father of modern medicine.....
system of medicine originated in Greece and the term UNANI is derived from
'UNAAN', in Arabic, Hindustani, Persian, Pashto and Urdu means Greek.
'Greece'. The theoretical framework of UNANI medicine is based on the work of
Hippocrates (460-377 BC) by his method of careful study and comparison of
he laid down
the foundation for clinical medicine based on diet and rest. He advocated that
the chief function of a physician is to aid the natural forces of the body in
combating a disease.
follows the humoural theory which postulates the presence of four humours
in the body: -
Safra [YELLOW BILE]
Sauda [BLACK BILE]
PARALLEL TO KAPHA, VATA AND PITTA, THE THREE DOSHAS IN AYURVEDA
number of Greek scholars after Hippocrates such as Galen (131-200 AD)
followed by Arab physicians like Rhazes (850-932 AD) and Avicenna
(980-1037 AD), enriched the system considerably.
Avicenna authored Al-Hawi and Al-Qanun respectively, which were
compilations of their observations. These were later translated into Latin and
other European languages and taught in medieval European universities. They are
said to have greatly influenced western medical thought.
Growth in India
have disappeared from the country of its origin, but it has found root in India.
Arab traders, who entered through the Western Ghats long before Moghuls,
introduced Unani here. The Khiljis, Tughlaqs and the Mughal emperors provided
state patronage to Unani scholars and even employed some as court physicians.
Unani experienced its heyday between 13th and 17th centuries with the
contributions of Abu Bakr bin Ali Usman Ksahani, Sadruddin Damashqui, Ali
Geelani, Akbal Arzani and Mohammad Hashim Alvi Khan. They subjected Indian drugs
to clinical trials and added numerous native drugs to their own system, further
enriching its treasures.
British period saw the strictest restrictions imposed on any system of treatment
other than allopathic. But despite these and the suspension of all aid to UNANI
institutions, the system survived due to the commitment of Hakims like Ajmal
Khan in India.
attained the phenomenal growth in terms of opening of more educational
institutions, establishment of Central Council of Research in Unani Medicine
[CCRUM] Central Council of Indian Medicine [CCIM]
National Institute of Unani
essential constituents and the working principles of the body, according to
Unani, can be classified into seven main groups:-
elements comprising earth, water, air and fire as different states of matter and
the building blocks of everything in the universe;
Mizaj (temperament); Akhlat (humours); Aza
(organs); Arwah (life, spirits or vital breaths); Quva (energy); and Af'al
Each of the
four elements has its own special qualities: earth is cold and dry; water is
cold and moist; fire is hot and dry; air is hot and moist. The resultant
quality of the uniform body is called its mizaj.
temperament of a substance may be a mizaj-e-mutadil (balanced one) or a
mizaj-e-ghair-mutadil (imbalanced one). Different types and shades of imbalanced
temperaments are described in Unani, which believes that at birth every person
is endowed with a unique and healthy humoural constitution determining the
temperament of an individual.
postulates that the body contains a self-preservative power, which strives to
restore any disturbance within the limits prescribed by the constitution or
state of the individual. The physician merely aims to help and develop rather
than supersede or impede the action of this power.
physician does not prescribe the strongest drug at the beginning of the
treatment. He selects the drug according to the degree of variation from the
normal healthy condition, and observes the effect produced by the treatment. At
the same time, he instructs the patient to observe some restrictions in diet and
necessary as the therapeutic effect of these mild drugs may be counter-balanced
to an extent by a faulty diet or lifestyle. Particular care has to be taken
while treating a 'hot', 'cold', 'dry' or 'moist' disease with food or drug of
the opposite quality.
Unani, health and disease depend upon the equilibrium or imbalance between the
four humours, a thorough examination of the pulse is undertaken to determine
which humour is dominant at the time. The examination of the urine is the next
important step. Its colour, taste, viscosity, whether it has froth on its
surface, if the bubbles formed are large, indicating balgham, or smell,
indicating safra, are scrutinised. The stool is also examined in a similar way.
Some Unani physicians also examine the blood pressure and use stethoscopes to
study the breathing and heart sounds.
unmatched in treating chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma, mental, cardiac
and digestive disorders, urinal infections and recent research has proved that
Unani medicines are highly effective in treating diseases like malaria,
hepatitis B, leukoderma and skin problems
also said to be effective in increasing immunity levels in AIDS patients.
Ziabetus or diabetes in its early stages is fully curable using Unani. Its
efficacy in treating sexual disorders remains unrivalled.
medicines permanently and effectively cure every sexual ailment, even sterility
in women. Unlike modern medicines like Viagra and its Indian variants which have
harmful side-effects, Unani also improves the general health of the person.
are 40 undergraduate and postgraduate colleges teaching Unani medicine in India.
These accord BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicines and Surgery). Several colleges
have recently introduced postgraduate courses in Unani and give MD degrees in
Ilmul Advia (pharmacology), Moalijat (medicine) and Kulliyat (basic principles)
as well as Jarahat (surgery) at Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, Aligarh, and in
Moalijat, Amraz-e-Niswan (gynaecology) and Amraz-e-Atfal (paediatrics) at
Government Nizamiah Tibbi College, Hyderabad. Several other colleges including
Faculty of Medicine (Unani) at Hamdard University and Ayurvedic and Unani
College at Karol Bagh in Delhi have introduced such postgraduate courses.
are over 150 Unani hospitals and 1,500 Unani dispensaries spread across 18
states of India. There are around 50,000 Unani physicians in the country and
most of them are practicing physicians. Unani now forms an integral part of the
national health care delivery system, and is recognised by the WHO as one of the
alternative system of medicines. The Unani medicine is effective and easily
the global trend of rising interest in alternative and natural systems, Unani is
also drawing attention in various countries and is being practiced, taught and
researched under its local names in over 20 countries including Afghanistan,
China, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Korea,
Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA.
Most of the
practicing Unani physicians in India are Muslims. Though there are also many
practitioners from other communities, most people think of Unani as solely a
Muslim system of medicine.
Unani is a
well-developed medical science and has nothing to do with Islam or Muslim
culture and number of
students from other communities studying in Unani medical colleges in South India
and they are not only going for undergraduate courses but postgraduate courses
used by both rich and poor, educated and illiterates, men and women alike. Unani
medicines are comparatively expensive but this is due to the careful selection
of herbs and other natural ingredients, which are costly and scarce. Theses
medicines being totally free from side affects, even modern scholars and new
generation youngsters opt for it. In fact only the real and recognized medicines
to suit modern manís habits and temperament.
Unani is all set to
benefit enormously from people's new-found love for herbal and natural systems