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Urolithiasis with Reference to Ancient and Modern Literature: A Review

Mohammad Shakeel Ansari


The existence of renal stone has been recorded since the beginning of civilization, a stone was discovered in the pelvis of an ancient Egyptian mummy, and was dated 4800 B.C. Hippocrates told about the presence of renal stones in 4th century B.C. and give a Hippocratic Oath that’s “I will not cut even for the stone but leave such procedures to the practitioners of the craft.” Renal calculi are solid structures composed of urinary precipitates and crystals. These stones can range in size from less than a millimeter to few centimeters.The initiation of renal calculus actually starts with the aggregation of crystals on a nidus which is made up of glycoprotein matrix, injured epithelium, foreign body or crystals. Aggregation of crystals over the nidus starts only when the urine is supersaturated. Gradually with the passage of time, the crystals grow in size to form the calculus. There are multiple types of renal calculus like oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, cystine and xanthine. A large number of people are suffering from urinary stone problem all over the World. Kidney stones are quite common and usually affect 10–20% men and 3–5 % women. In India 12% of population is expected to have urinary stones. In Unani System of Medicine various Unani formulations are mentioned for the management of urolithiasis such as Kushta Hijrul yahood, Kusta Marjaan wa Aqrab, Sharbat alubalu, Sharbat habbulqilt, Majoon sang sarmahi, Safoof surkh etc. Urolithiasis has been described broadly in Unani system of medicine by numerous renowned Unani physicians and surgeons. They described causes, manifestations and number of treatments. According to Ali Ibn Abbas Majoosi renal calculi is formed due to increased Hararate Ghareezia which is derived from viscous humour and mucus matter. These matters may be the phlegmatic or viscous blood or pus. According to Jalinoos, the formation of kidney stone arises due to underlying ulcerations in kidney itself.According to Ibn-e-Sina stone formation needs two things, ghaleez madda and stasis of ghaleez madda. Rhazi mentioned the symptoms of calculi i.e. renal pain, incontinence of urine, dysuria and passing sandy precipitate in their urine.


Hippocrates, urolithiasis, renal pain, crystallization, lithotomy

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