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J Nephrol. 2004 Mar-Apr;17(2):324-8.

Kidney and urinary therapeutics in early medieval monastic medicine.

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North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


This study will explore a few recipes in relation to what monastic medicine considered kidney disorders. Technical terms, such as strangury, cause us difficulties in interpreting early medieval monastic medicine. The action described can vary considerably. For example, he has action for urination problems that center in the verb: (in translation) "dries out", "quietens", "expels", "moves", "provoking", and treating "retention of urine". Sometimes the term "diuretic" is used. The Lorsch monastic book of medical recipes, written around 800, employed the words "deuritica" and "diureticon" but most of monastic accounts simply say something similar to that in Reichenau Monastery's recipe book, 9th or 10th century: "urinam movet/moves the urine"; "urinam provocat/stimulates urination"; "ad difficultate urine/difficulty in urination". In order to examine the relationship between diagnosis and therapy, let us turn to a disease that is difficult even for modern medicine, diabetes. An examination of several early medieval monastic accounts reveals that they could have effectively treated diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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