Tag Archives: Avicenna

Obesity in the Middle Ages: Sancho el Craso

Nicolás Roberto Robles   Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Imaginary portrait. Sancho I El Craso. José María Rodríguez de Losada. between circa 1892 and circa 1894. Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Severe obesity restricts body movements and maneuvers . . . breathing passages become blocked and do not pass good air . . . these patients […]

Frankincense and myrrh: medicinal resin worth more than gold

Mariel Tishma Chicago, IL, United States   Incense. Frankincense on coal. Photo: birdy. 2007. CC BY-SA 3.0. Via Wikimedia. Boswellia and Commiphora trees are scraggly, sharp, and unfriendly. Growing close to the ground in the arid desert, they have short trunks and fanning branches, sometimes looking more like shrubs than trees. But despite their unlikely […]

A brief history of kidney transplantation

Laura Carreras-Planella Marcella Franquesa Ricardo Lauzurica Francesc E. Borràs Barcelona, Spain   We may think of renal transplantation as routine therapy today, but this procedure has taken centuries to develop and is marked by important events in the history of science. An ancient description of the kidneys is found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated […]

Live chicken for treating plague buboes

Detail of Zug der Soldaten und Marketenderinnen by Franz Brun. 1559. Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. When the bubonic plague struck Europe after 1347, it left the medical profession helpless. Unable to cure or contain the disease, doctors focused largely on dealing with […]

Islamic medicine

During the expansion of the Empire of Islam and its ensuing Golden Age, physicians from Spain to Samarkand advanced the medical sciences by reviving existing Greek medicine and adding their own innovations.1 There were many prominent physicians, dating back to the days of the Prophet himself. Often associated with hospitals or schools of pharmacy, some […]

Medical education in medieval Islam

Sara Ali Gainsville, Florida, United States   Al-Adudi Hospital, Baghdad, 9th century The period between the 5th to the 15th century, known in Europe as the Dark Ages, was characterized in the Middle East and the Arab world by the rise of great civilizations. It was built by people of differing religions and ethnicities, Muslims […]