Medicine and pharmacologyThe book is known for its description of contagious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, quarantine to limit the spread of infectious diseases, and testing of medicines. Ibn Sina adopted, from the Greeks, the theory that epidemics are caused by pollution in the air (miasma).  It classifies and describes diseases, and outlines their assumed causes. Hygiene, simple and complex medicines, and functions of parts of the body are also covered.
The Canon agrees with Aristotle (and disagrees with Hippocrates) that tuberculosis was contagious, a fact which was not universally accepted in Europe until centuries later. It also describes the symptoms and complications of diabetes. Both forms of facial paralysis were described in-depth. The Canon of Medicine discussed how to effectively test new medicines: • The drug must be free from any extraneous accidental quality. • It must be used on a simple, not a composite, disease.
• The drug must be tested with two contrary types of diseases, because sometimes a drug cures one disease by Its essential qualities and another by its accidental ones. • The quality of the drug must correspond to the strength of the disease. For example, there are some drugs whose heat is less than the coldness of certain diseases, so that they would have no effect on them. • The time of action must be observed, so that essence and accident are not confused.
• The effect of the drug must be seen to occur constantly or in many cases, for if this did not happen, it was an accidental effect. • The experimentation must be done with the human body, for testing a drug on a lion or a horse might not prove anything about its effect on man. An Arabic edition of the Canon appeared at Rome in 1593, and a Hebrew version at Naples in 1491. Of the Latin version there were about thirty editions, founded on the original translation byGerard de Sabloneta. In the 15th century a commentary on the text of the Canon was composed.
Other medical works translated into Latin are the Medicamenta Cordialia, Canticum de Medicina, and the Tractatus de Syrupo Acetoso. It was mainly accident which determined that from the 12th to the 18th century, Ibn Sina should be the guide of medical study in European universities, and eclipse the names of Rhazes, Ali ibn al-Abbas and Averroes. His work is not essentially different from that of his predecessor Rhazes, because he presented the doctrine of Galen, and through Galen the doctrine.
of Hippocrates, modified by the system of Aristotle. But the Canon of Ibn Sina is distinguished from the Al-Hawi(Continence) or Summary of Rhazes by its greater method, due perhaps to the logical studies of the former. The work has been variously appreciated in subsequent ages, some regarding it as a treasury of wisdom, and others, like Averroes, holding it useful only as waste paper. In modern times it has been mainly of historic interest as most of its tenets have been disproved or expanded upon by scientific medicine.
The vice of the book is excessive classification of bodily faculties, and over-subtlety in the discrimination of diseases. It includes five books; of which the first and second discuss physiology, pathology and hygiene, the third and fourth deal with the methods of treating disease, and the fifth describes the composition and preparation of remedies. This last part contains some personal observations. He is ample in the enumeration of symptoms, and is said to be inferior in practical medicine and surgery. He introduced into medical theory the four causes of the Peripatetic system.
Of natural history and botany he pretended to no special knowledge. Up to the year 1650, or thereabouts, the Canon was still used as a textbook in the universities of Leuven and Montpellier. In the museum at Bukhara, there are displays showing many of his writings, surgical instruments from the period and paintings of patients undergoing treatment. Ibn Sina was interested in the effect of the mind on the body, and wrote a great deal on psychology, likely influencingIbn Tufayl and Ibn Bajjah. He also introduced medical herbs.
Avicenna extended the theory of temperaments in The Canon of Medicine to encompass “emotional aspects, mental capacity, moralattitudes, self-awareness, movements and dreams. ” He summarized his version of the four humours and temperaments in a table as follows: Evidence Hot Cold Moist Dry Morbid states inflammations become febrile fevers related to serious humour, rheumatism lassitude loss of vigour Functional power deficient energy deficient digestive power difficult digestion Subjective sensations bitter taste, excessive thirst, burning at cardia.
Lack of desire for fluids mucoid salivation, sleepiness insomnia, wakefulness Physical signs high pulse rate, lassitude flaccid joints diarrhea, swollen eyelids, rough skin, acquired habit rough skin, acquired habit Foods & medicines calefacients harmful,infrigidants beneficial infrigidants harmful,calefacients beneficial moist articles harmful dry regimen harmful,humectants beneficial Relation to weather worse in summer worse in winter bad in autumn Avicenna’s four humours and temperaments Physical Exercise: the Key to Health.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2010) The Canon of Medicine: Volume 1 of 5; Part 4 of 5: The Preservation of Health Ibn Sina’s Canon of Medicine which is written in 5 volumes, only the first volume has appeared in the English Language. In the first volume, Ibn Sina divides medicine into two parts as he explains it throughout the first book: the theoretical and the practical.
