Unani medicine is a system of alternative medicine that originated in ancient Greece but is now practiced primarily in India. Involving the use of herbal remedies and dietary practices.
Being among the Renowned manufacturers we have understood the principals of Unani medicine,as achieving a balance of the bodily fluids known as "the four humors" (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) is essential to health or phlegm (balgham), blood (dam), yellow bile (afr) and black bile (saud). Another key principle of Unani medicine is that disease results from an imbalance in air, earth, water, and fire, four elements thought to comprise all that exists in nature, including the human body.In addition, Unani medicine is partly based on the principle that environmental conditions, including the quality of water and air,) can significantly impact health.
Unani medicine recognizes six physical, or external, factors, called asbab-e-sittah-zarooriah such as
Hawa (air), in which the quality of the air a person breathes is thought to have a direct effect on his or her temperament and, thus, health.
Makool-wo-mashroob (food and drink), in which the nutritional value and the quality and quantity of one’s food and drink are believed to ensure physical fitness by strengthening tabiyat.
Harkat-wo-sakoon-e-jismiah (bodily exercise and repose), which emphasizes the positive effects of balanced physical exercise on an individual’s internal resistance and tabiyat.
Harkat-o-sakoon nafsaniah (mental work and rest), which emphasizes the simultaneous engagement of the human mind in numerous emotional and intellectual activities.
Naum-o-yaqzah (sleep and wakefulness), in which an individual’s health and alertness are understood as being dependent on a specific amount of sound sleep in the course of a 24-hour (circadian) cycle.
Ihtebas and istifragh (retention and excretion), which considers the metabolism of food and liquid as both affecting and being regulated by tabiyat.
In Unani way of treatment the conditions are often treated with herbal unani formulas particularily classical and patented by different combinations containing a variety of natural substances.To understand the system well we will take an example of one classical medicines which is formulated according to ancient book BAIEZ-KABIR known as Khamira Abresham Hakim Arshad Wala that contains such botanicals as saffron, cardamom, Indian bay leaf, and citron.Considered a tonic, Khamira Abresham Hakim Arshad Wala is said to enhance heart health and aid in the treatment of cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and angina. Commonly prescribed treatments in Unani medicine also include dietary changes, leech therapy, and surgery.Unani medicine is said to have a holistic approach; refers to the whole knowledge as a total recognition of the patient′s condition. Is there any rationality? Looking at the concept and principles of Unani medicine, it does not interfere with physiologically inherent forces of viz. medicatrix naturae , that is, of self-preservation. The purpose of Unani medicine is to assist natural recuperative power and thus eradicate the disease from the human body. Nature of the body, Tabciyat (equivalent term for Greek - Physicis from where “Physician” derived, also cf. Tabaêy and Tabeeb), spontaneously removes the morbid matter through the process of sweating, urination or defecation. Otherwise, munzij (maturation) is done to make the body to remove the morbid matter followed by Muz'hil via diaphoretic, diuretics and purgatives.
The Unani medicine system recognizes the influence of surroundings and ecological conditions on the state of health of human beings. The aim is to restore the equilibrium of various elements, humours and faculties of the human body. Six essentials for the prevention of health and maintenance of proper ecological balance by keeping water, food and air free from pollution: (a) atmospheric air (b) food and drink (c) rest and activity of body (d) psychological activity (e) sleep and wakefulness (f) elimination and retention. On the other hand, there is also a growing focus among scientists, herbalists and environmentalists about the impact of drugs and herbs on environment and surroundings apart from its impact on animals and human beings.
Unani drugs of every origin (plant, animal and mineral) are categorized in four degrees on the basis of their temperament, potentiality (potency) and power of effectiveness (efficacy), which in its entirety curb adverse drug reactions. Higher the degree, higher the adverse effects. A drug used in Unani system has a documented temperament (hot, dry and moist). The temperament of the drug is measured on a scale of one to three degrees. A drug may have temperament (Har as Hot and Cold, Hot and Dry, Hot and Moist; Barid as Cold and Hot, Cold and Dry, Cold and Moist; Yabis as Dry and Hot, Dry and Cold, Dry and Moist).
