Canon — truly a cannon of medicine – Avicenna
Ibn Sina or Avicenna (980-1037 AD), a renowned Arabic physician who assimilated Greco-Arabic Medicine.
Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna) was known as the Arab Galen’.
Galen (130-201 AD) was a Greek physician and medical scientist who practiced medicine in Rome.
Avicenna’s book ‘Al-Quanoon – Fit -Tibb’, also called ‘Canon of Avicenna’ praised as ‘Medical Bible’ had tremendous influence on the evolution of medicine in the Orient and among the European nations.
The present British and American Pharmacopoeias are based on some of Avicenna’s methods.
Ibn Sina adopted the ancient humoral doctrine preached from the times of Hippocrates — the existence of four body humors (blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm) associated with the four elements (air, fire, earth and water).
A proper and evenly balanced mixture of humors indicated harmony in health; disharmony results in disease.
By the age of sixteen he learnt many sciences; at the age of 18 he became the physician of the Sultan of Bukhara.
Gradually he wrote books and treatises on Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy, Theology and Music.
Scientist Avicenna contributions
Observations on the close relationship between emotions and bodily changes, i.e., physiological psychology, physiology of sleep, importance of purifying drinking water, climatic influence on disease, dietetics, animal experiments, diseases like insanity, tetanus, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart problems, pulse and urine examination, trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), meningitis, breast milk and infants, cosmetics, etc.,
Music as an integral part of therapy. He was an obstetrician, too.
ENT (Ear Nose Throat) diseases are dealt with in his book, Canon of Medicine.
Hence the highlights of his career as a philosopher, literary genius, scientist, physician and writer deserve appreciation.
Prior to Avicenna, there was no systematic description of diseases.
Birth millennium of Avicenna was celebrated in the year 1981.
Fitting tribute is paid to Scientist Avicenna in the following renowned poem about great lives :
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.