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Avicenna - The Canon of Medicine - The value of baths



Type of Spiritual Experience


In reading this, one should remember that this was quite revolutionary thinking in his time of no running water and infrequent washing.  Much of what he wrote is related to hygiene, even though he had no knowledge of 'germs'.

A description of the experience

Avicenna (1999). The Canon of Medicine (al-Qānūn fī'l-ṭibb), vol. 1. Laleh Bakhtiar (ed.), Oskar Cameron Gruner (trans.), Mazhar H. Shah (trans.). Great Books of the Islamic World

The beneficial Effects of Baths: The benefits are
(1) induction of sleep
(2) dilation of pores
(3) cleansing of skin
(4) dispersal of the undesirable waste matters
(5) maturation of abscesses
(6) drawing of nutriment towards the surface of the body
(7) assistance to the physiological dispersion and excretion of poisonous matters
(8) prevention of diarrhea and
(9) removal of fatigue effects.

…..A person should not go into the bath immediately after exercise. He should rest properly first…………..Injurious effects include the fact that the heart is weakened if the person stays too long in [a cold] bath……

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Warm baths