1. The Theory of Temperament
The concept of temperament (Mizaj) and pulse examination (Moain-e Nabdh) in diagnosis and therapy, selection of drugs according to their potency into four degrees (Darjat-e Advia) or pharmacotherapy (Ilaj bil advia) according to their temperamental potency into four degrees (Darjat-e Advia), use of correctives (Tadbir) to minimize toxicity on the basis of temperament of drugs and its impact in minimizing side-effects and use of substitutes (Abdal al Advia) for better efficacy and cost-effectiveness are the main concern for rational drug management in Unani medicine.
Thus after determining the temperament of substitutes of drugs, its usefulness on a particular temperament of patient and disease condition is taken into consideration. This is the way of natural treatment with natural drugs. Each patient is receiving drugs according to their nature. So this pattern of treatment produces lesser adverse reactions. For example, a herb with cold temperament could only be replaced by a herb with cold temperament and a drug with moist temperament can only be replaced by a drug with moist temperament and not otherwise. Further, the drug should match in temperament with the person to whom the drug has been prescribed. According to Unani system of medicine, each individual has either cold, hot, dry or moist temperament. Jadwar (Delphinium denudatum Wall) as a whole has one specific temperament. It has 21-22 known alkaloids. The temperament of its active principle (Delphinine or Methyllycaconitine) will not be the same. Inactive principles may in addition change the balance of body temperament.
2. Dietotherapy (Ilaj bil Ghiza)
Dietotherapy aim is to treat certain ailments by administration of specific diets or by regulating the quantity and quality of food. This system attaches great importance to diet and digestion, both in health and disease. A physician while prescribing medicine stipulates regimen and directs on the foodstuffs to be avoided. Correct diet and digestion are assumed to produce correct balance of humours and maintain progress of health, whereas faulty diet and digestion derange the balance and produce disease. Obviously, the humoural imbalance can be corrected by medication, coupled with proper diet and digestion because improper diet and digestion can aggravate the disease or interfere with the healing effect of medicine.
Principles and Concepts of Unani medicine:
Unani system is based upon four principals - humour theory of Hippocrates ie the presence, in the body, of four humours blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile.
The human body is considered to be made up of the following seven components:
According to the Unani Way of Medicine The human body contains four elements and each of the four elements has its own temperament as Air (Hot & Moist), Earth (Cold & Dry), Fir (Hot & Dry), Water (Cold & Moist)
The temperament of the individual is very important in unani way of system it is considered to be unique. The individuals temperament is believed to be the result of the interaction of the elements. The temperament can be real equitable where the four elements used are in equal quantities. This does not exist. The temperament may be equitable. This means presence of just and required amount of compatible temperament. Lastly, temperament can be inequitable. In this case there is absence of just distribution of temperament according to their requirements for healthy functioning of the human body.
The humours are responsible for maintaining moisture of different organs of the body and also provide nutrition to the body. Food passes through four stages of digestion; (1) Gastric digestion when food is turned in to chyme and chyle and carried to liver by mesenteric veins (2). Hepatic digestion in which chyle is converted into four humours in varying quantities, that of blood being the largest. Thus, the blood which leaves the liver is intermixed with the other humours namely, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The third and fourth stages of digestion are known as (3) vessels and (4) tissue digestion.
These are the various organs of the human body. The health or disease of each individual organ affects the state of health of the whole body.
