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Kawthar
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PostSubject: MEDICINE   Sun May 04, 2008 11:07 am

MEDICINE
The most brilliant contribution was made by Al-Razi who differentiated between smallpox and measles, two diseases that were hitherto thought to be one single disease. He is credited with many contributions, which include being the first to describe true distillation, glass retorts and luting, corrosive sublimate, arsenic, copper sulfate, iron sulphate, saltpeter, and borax in the treatment of disease . He introduced mercury compounds as purgatives (after testing them on monkeys); mercurial ointments and lead ointment." His interest in urology focused on problems involving urination, venereal disease, renal abscess, and renal and vesical calculi. He described hay-fever or allergic rhinitis.

Some of the Arab contributions include the discovery of itch mite of scabies (Ibn Zuhr), anthrax, ankylostoma and the guinea worm by Ibn Sina and sleeping sickness by Qalqashandy. They described abscess of the mediastinum. They understood tuberculosis and pericarditis.

Al Ash'ath demonstrated gastric physiology by pouring water into the mouth of an anesthetized lion and showed the distensibility and movements of the stomach, preceding Beaumont by about 1,000 years" Abu Shal al- Masihi explained that the absorption of food takes place more through the intestines than the stomach. Ibn Zuhr introduced artificial feeding either by gastric tube or by nutrient enema. Using the stomach tube the Arab physicians performed gastric lavage in case of poisoning. Ibn Al-Nafis was the first to discover pulmonary circulation.

Ibn Sina in his masterpiece Al-Quanun (Canon), containing over a million words, described complete studies of physiology, patlhology and hygiene. He specifically discoursed upon breast cancer, poisons, diseases of the skin, rabies, insomnia, childbirth and the use of obstetrical forceps, meningitis, amnesia, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis as a contagious disease, facial tics, phlebotomy, tumors, kidney diseases and geriatric care. He defined love as a mental disease.

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