Use of natural substances in the treatment of renal stones and other urinary disorders in the medieval Levant

Efraim Lev*, Eran Dolev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Urinary disorders were common in the ancient world, especially in the Mediterranean region. In semi-arid zones and countries with unreliable water sources, renal stones and other urinary problems occur with greater frequency. A lack of water and correspondingly high levels of calcium saturation are among the main reasons for the formation of calcium sediments in the urinary tract, and it is hardly surprising, therefore, that many generations of physicians and healers have been called upon to treat these disorders, or at least alleviate the pain associated with them. Down the ages, many natural substances have been used for this purpose. This article focuses on 62 plants, 9 animal-based remedies, 1 mineral preparation and 4 medicinal substances of different or uncertain origin, traced in a recent survey of relevant historical literature (both medical and non-medical). Many of these materials, used to treat urinary disorders in the Levant between the 8th and the 18th centuries, had already been in use since the classical period, and several are still used today in traditional medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Volume22
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • History of nephrology
  • Levant
  • Middle ages
  • Natural substances
  • Renal stones
  • Urinary disorders

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