The theoretical part consists of, but is not excluded to, such things as: the causes of health and disease, the temperaments, the humours, the anatomy, general physiology, the breath, psychology, discussion of causes diseases and symptoms, the causes of illness, the classification of diseases, the pulse, the urine etc. As he himself says in the book on pg 353 “In the first part of this book it was stated that medicine comprises two parts, one theoretical, and one practical, though both are really speculative science. ” (Avicenna 1999, p.353)
Theoretical and Practical Medicine Ibn Sina goes on to say that you do not get any benefit from just knowing how your body works, but rather the true benefit of medicine itself is in its practical aspect, since medicine is for the preservation of health. “That which is speculative named theory relates to the formation of opinions and the showing of the evidence upon which they are based, without reference to the mode of acting upon them. Thus this part deals with the temperaments, the humors, the drives, and with the forms, the symptoms, and the causes of disease.
That which is specially named practical relates to the mode of acting upon this knowledge, and the prescription of a regimen. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 353) The Benefits of Exercise Once the purpose of medicine has been set forth, then from pages 377-455, Ibn Sina divides the way of achieving health as: “Since the regimen of maintaining health consists essentially in the regulation of: (1) exercise (2) food and (3) sleep, we may begin our discourse with the subject of exercise”. (Avicenna 1999, p.377)
Exercise itself is divided into three main parts: The Massage (which is equivalent to massaging your muscles before you start to exercise); The Exercise itself; and lastly the Cold Bath. Giving one of the greatest benefits of the regimen of exercise, and then explaining the extremely important and necessary need for physical exercise; Ibn Sina states: “
Once we direct the attention towards regulating exercise as to amount and time, we shall find there is no need for such medicines as are ordinarily required for remedying diseases dependent on [abnormal] matters, or diseases of temperament consequent upon such.
This is true provided the rest of the regimen is appropriate and proper. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 377) The value of exercise includes the following (1) it hardens the organs and renders them fit for their functions (2) it results in a better absorption of food, aids assimilation, and, by increasing the innate heat, improves nutrition (3) it clears the pores of the skin (4) it removes effete substances through the lungs (5) it strengthens the physique. Vigorous exercise invigorates the muscular and nervous system. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 379) In what manner does Ibn Sina uses the word temperament?
In saying that exercise cures diseases of temperamant Ibn Sina divides temperament into that which is harmonious and that which is non-uniform. Ibn Sina says on pg 276-277 “In addition to the signs of the normal temperament already given, there are: Mental faculties include: vigor of imagination, intellectual power, and memory. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 276) “In brief, there is non-uniformity of temperament among the members; or, perchance, the principal members depart from equability and come to be of contrary temperament, one deviating towards one, amother to its contrary.
If the components of the body are out of proportion, it is unfortunate both for talent and reasoning power. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 277) The Purpose of Exercise and the Dangers of its negligence Continuing on the proof to why exercise should be so beneficial Ibn Sina says “We know that this must be so when we reflect how in regard to nutriment, our health depends on the nutriment being appropriate for us and regulated in quantity and quality. For not one of the aliments which are capable of nourishing the body is converted into actual nutriment in its entirety.
In every case digestion leaves something untouched, and nature takes care to have that evacuated. Nevertheless, the evacuation which nature accomplishes is not a complete one. Hence at the end of each digestion there is some superfluity left over. Should this be a frequent occurrence, repetition would lead to further aggregation until something measurable has accumulated. As a result, harmful effete substances would form and injure various parts of the body. When they undergo decomposition, putrefactive diseases arise [bacterial infections].
Should they be strong in quality, they will give rise to intemperament; and if they should increase in quantity, they would set up the symptoms of plethora which have already been described. Flowing to some member, they will result in an inflammatory mass, and their vapors will destroy the temperament of the substantial basis of the breath. That is the reason why we must be careful to evacuate these substances. Their evacuation is usually not completely accomplished without the aid of toxic medicines, for these break up the nature of the effate substances.
This can be achieved only by toxic agents, although the drinking of them is to a certain extent deleterious to our nature. As Hippocrates says: “Medicine purges and ages. ” More than this the discharge of superfluous humor entails the loss of a large part of the natural humidities and of the breath, which is the substance of life. All this is at the expense of the strength of the principal and the auxiliary members, and therefore they are weakened thereby. These and other things account for the difficulties incident to plethora, whether they remain behind in the body or are evacuated by it.
” (Avicenna 1999, pp. 377–8) Just before this Ibn Sina explained how accumulation of food in our body, can cause diseases, and one way to rid us of this is strong medicines. However, as he explains; this is not the ideal way, and certainly not the long-term. Thus, to make his point very clear, and show the extreme necessity of daily exercise for health, Ibn Sina states: “Now exercise is that agent which most surely prevents the accumulation of these matters, and prevents plethora. The other forms of regiment assist it.
It is this exercise which renews and revives the innate heat, and imparts the necessary lightness to the body, for it causes the subtle heat to be increased and daily disperses whatever effete substances have accumulated; the movements of the body help them to expel them conveying them to those parts of the body whence they can readily leave it. Hence the effete matters are not allowed to collect day after day and besides this, as we have just said, exercise causes the innate heat to flourish and keeps the joints and ligaments firm, so as to be always ready for service, and also free from injury.
