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[Perspectives] The matula

The Hippocratics taught doctors how important it is to examine patients’ urine. They shared their interest in this body fluid with Ayurvedic and Chinese practitioners. With their frequent use of cooking metaphors to explain the workings of the body in health and disease, the Hippocratics viewed urine as an important waste product of the body’s attempt, through “coction”, to rid itself of peccant matter caused by disease. Urine’s colour, transparency, sediments, and other features offered a portrait of what was happening inside.