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The Little Qanun of Ibn Sina

Little Model of the Great Qanun

Kadircan Hidir Keskinbora

Ibn Sina wrote many books on various scientific branches, many of which are on philosophy, religion, music, medicine, astronomy, physics, and natural sciences. Some sources state that the number of books he has written is over 240; 153 of these have been discovered. Among his valuable books, the two most well-known books are «al-Shifa», which deals mostly with philosophy, and the five-volume «al-Qānūn Fī al-Tibb», which is a complete medical encyclopedia. The Little Qanun is the model of «al-Qānūn». The idea of publishing this book struck the author’s mind when he thoroughly dealt with Avicenna’s views and thoughts. It is hard to imagine such discoveries were generated more than one thousand years ago.

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[36A] The fifth article


The fifth article is about throat illnesses and it consists of four chapters.

Chapter one: Regarding coughing, catarrh, and pleurisy

If the coughing is dry with little saliva, with no visible signs of illness in the body, but the cough is accompanied with fever and the color of urine is not good, then the patient should drink plantago seeds’ juice and violet juice. Also the patient should drink barley water with violet juice. He should be given soups and light meals, such as spinach cooked in almond oil. Yet if there is no evidence of fever, the patient should eat the fresh and soft parts of the meat and the fish. The chest should be rubbed with a mixture of violet oil, wax, and pumpkin water.

When coughing is accompanied with sputum (saliva) and the body shows illness and the cold originates from the head, then bleeding should take place. After that, the patient should drink a mixture of barley water marinated with violet, and eat the abovementioned food.

If coughing is dry with no saliva and no fever and the body shows no sign of illness, then the patient should drink “shanber” cucumber with white sugar cooked with maidenhair, and eat chickpeas and a mixture of broad beans and almond oil. If coughing is preventing the patient from sleeping, then he should be given plain opium poppy juice.

Chapter two: Regarding asthma

When a person...

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