Avicenna on Cardiac Drugs


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To Avicenna, the heart possessed a greater function than being simply a muscular pump. He believed that the heart served as the repository of Divine potentialities, and was greatly affected by emotions such as pleasure, sorrow, joy, grief, revenge, anxiety and exhilaration. The first purpose in treatment of any cardiovascular disease was to purify the blood, which refines the vital energy. To accomplish this purification, many substances were used, especially finely ground amber stone, lapis lazuli and shaved gold and silver. General treatment was both symptomatic and tonic. Avicenna advised single and compound herbs, smelling salts, teas, foods, change in climate, pastes over the heart and perfumes. For Avicenna, the Breath of Life was the link between the manifest and hidden realms, between God and humans, and he felt the vital energy of the heart is attracted to aromas. In cardiac drugs great consideration is given to aromas, because the heart is the seat of the production of the vital force of the body. In fact, Avicenna was so convinced of the value of essential oils in heart conditions, that he once remarked: All aromatic oils are cardiac drugs.
—Hakim Chishti, Unani Herbal Healing Institute.


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