Book Review: Conventional Medicine and Rhazi’s Viewpoints on Urology

Document Type : Perspective


Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Bibliographic Details
Mohammad Ebrahim Zaker, Hassan Otukesh
Conventional Medicine and Rhazes’ Viewpoints on Urology
Tehran, The Written Heritage Research Center (Markaz-e pajuheshi-e miras-e maktub), 2020
555 p., Paperback / Hardcover
Rials 970.000/ Rials 1.170.000
ISBN: 978-600-203-197-6
Mohammad Ebrahim Zaker and Hassan Otukesh provide a comprehensive guide to Rhazes’ (Razi’s) viewpoint on urology and “Conventional Medicine and Rhazes’ Viewpoints on Urology” is a great resource for those looking to review this topic. The book is split into two main parts with sub-chapters, which makes it more understandable. “Conventional Medicine and Rhazes’ Viewpoints on Urology” begins with an introduction to Rhazes as a wonderful scholar of science and culture of Iran by Otukesh. Otukesh, who is a pediatrics nephrologist, appreciates the work of Rhazes and other scholars who pay careful attention to urine findings of each patient and try to associate these findings with clinical signs and symptoms. This requires follow up of studying urine of each individual for days and hours and connecting the results together, this is what todays’ doctors and medical students do very rarely; Otukesh continues. He and Ebrahim Zaker who are both investigators and researchers of medical manuscripts, lend their expertise to this book aimed at increasing the knowledge of interested individuals especially medical doctors, and students wishing to expand their knowledge of medicine and combine the conventional medicine with valuable points of Iranian (Persian) medicine. Ebrahim Zaker is a dentist and doctor of dental surgery.
The book begins with a scientific chapter discussing Rhazes’ viewpoint on urology. Here, the parts of Rhazes’ book named Alhavi fi-al-tib about urine and its different aspects are mentioned. Characteristics of normal and good urine; various colors that urine may have including white, red or black; types of urine sediment; and detection of pregnancy by observing urine are among the topics of this part. The content itself is well written, offering depth and background to interested individuals.
In another part, the authors have discussed the history of urology and urogenital organs. Herein, the sources which Rhazes used in volumes nine, ten, and nineteen of Alhavi fi-al-tib have been mentioned. According to the book, Rhazes has used 53 essays and articles compiled by Iranian, Greek, and Egyptian naturalists on the anatomy and physiology of reproductive and urinary organs from ancient times to the time he lived.
Section two of the book provides information on the conventional medicine findings. This section covers physiology of kidneys and analysis of urine from physical and chemical views. The book then introduces the microscopic properties of urine, and after that covers articles subspecialized on urine and its use in diseases. Some of the mentioned diseases in diagnosis of which urine test is helpful include: endocrine diseases, diabetes mellitus, gastric cancer, lung problems and cardiac diseases. The high degree of evidence-based material is one of the main advantages of this book.
In conclusion, this excellentbook provides a comprehensive review of Rhazes’ viewpoints and conventional medicine on urine, its application in various conditions and diseases, and urogenital system. Although “Conventional Medicine and Rhazes’ Viewpoints on Urology” covers topics of interest to all clinicians, the depth of some of the subjects is more interesting for experienced practitioners, particularly those with a special interest in ancient medical manuscripts.