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Gastroenterology in the Talmud

Daniel Lawrence Cohen


The Talmud contains the oral traditions of the Jewish religion.  While the text consists of statements on Jewish law, practice, and ethics, it also includes insights into other fields including medicine.  Talmudic references to various fields of medicine have been previously published; however this is not true of gastroenterology.  This paper attempts to provide a comprehensive investigation into the Talmudic citations relating to the field of gastroenterology.  Remarkably, the Talmud contains references to all aspects of the digestive system including anatomy, physiology, nutrition, practitioners, diagnostic testing, diseases, and treatment.  This systematic review provides a fascinating historical record of the perception of the digestive system nearly two thousand years ago.

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