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Avicenna's Medicine

Avicenna's Medicine

A New Translation of the 11th-Century Canon with Practical Applications for Integrative Health Care

The first contemporary translation of the 1,000-year-old text at the foundation of modern medicine and biology

• Presents the actual words of Avicenna translated directly from the original Arabic, removing the inaccuracies and errors of most translators

• Explains current medical interpretations and ways to apply Avicenna’s concepts today, particularly for individualized medicine

• Reveals how Avicenna’s understanding of the “humors” corresponds directly with the biomedical classes known today as proteins, lipids, and organic acids

A millennium after his life, Avicenna remains one of the most highly regarded physicians of all time. His Canon of Medicine, also known as the Qanun, is one of the most famous and influential books in the history of medicine, forming the basis for our modern understanding of human health and disease. It focused not simply on the treatment of symptoms, but on finding the cause of illness through humoral diagnosis—a method still used in traditional Unani and Ayurvedic medicines in India.

Originally written in Arabic, Avicenna’s Canon was long ago translated into Latin, Persian, and Urdu, yet many of the inaccuracies from those first translations linger in current English translations. Translated directly from the original Arabic, this volume includes detailed commentary to explain current biomedical interpretations of Avicenna’s theories and ways to apply his treatments today, particularly for individualized medicine. It shows how Avicenna’s understanding of the humors corresponds directly with the biomedical definition of proteins, lipids, and organic acids: the nutrient building blocks of our blood and body. With this new translation of the first volume of his monumental work, Avicenna’s Canon becomes just as relevant today as it was 1,000 years ago.
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  • Healing Arts Press | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594774324 | 
  • July 2013
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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 10
Symptoms and Signs

Third Lesson of the Second Art: Symptoms and Signs
• Introduction (11 sections)
• First Statement: Pulse (19 sections)
• Second Statement: Urine and Feces (13 sections)


The Third Lesson of the Second Art of Disease, Causes, and General Symptoms is a rich part of the canon addressing the main symptoms and signs of pulse and urine and feces. The nineteen sections of the First Statement address the pulse, its characteristics, irregularity and its types, causes of irregularity, and indicators. They also discuss the pulse of genders, ages, temperaments, seasons, and... see more

About the Authors

Mones Abu-Asab

Mones Abu-Asab, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Hakima Amri

Hakima Amri, Ph.D., is associate professor of biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology at Georgetown University and cofounder and codirector of Georgetown’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Graduate Program.

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Marc S. Micozzi

Marc S. Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D., is adjunct professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the founding director of the Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine in Washington, D.C. The author and editor of Fundamentals of Complementary & Alternative Medicine and coauthor of The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, Your Emotional Type, New World Mindfulness, and Avicenna's Medicine, he lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and Rockport, Massachusetts.

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