No one in the medical establishment gave credence to Fereydoon Batmanghelidj's half-baked notions. He had taken the whole hydration thing too far."
- Hall, Harriet. (2017). "Do I Really Need to Drink 200 Ounces of Water Every Day?". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 22 November 2018.