12TH THROUGH 14TH CENTURIES MEDICINE

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To see my menu of all Muslim science posts, click https://muslimscience.blog/2016/08/10/mymenu/

a mite causes scabies

SCABIES
In the 12th century, in Muslim Spain, the physician Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) (1094 – 1162) mostly performed surgical procedures that had been performed by surgeons in earlier centuries. He noticed that scabies was caused by a barely visible mite that burrows under the skin, not by an imbalance of the humors. He probably was not aware that Aristotle knew this 1500 years earlier.  Scabies is not caused by germs

HEART INFLAMMATION
Ibn Zuhr may have been the first to write about pericarditis (inflammation of the membranous sac surrounding the heart),

PUPIL OF EYE
He may have been the first to write about excessive contraction and dilation of the pupil (miosis and mydriasis),

CANCER
Ibn Zuhr may have been the first physician to write about esophageal and stomach cancers.

TRACHEOTOMY
Ibn Zuhr was not the first to perform tracheotomies (which had been performed in many ancient countries) but he did practice doing it on an animal before performing it on a human. [In the 3rd century BC in the Roman colony of Alexandria, the Greek physician Erasistratus had also tested on live animals.]

AUTOPSY
Ibn Zuhr was not the first person to perform an autopsy by dissection of a human cadaver (Herophilus and Erasistratus had done that in the 3rd century BC.

DIAMOND TOOL
Ibn Zuhr in the 12th century attached a diamond to an earlier device used for cutting and crushing kidney stones.
(Diamond tools had been used in 1st century Rome.)

FEMALE GYNECOLOGISTS
Ibn Zuhr trained 2 of his daughters to be gynecologists so that male doctors would not see women’s private parts. [There were women physicians in pre-Islamic times. http://www.edu/544146/Women_physicians_in_Greece_Rome_and_the_Byzantine_Empire ]

PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Ibn Rušd (Averroes) (1126 – 1198) of Muslim Spain briefly mentioned the existence of a shaking disease, but centuries earlier Galen of Pergamon had written about the shaking symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

TABULA ROSA
Ibn Tufail (also  spelled Ibn Tufayl) (1105 – 1185) wrote about tabula rasa, which is the theory that humans are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes only from experience and perception, borrowing from Aristotle and Stoic philosophers.
Some consider ibn Tufail to be a pioneer in tabula rasa and the nature versus nurture debate because of his fictional story about a child raised by a wild animal on an island. He wrote 2 medical books and was an advocate of human dissections.

MERCURIC CHLORIDE
“De aluminibus” was a 12th century book in Muslim Spain [prior to Pseudo-Geber] that described heating a mixture of solid mercury(II) sulfate and sodium chloride (ordinary table salt) to produce corrosive sublimate (mercuric chloride, HgCl2) as a gas which later condenses as small crystals. Surgeons in Muslim Spain used it to eat away dead flesh (a very bad idea both because it is poisonous and because it kills healthy flesh).

NON-MUSLIM PHYSICIANS
Saladin, who led opposition to Christian Crusaders, employed physicians at his court, including 8 Muslims, 8 Jews, 5 Christians and a Sabian star worshiper.

ANATOMY
Mansur ibn Ilyas (1380 – 1422) wrote a medical encyclopedia and a book on anatomy.

FEMALE SURGEONS
The Turkish surgeon Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385 – 1470) had an illustration of female surgeons in his medical book.

BLACK PLAGUE
Ibn al-Khatib (1313 – 1374) was a philosopher and historian who mentioned the black plague in Islamic Spain.


Image by pixabay
Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/mite-aceria-anthocoptes-acari-67638/

 

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