Ruh (Spirit) is a gaseous substance, obtained from the inspired air, it helps in all the metabolic activities of the body. It burns the akhlat latifah to produce all kinds of quwa (powers) and hararat ghariziyah, it is the source of vitality for all the organs of the body. These are considered to be the life force and are, therefore, important in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. These are the carriers of different powers, which make the whole body system and its parts functional of power such as :
1. Quwa Tabiyah or Natural power it is defined as the power of metabolism and reproduction. Liver is the seat of this power and the process is carried on in every tissue of the body. Metabolism is concerned with the processes of nutrition and growth of human body. Nutrition comes from the food and is carried to all parts of the body, while growth power is responsible for the construction and growth of human organism.
Quwa Nafsaniyah or Psychic power refers to nervous and psychic power. It is located inside the brain and is responsible for perceptive and motive power. Perceptive power conveys impressions or sensation and motive power brings about movements as a response to sensation.
2. Quwa Haywaniyah or Vital power is responsible for maintaining life and enables all the organs to accept the effect of psychic power. This power is located in the heart. It keeps life running in the tissues.
Regimental therapy is a special technique / physical methods of treatment to improve the constitution of the body by removing waste materials and improving the defence mechanism of the body and protect health. In other words, these are the best known “detoxification methods”.
Important techniques in regimental therapy along with the ailments for which they are considered effective are briefly described below:
(A) Venesection (Fasd):
This method of treatment has been found very effective for:
1. Correction of blood-related problems and relieve high blood pressure.
2. Prevention of toxicity and accumulation of waste matter in the blood.
3. Excretion of waste matters from various parts of the body.
4. Stimulation of metabolic processes.
5. Cure of ailments due to certain menstrual disorders.
6. Correction of hot material in temperament.
(B) Cupping (Al-hijama):
This method of treatment is used for:
1. Cleaning the skin of waste matters.
2. Stop excessive menses or epistaxis.
3. Correct liver diseases.
4. Treat malaria and spleen disorders.
5. Treat piles, inflammation of testes and uterus, scabies, boils etc.
(C) Sweating (Tareeq):
Waste matter from skin, blood and from other parts of the body is excreted through the normal process of sweating. It helps in reducing excessive heat. Dry or wet fomentation, bath with warm water, massage and keeping the patient in a room having hot air are some of the methods of diaphoresis.
(D) Diuresis (Idrar-e- baul):
Poisonous matters, waste products and the excess of humour is excreted through urine. It is applied as a cure for diseases of the heart, liver and lungs. Sometimes diuresis is effected by keeping the patient in a cold room and applying cold water.
(E) Turkish bath (Hamam):
This is recommended for:
1. Resolving the waste matter and increasing sweating
2. Providing light heat
3. Increasing nutrition
4. Decreasing fat
5. Increasing fat.
The cold bath is preferable in normal health. The hot bath is generally applied for the cure of diseases like paralysis and muscular wasting etc after a massage.
(F) Massage (Dalk, Malish):
soft massage is sedative and relaxant; dry and hard massage is deobstruent and increases the blood supply while the massage with oil relaxes the muscles and softens the skin.
(G) Counter irritation:
This technique provides relief in pain, burning sensation and irritation. It helps to reduce inflammation and heals tumours.
(H) Cauterization (Amal-e-Kae):
It prevents the poison malignancy of one organ from transferring it to other organs. In case of pain of hip joint, this technique is found very useful. By this technique the pathogenic matters, which are attached to some structures, are removed or resolved.
(I) Purging (Ishal):
Unani medicine widely uses purgatives for intestinal evacuation. There are written rules for using this method. This method influences normal metabolic process.
(J) Vomiting (Qai):
Emetics are used to cure headache, migraine, tonsillitis, bronchopneumonia and also bronchial asthma. This also cures mental diseases like mania and melancholia.
(K) Exercise (Riyazat):
physical exercise has great importance for the maintenance of good health and for treating certain diseases. It is said to be good for the stomach and for strengthening digestion. There are laid down rules, timings and conditions for various types of exercises.
(L) Leeching (Taleeq-e-Alaq):
This method is used for removing bad matter from the blood. This is useful in skin diseases and ringworms etc. The system describes specific conditions for applying it.
