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Unani Medicine system in India
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Unani Medicine is based on the Greece philosophy. According to Basic Principals of Unani the body is made up of the four Basic elements i.e. Earth, Air, Water, Fire which have different Temperaments i.e. Cold, Hot, Wet, Dry. After mixing and interaction of four elements a new compound having new temperament comes into existence i.e. Hot Wet, Hot Dry, Cold Wet, Cold Dry. The body have the Simple and Compound Organs which got their nourishment through four Humours i.e. Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile, Black Bile. The humour also assigned temperament as blood is hot and wet, Phlegm is cold and hot, yellow bile is hot and dry and black bile is cold and dry.

Health is a state of Body in which there is equilibrium in the Humours and functions of the body are normal in accordance to its own temperament and the environment.

When the equilibrium of the Humours is disturbed and functions of the body are abnormal ,in accordance to its own temperament and environment, that state is called Disease.

Unani medicine believes in Promotion of Health , prevention of diseases and cure.

Health of human is based on the six essentials (Asbabe Sitta Zaroorya) if these are followed health is maintained otherwise there will be diseases.

Six essentials are 1.Atmospheric Air 2.Drinks and Food 3.Sleep and Wakefulness 4.Excretion and Retention 5.Physical activity and rest 6. Mental activity and Rest.

Diagnosis - Diseases are mainly diagnosed with the help of Pulse (Nabz), physical examination of the Urine and Stool. Also, patients are examined systematically to make the diagnosis easy as spot diagnosis with the help of simple, modern gadgets.

Treatment - Diseases are treated in the following ways

Ilajbil Tadbeer (Regimenal Therapy)
Ilajbil Ghiza ( Dietotherapy)
Ilajbil Dava (Pharmacotherapy)
Ilajbil Yad ( Surgery)

1.
Ilajbil Tadbeer(Regimenal Therapy):-Some drugless regimens are advised for the treatment of certain ailments i.e. Exercise, Massage, Hamam(Turkish Bath), Douches(Cold and Hot) and the Regimen for Geriatrics.

2. Ilajbil Ghiza(Dietotherapy):-Different diets are recommended for the patients of different diseases.

3. Ilajbil Dava (Pharmaco-therapy):- The basic concept of treatment is to correct the cause of the disease that may be Abnormal temperament due to

Environmental factors
Abnormal humours either due to internal causes or external causes which may be pathogenic micro-organism, through (a)drugs of opposite temperament to the temperament of the disease that is called Ilaj-bil-zid or (b) drugs of similar temperament as of the temperament of the disease that is called as Ilaj-bil-misl
The drugs used are mostly of the Plant origin. Some drugs of Animal and Mineral Origin are also used. Patients are treated either by single drugs (crude drugs) or by compound drugs (formulations of single drugs).

There are two types of compound drugs used in the treatment of the diseases i.e. Classical compound drugs which are in use for the hundreds and thousands years and Patent/Proprietary compound drugs which have been formulated by the individuals or institutions as per their research and experiences.

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Unani system of medicine is one of the oldest system of medicine in the world it is still popular & practiced in Indian sub continent & other parts of the world.

The scientists and experts of different countries have contributed in development of Unani system in different periods as under.

The development of Unani Medicine can be divided into following periods

During the Greek Period


Unani medicine was originated in Greece and its founder was great philospher & Physician ,Hippocrates ( Buqrat 460-377 BC).He was the first Unani Physician who opened the education of Medicine to all communities, so he is known as the father of medicine in Allopathic also because modern medical science was developed on the foundation of Hippocratic philosophy of health and disease. Before Hippocrates it was restricted to the Aesclabius family only. After Buqrat, Galen(Jalinoos130-201 BC) contributed a lot to the Unani Medicine. Aristotle (Arastoo384-322 BC) laid down foundation of Anatomy & physiology.

Dioscorides was the famous physician in the Ist Century AD. He was famous for his book on Ilmuladviya(Pharmacology) named as Kitabulhashayash.

During the Arabic-Persian Era


(a) In Egyptian period the pharmacy was very much developed and they prepared the medicine in different dosage forms like alcohol, oils, powder and ointment etc.

(b) Persia encouraged and developed physicians and philosophers by the Iranian .They further developed this medicine into a complete science and it got deep roots in the masses. Eminent Physician of this period are:-

1. Ibne Raban Tabari (810-895AD) was famous physician and wrote a book Firdous ul Hikmat and introduced concept of official formulary,

2. Abu Bakar Zarakariya Razi or Rhazes (865-925 AD) etc. He wrote the book "Alhawi fit tibb". He was first scholar who described the concept of Acquired Immunity by his experiments in the article "Maqala fi Judri wa Hasba".

(c) The Islamic rulers of the Arabian countries further developed and adopted the Unani Medicine at government level and here at first they recognised the importance of the official formulary (Qarabadeen). They made many additions /deletions on the basis of their experiments, advance knowledge of Medicine in Greek and Persian literature. They developed the chemistry, pharmacy and pharmaceutical procedures. In this period they invented the process of distillation, sublimation, calcination and fermentation to promote the efficacy of the medicine and to remove the impurities and toxic effects of the drugs.

