|Biographical detail : ||Great physician.
Ibn Zuhr was one of the greatest physicians, clinicians and parapsychologist of the Middle Ages. He confined his work only in Medicine and by focussing in one field he made many original and long-lasting contributions. He emphasised observation and experiment in his work.
Ibn Zuhr was “proficient in the art of dissecting dead human bodies and knew anatomy in detail” and he was the first to test different medicines on animals before administering them to humans. Also, he was the first to describe in detail scabies, the itch mite, and is thus regarded as the first parapsychologist.
Ibn Zuhr was the first who gave full description of the operation of tracheotomy and practiced direct feeding through the gullet in those cases where normal feeding was not possible. As a clinician, he provided clinical descriptions of intestinal phthisis, inflammation of the middle ear, peri carditis, and mediastinal tumours among others.
Ibn Zuhr who wrote ‘Kitab al-Taisir fi al-Mudawat wa al-Tadbir’ (The Book of Simplification concerning Therapeutics and Diet) discusses pathological conditions and therapy in detail apart from that it contains many of his original contributions and the same was later translated into Hebrew and Latin.
‘Kitab al-Iqtisad fi Islah Al-Anfus wa al-Ajsad’ (The Book of the Middle Course concerning the Reformation of Souls and the Bodies) summarises different diseases, therapeutics and the hygiene apart from the role of psychology in the treatment.
‘Kitab al-Aghziya’ (Book on Foodstuff) discusses numerous drugs, and the importance of food and nutrition.
Ibn Zuhr was the teacher of the great Muslim physician Ibn Rushd (Averros) and had greatly influenced on the development of medical science throughout the world for several centuries.
Ibn Zuhr known in the West as Avenzoar was born Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik Ibn Zuhr at Seville, Spain. After a brief stay in Baghdad and Cairo, he returned to Spain and worked as a physician.