Diet therapy (Ilaj-bil-Ghiza):
Food that we intake daily plays a very important role or a key role in the Unani way of treatment. By regulating the quality and quantity of food several ailments are treated successfully. There are several published books, which deal with the subject of diet in relation to specific diseases. Certain foods are considered laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic.
Diet therapy is the branch of dietetics concerned with the use of foods for therapeutic purposes. It is a method of eating prescribed by a physician to improve health. Diet therapy usually involves the modification of an existing dietary lifestyle to promote optimum health. Therapeutic diets are modified for nutrients, texture and food allergies or food intolerances. Diet therapy is a method of eating to improve health for prescribed by a physician. Diet therapy involves the modification of an existing dietary lifestyle for good health. Some common therapeutic diets are clear liquid diet, full liquid diet, high fiber diet, renal diet, pureed diet, food allergy modification, etc. It is a branch of dietetics related to the use of food for therapeutic purposes. It is ordered to maintain, restore and correct nutritional status, to decrease calories for weight control, provide extra calories for weight gain. It also balances the amount of carbohydrate, fat, and protein for control of diabetes.
This Unani type of treatment involves the use of naturally occurring drugs, that are mostly herbal, Drugs of animals and mineral origin are also used. Natural drugs only are used because they are locally available and have no or fewer after-effects on the body. Unani medicine presupposes that the drugs also have their own temperament. Since in this system, the emphasis is laid on the particular temperament of the individual, the medicines, administered are such as go well with the temperament of the patient, thus accelerating the process of recovery and also eliminating the risk of reaction. Drugs are supposed to act by their temperament of being hot, cold, moist and dry. As a matter of fact, drugs are classified into four classes according to their temperament and the physicians consider its potency, age, and temperament of the patient, nature, and severity of diseases. Drugs are used in the form of powders, decoctions, infusion, Jawarish, Majoon, Khamira, Syrup and tablets, etc. The system has set rules for prescribing alternative drugs. Another way of Unani Treatment is known as Surgery (Ilaj-Bil-Yad ) which is of very limited use, although the Unani system is credited to be the pioneer in this field and has developed its own instruments and techniques. At present only minor surgery is in use in the system.
Unani medicine, also called Unani Tibb, Arabian medicine, or Islamic medicine, a traditional system of healing and health maintenance observed in South Asia. The origins of Unani medicine are found in the doctrines of the ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen. As a field, it was later developed and refined through systematic experiments by the Arabs, most prominently by Muslim scholar-physician Avicenna.
DR Hkm Naseer Ah Shah founder of UNANI AND PANCHKARMA HOSPITALS KASHMIR J&K has Perceived the concept of the Unani system of medicinal treatment in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He has done his Degree and MD Medicine and has done tremendous work and research in Unani way of treatment. He has achieved the Zero Viral load in AIDS by treating the disease with Unani medicines.
Masih-ul-Mulk Hakim Ajmal Khan originally perceived the concept of research in the Unani system of medicine in the 1920s. A versatile genius of his time, Hakim Ajmal Khan very soon realized the importance of research and his inquisitive nature spotted Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, who was engaged in research work at the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College, Delhi.
Dr. Siddiqui’s discovery of medicinal properties of the plant, commonly known as Asrol (Pagal Booti), led to sustained research which established the unique efficacy of this plant, known all over the world as Rauwolfia serpentina in neurovascular and nervous disorders, such as hypertension, insanity, schizophrenia, hysteria, insomnia and psychosomatic conditions, etc. Systematic research in various Indian systems of medicine, including Unani Medicine, under the patronage of Government of India started in 1969 with the establishment of Central Council
Research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH) for almost a decade of research activities in Unani Medicine was carried out under the aegis of these Councils. In the year 1978, the CCRIMH was split into four separate research Councils, one each for Ayurveda and Siddha, Unani Medicine, Homoeopathy, Yoga and Naturopathy.
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