It renders the members able to receive nutriment, in being free from accumulated effate matters. Hence it renders the members light and the humidities attenuated, and it dilates the pores of the skin. To forsake exercise would often incur the risk of “hectic”, because the instinctive drives of the members are impaired, inasmuch as the deprivation of movement prevents the access to them of the innate breath. And this last is the real instrument of life for every one of the members.
” (Avicenna 1999, pp. 378–9) Massage Before you begin to exercise it is important that you massage your muscles; as Ibn Sina says on page 385: “Massage as a preparatory to athletics. The massage begins gently, and then becomes more vigorous as the time approaches for the exercise. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 385) Exercises The exercises themselves are divided into ‘strenuous, mild, vigorous and brisk’. On pages 379-381; Ibn Sina states the types of exercises under each type:
“Strenuous exercises include: wrestling contests, boxing, quick marching, running, jumping over an object higher than one foot, throwing the javelin, fencing, horsemanship, swimming. Mild exercises include: fishing, sailing, being carried on camels, swinging to and fro. Vigorous exercises include: those performed by soldiers in camp, in military sports; field running, long jumping, high jumping, polo, stone throwing, lifting heavy stones or weights, various forms of wrestling.
Brisk exercises include: involves interchanging places with a partner as swiftly as possible, each jumping to and fro, either in time [to music] or irregularly. ” (Avicenna 1999, pp. 379–81) There are certain important things to note once you start exercising, one is the amount, the other consistency; Ibn Sina states about the amount: “(1) the color – as long as the skin goes on becoming florid, the exercise may be continued. After it ceases to do so, the exercise must be discontinued. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 384) On being consistent with exercise Ibn Sina states (on the importance of having a regimen):
“At the conclusion of the first day’s exercise, you will know the degree of exercise allowable and when you know the amount of nourishment the person can bear, do not make any change in either on the second day. Arrange that the measure of aliment, and the amount of exercise shall not exceed that limit ascertained on the first day. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 385) On the side note those who think themselves to be elderly, and thus think of shunning exercise, Ibn Sina write a complete chapter titled “Concerning the Elderly” in the Qanun, and states the same regimen for them, as he does for others.
He states on page 433 “For if, towards the end of life, the body is still equable, it will be right to allow attempered exercises. If one part of the body should not be in a first-rate condition, then that part should not be exercised until the others have been exercised….. On the other hand, if the ailment were in the feet, then the exercise should employ the upper limbs: for instance, rowing, throwing weights, lifting weights. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 433) Bathing in Cold Water
Once you have finished exercising; it is often that the person will feel tired and fatigued; to combat this problem Ibn Sina says on page 388: “The beneficial Effects of Baths: The benefits are (1) induction of sleep (2) dilation of pores (3) cleansing of skin (4) dispersal of the undesirable waste matters (5) maturation of abscesses (6) drawing of nutriment towards the surface of the body (7) assistance to the physiological dispersion and excretion of poisonous matters (8) prevention of diarrhea and (9) removal of fatigue effects.
” (Avicenna 1999, p. 388) Most importantly you should remember: “A person should not go into the bath immediately after exercise. He should rest properly first. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 387) There are two more things that are important to mention on this subject: “Injurious effects include the fact that the heart is weakened if the person stays too long in the bath” (Avicenna 1999, p. 388) “Cold Bathing should not be done after exercise except in the case of the very robust. Even then the rules which we have given should be followed.
To use cold baths in the ways we have named drives the natural heat suddenly into the interior parts, and then invigorates the strength so that the person should leave the bath twice as strong as when he entered. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 390) Diet Once Ibn Sina has laid the foundation of exercise being central to health, he names many exercises as running, swimming, weight lifting, polo, fencing, boxing, wrestling, long jumping, high jumping, etc. He also gives a diet to go along with the exercise:
“The meal should include: (1) meat especially kid of goats; veal, and year-old lambs [this means white meat in today`s terms] (2) wheat, which is cleaned of extraneous matter and gathered during a healthy harvest without ever being exposed to injurious influences (3) sweets (fruits) of appropriate temperament. ” (Avicenna 1999, p. 390) Lastly, the third thing mentioned is sleep; to make sure that you do not sleep during the days, and do not stay awake during the nights. From the above reading, it is clear that Ibn Sina gave advice in his book which is still the same advice medical doctors give to their patients.
Daily Physical Exercise; and to defeat diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, the prescription of a diet which contains high amounts of Whole Grains and little to no amounts of Refined Carbohydrates. Psychology In The Canon of Medicine, Avicenna described a number of conditions, including melancholia.  He described melancholia as a depressivetype of mood disorder in which the person may become suspicious and develop certain types of phobias.  Unani medicine.
Main article: Unani medicine Though the threads which comprise Unani healing can be traced all the way back to Galen of Pergamon, who lived in the 2nd century AD, the basic knowledge of Unani medicine as a healing system was developed by Hakim Ibn Sina in his medical encyclopedia The Canon of Medicine. The time of origin is thus dated at circa 1025 AD, when Avicenna wrote The Canon of Medicine in Persia, which remains a text book in the syllabus of Unani medicine in the colleges of India and Pakistan. Pasted from