Avicenna's Medicine: A New Translation

by Mones Abu-Asab, Hakima Amri, Marc Micozzi

  • Avicenna's Medicine: A New Translation

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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 of 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 individualised medicine. It shows how Avicenna's understanding of the humours 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.

This text presents the actual words of Avicenna translated directly from the original Arabic, removing the inaccuracies and errors of most translators, explains current medical interpretations of Avicenna's concepts, and reveals how Avicenna's understanding of the "humours" corresponds directly with the biomedical classes known today as proteins, lipids and organic acids.

“Avicenna’s Medicine represents a breath of fresh air to those interested in the history of Western medicine. It is presented in a consistently clear and concise form that makes Avicenna’s writings accessible to the English reader. In addition, a number of chapters at the beginning of the book act as a primer in the principles of Graeco-Arabic Medicine. Avicenna’s Medicine is one of the most interesting and exciting volumes that has come my way in a long time. It provides insight into a medicine that is a historical part of the development of modern Western medicine and an ethnic traditional medicine that is still more or less practiced on the Indian subcontinent and in some parts of the Middle East. This may well serve to rekindle a resurgence of interest in Avicenna’s medicine in the West; something it surely deserves.” (Paul Hysen, Ph.D., Doctor of Naturopathy and Chiropractic)