Illustrating how the paradigmatic thinking of Westerners at this time frequently obstructed their efforts to understand Chinese medical theory, Barnes provides a succinct yet comprehensive overview of the early history of medical thought in the Western world, from the theories of Hippocrates and Galen to the writings of Islamic philosophers and physicians such as Rhazes
, as he was known in the West, back in the 10th Century wrote about the role that psychosomatic medicine or self-suggestion, plays in healing.
The Persian-born Al-Razi, more commonly referred to as Rhazes
, advocated an ethical framework for medical practice and provided the first accurate account of smallpox.
The great Arab and Persian philosophers and scientists--al Kindi, (800AD), Rhazes
, (865AD) and Avicenna (980AD)--all wrote books on perfumery and distillation techniques, demonstrating for the first time in history how to mass produce perfume.
The first documented mention of coffee comes in the 10th century, from an Arabian doctor Rhazes
In 980, the Arab scientist Rhazes
wrote that while smallpox was transmitted from person to person, survivors never developed it again--the first scientific theory of acquired immunity.
The preeminent Arab physician Rhazes
had observed the association between damaged kidneys and dropsy.
These included works by Celsus, Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, Aristotle, Plato, Rhazes
But unfortunately the activities in this field came to a stand still after five hundred years and the research works of Avicnna, Averroes, Rhazes
It is interesting to read a description of its medical action by Rhazes
as one of the earliest writers on coffee: "It is hot and dry in the first degree but according to others cold in the first degree.