The Canon of Medicine

Book 1
General Principles of Medicine here

Book 2
Materia Medica here

Hakim Ibn Sina

with great thanks to Paul Bergner for making this available, his introduction below

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This English translation is based on an Arabic critical edition compiled by a team scholars at Hamdard University, India, by comparing early copies of original Arabic source materials. This is the first translation appearing in English or any European language based on an Arabic original. For the translation into English, the scholars prepared a glossary of 15,000 Arabic words appearing in the Canon, with 50,000 English equivalents.

The task of preparing the critical edition and the glossary took the team more than 5 years, under the supervision of Hakeem Abdul Hameed of Hamdard University. After compiling the full five volumes of the Canon in Arabic, he and his team completed English translations of Book I and Book II. This English text
of the Hamdard translation, as well as Arabic and Persian versions for side-by-side comparison.

The five-volume Canon is one of the most influential medical books in history, and its medical theories, observations, materia medica, and formulary, which inspired physicians throughout Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia for half a millenium, are of great potential interest to contemporary practitioners of natural medicine and medical herbalism.

The potential benefits are practical, not simply of historical curiosity. The ancient system of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines are currently influencing the health care throughout Europe and the Americas, the practical information from Greco/Unani medicine may do the same.

This Book I of the Canon covers the principles of Four Humors (Greek/Arabic/ Unani) medicine, as well as an overview of anatomy from the point of view of that system. It is a practical book, with sections on pulse diagnosis and urinalysis, and on therapeutic regimens for various ages and conditions, in health and in disease.

Recently the full five volumes of the Canon have been translated by Laleh Bakhtiar and are available on the book market in North America. Bakhtiar states that she based her translation of Book II on the Hamdard version, and expresses gratitude for for the efforts that produced it. In only a few cases, the Bakhtiar version of Book II assigns different Latin binomials to the plants in the Hamdard version.





© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd