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Title: Salting Babies. Innovation and Tradition In Premodern Procedures for Neonatal Care
Author: Forcada Nogués, Miquel
Keywords: Medicina àrab
Arab medicine
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: The paper studies two aspects of the procedures of neonatal care explained by ancient and medieval medicine: the application of salt to the newborn's skin in order to harden it, and the alternative proposed by Ibn Zuhr, anointment with acorn oil. The latter procedure was echoed by several physicians in al-Andalus and was known to the physicians of the Renaissance, some of whom preferred it to all other methods. Ibn Zuhr's anointment with acorn oil is analyzed as a case study that broadens our knowledge of the innovative character of this author, one of the outstanding physicians in the history of al-Andalus medicine, and of the doctrinal change and its transmission in Pre-Modern medicine. The paper sketches the history of the application of salt in newborns, a practice still in use at present time, from its early antecedents in the Semitic cultures to Late Middle Ages and Renaissance, studying in particular the main sources of neonatal care in Greek and Arabo-Islamic medicine. Another ancestral procedure for the same purpose, rubbing with henna, and the interaction between learned and folk medicine are also considered within the framework of the discussion of whether salt or acorn oil was better for newborns.
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It is part of: Suhayl. Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islam, 2012
ISSN: 1576-9372
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Filologia Grega, Filologia Llatina, Filologia Romànica i Filologia Semítica)

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