1. Jabir bin Hayyan(717-813AD) who was settled in the Arab as Royal physician was a famous physician and Chemist. He was the first who had described Chemistry.

2. The very eminent scholar of this period was Bu Ali Sina ( Avicenna 980-1037AD)

He was the great philosopher, physician of the Arab. He gave a final shape to the Unani medicine & redefined many concepts based on his clinical experiences. His book Alqanoon or (The canon of medicine) was an internationally accepted book on medicine, which was taught in European countries till the 17th century.

During the Spanish Period

The Arabs have introduced Unani medicine in the Spain in the patronage of Spanish Ruler, many scholars contributed a lot to Unani Medicine for instance 1. Abul Qasim Zohravi ( Abulcasus 946 -1036AD) was the famous surgeon was attached to Royal Hospital of Cordoba. He wrote a famous book on surgery "Al Tasreef"

2. Ibn-e-Haisham (965-1039AD)was a renowned scientist and Unani physician from Syria laid down the foundation of optics in his famous book"Kitabul Manazir"

3. Ibn-e-Zohar ( Avenzor1091-1162AD) was a renowned physician and Scholar. He was known for his famous book "Kitabul Tasreef".

4. Ibn Rushd (1126-1198AD) was famous for his book on Basic Principals of Unani Medicine known as Kitabul Kulliyat

5. Ibne Baitar (1197-1248AD) was Pharmacognosist and Botanist. His famous book on extensive survey and experiments on Single Drugs of Plant origin Kitabul jameul Mufradat. Was widely acclaimed.

6. Ibn-e-Nafees (1210-1288 AD) was the first scientist who described the blood pulmonary circulation and prescribed anatomy as a separate chapters.

Present Indian Context

Unani medicine in India was introduced in 1351 AD by Arabs. The first known Hakim was Zia Mohd Masood Rasheed zangi. Unani Medicine soon got acceptance by the masses due to its efficacy and nontoxicity of the drugs. Following eminent scholars of that period are:

1. Akbar. Mohd. Akbar Arzani (1721 AD death.). He was known for his book Qarabadin Qadri and Tibbe Akbar,based on his own lifelong clinical experience.

2. Hakim M. Shareef Khan (1725-1807) A famous Hakim of Delhi in Mughal Period. He was famous for his book Ilaj ul Amraz.

3. Hakim Ajmal Khan (1864-1927) Hkm Ajmal Khan. was renowned Hakim,scientist,politician and freedom fighter and a great patriot. He has established Unani and Ayurvedic College at Karol Bagh Delhi. He is remembered as Masihul Mulk Hkm Ajmal Khan.He was the first person who opened the door of research in Indian Systems of medicine and under his supervision Asarol (Rauwolfia serpentina) was analysed and isolated various alkaloids i.e. Ajmaloon, Reserpine etc and most effective drug for Hypertension was introduced in world.

4. Hakim kabeeruddin (April 1894-9th January 1976) was very dedicated scholar of Unani Medicine . He was translated 88 Unani books of Arabic and Persian languages into Urdu. Which was the greatest achievement. Due to this achievements today, the Unani colleges in India are in existence. The first institution of Unani medicine was established in 1872 as Oriental College at Lahore. Thereafter many institution came into existence.

Post independence India period

After independence Govt. of India at first constituted Unani pharmacopoeia Committee in 1964.,consisting of Unani experts and scientist with a view to maintain uniformity in the standards of drugs and to prescribe standards for compound formulations. And also to prescribe tests for identity, purity, efficacy and quality of the drugs. Pharmacopoeia Laboratory of Indian Medicine at Ghaziabad was established under Govt. of India to workout standards and drug testing for Indian System of Medicine at national level.

Govt. of India has also established Central Council of Indian Medicine ,an statutory body,for laying down standards and maintaining uniform standard of education in the Indian System of Medicine including Unani and to regulate the practices in Indian System of Medicine.

In order to develop high standards of education and research in Unani Medicine at national level a National Institute of Unani Medicine has been established at Bangalore in 1983 in collaboration with the Govt. of Karnataka which provided 55 acres of land for the Institute.

In addition to these developments Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine was established in 1969.During 1978 these these Council were bifurcated into separate Central Councils as such Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine was established in 1979, with a view to initiate ,guide, aid, develop, coordinate scientific research in different aspects of fundamental and applied Unani System of Medicine.

In the combined Council Hk. A. Razzaque was the Head of the Unani Council. He was the expert and educationist who has established different wings of the present council all over India. As such there are 11 Regional Research Institutes, 7 Clinical Research Units, one Literary Research Units, 2 Survey and Cultivation of Medicinal Plants Unit, 7 Drug Standardisation Research Unit.

For Detailed Dossier on Unani Medicine, please write to us at  mktg@mediescapes.com

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