Anesthesia in the works of Avicenna and
anesthetic techniques during the 11th century

Hijazi AR.
Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 1984;3(1):76-8..


Many works concerning 19th century anaesthesia have been written. Those concerning the Middle Ages were virtually non-existent. Paragraphs were found scattered in various chapters of 10th and 11th century medical and surgical works dealing with the anaesthetic techniques required by the importance of the surgical operations carried out at the time, such as above- or through-knee amputations. Avicenna, an 11th century arab doctor, has written several medical works. The most famous one, the Canon, did play an important part in medical teaching of the Middle Ages. This book included about forty plants considered to have anaesthetic properties; a detailed description of the preparation of drugs from these plants and of way in which these drugs were used was given. It seemed the dangers of these drugs were known. Examples from this book made it possible to understand better the anaesthetic practice of the time, so giving a general idea of anaesthesia in the Middle Ages.
Molecular mechanisms
The spongia somnifera
'My beloved chloroform'
'The secularisation of pain'
Acetylcholine/nicotinic receptors
Obstetric anaesthesia/John Snow
Anaesthesia, analgesia and Avicenna

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World