Unani is an antique demonstrable system of medicine practiced for a period of more than 7000 years. This system traces back its origin in ancient Greece which in Arabic language called ‘Unan’ or’ Yunan’. Aesculapius is credited as the originator of this system which is passed on to Buqrat, better known as Hippocrates (460 – 377 BC) who is the descendant of him and recognized as the ‘Father of Unani medicine’.
A student of Unani can experience the status of it, if he observes the travelling of this cult system across the globe, spanning over different cultures, over different periods. Presumably this system was developed in four time periods in four distinct geographical belts.
- Greek period
- Arab-Persian period
- Spanish period
- Indian period
Based on the teachings of the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen ,the hypothetical formulations of the Unani system is conceived and recorded by Ibn –e-Sina in his classical 11th century work ,’The Canon of medicine’.
This Hellenistic system of medicine was highly influenced and gained a tremendous momentum in the Arabian Peninsula. And it is from there Unani attained its present status, shape and size.
The propagation of the divine healing of cupping therapy (Hijamath) by Islam revolutionized the unani system which from there transmitted to the nook and corner of the world.The arrival of this unflinched system through the Khyber Pass to India became easier due to the high patronage of the Delhi Sultanate.
History says that in 1360 AD King Allauddin Khalji’s palace was a dome of a number of Hakims with a very high Unani expertise. But the golden age of Unani system or rather Unani system of medicine attained its pinnacle of glory during the Mughal period.
In India, the Unani system attained a new turn with the vehement influence of the classic Indian system of medicine –The Ayurveda. Though Unani had a marked hypothetical resemblance with Ayurveda already, after its advent to India, it embraced the promulgators of Ayurveda, Sushruta’s and Charaka’s visionary medical fundamentals…
A basic Indian who was already transgressed in an Ayurveda healing method found it easy to switch over to Unani.
The basic tenet of Ayurveda itself being human body is a composition of pancha bhutas (prithvi-ap-thejo-vayu-akasham) has a marked similarity with its Unani counterpart which formulates as the human body is a compound of 4 elements earth, air, water and fire.
Basic Concepts of Unani
The entire concept of Unani system is based on four humor theory of Hippocrates-blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. As per Unani, human body is an amalgam of following seven components:
- Arkan (Elements)
- Mizaj (Temperament)
- Akhlat (Humors)
- Aaza (Organs)
- Arwah (Spirits)
- Quwa (Faculties)
- Afaal (Functions)
According to Unani, human body is a compound of 4 elements with each one having its own temperament.
|Air||Hot & Moist|
|Earth||Cold & Dry|
|Fire||Hot & Dry|
|Water||Cold & Moist|
These elements are present in different body fluids. Balance of these in human body leads to health and imbalance to disease.
Unani system is one of the rarest systems which considers temperaments role in human physiology as predominant. Temperament can be considered as the result of the interaction of the elements. Temperament is given atmost importance in diagnosis and treatment of a disease and also to find out the most appropriate diet and life style for the health of a person.
· If the temperament is equitable, that means there is the presence of required amount of compatible temperament.
· If the temperament is inequitable, there is absence of distribution of temperament according to their requirements for healthy function of the human body.
The Unani medicine envisages four types of humors or Akhlat .They are
1. Blood (Dum)
2. Phlegm (Balgham)
3. Yellow bile (Safra)
4. Black bile (Sauda)
After the transformation and metabolism of the ailments, moist and fluid parts are produced in the body, which are referred to as humors.
They serve the functions of nutrition, growth & repair and produce energy for the preservation of individual and his species.
Nutrition to the body is provided and moisture of different organs is maintained by the humors.
What we call as health in Unani system is maintained by equilibrium of these humors. When any disturbance or intrusion occurs in the said equilibrium of humor it causes disease. Inevitably the treatment is aimed at restoring the equilibrium of humors.
Each person has a unique mixture of this humor and it will decide the Mizaj (temperament) of that person.
These humors temperament are:
· Blood –hot & wet
· Phlegm-cold & hot
· Yellow bile-hot & dry
· Black bile-cold & dry
The state of health and disease is determined by the quality and quantity of these four humors.
A predominance of:
· Blood makes a sanguine temperament (positive temperament)
· Phlegm makes phlegmatic
· Yellow bile makes bilious
· Black bile makes melancholic
Aaza denotes the various organs of the human body. The health or ailment of every single organ affects the state of health of the body as a whole.
Arwah (spirits) is a gaseous substance obtained from the inspired air which is similar to ‘vayu’ in Ayurveda which supports all the metabolisms of the body, carries different powers and is the vitality of the body which makes the whole body and its parts functional. Arwah produces all types of Quwa (powers) which vitalize the organs of the body. It functions as the ‘life force’and is important in the diagnosis and treatment of the body.
There are 3 kind of power.
1. Quwa Tabiyah (natural power) is the power of metabolism & reproduction. Metabolism functions with the process of nutrition from food and growth of human body, while growth power is responsible for the construction and growth of human organism.
2. Quwa Nafsaniyah (psychic power) refers to nerves and psychic power. It’s located inside the brain and meant for perceptive and motive power.
3. Quwa Haywaniyah (vital power) enables all the organs to accept the psychic power effect and maintain life. This power is in the heart and keeps life running in the tissues.
Afaal denotes the movements & functions of all the body. Organs are supposed to be in proper shape but more important is to perform their respective functions.
Diagnosis in Unani System
A body can be said to be in ‘health’, when all the humors are in equilibrium and body functions normally. All the above said factors thus are very important to determine the perfect health of a man. In unani, diagnosis of a disease is done by taking all these factors into account.
· A one to one interaction with the client with leads to a detailed physiological investigation is done.
· Physical examination including pulse (nabz), urine and stool analysis will be preformed.
· Along with this, the present age pathological examinations will be carried out, if needed, using the state of the art techniques.
For the diagnosis following factors are considered:
· Every person differs from another in his stuff and material .We preliminarily considers this feature into account.
· A person is endowed with temperament, structure and strength .The second consideration is related to this.
· The Third point we take up is outside factors that can affect a person.
· Immune system of the body
The correlation of all these factors will be is examined in detail and the accurate and expert treatment is given.
Prevention of Disease
Prevention of a disease is always better than curing of the sickness. In Unani six factors (Asbab Sitta e Zaroriayah) can influence the aiding in health and prevention of disease.
2. Food and drinks
3. Bodily movement and repose
4. Psychic movement and rest
5. Sleep and wakefulness
6. Excretion and retention
Unani medicine has the following main types of treatment:
1. This is the detoxification method in unani which uses following techniques:
· Venesection (Fasd)
This helps in detoxification of blood and blood related problems, control high blood pressure, cure menstrual disorders in female, better metabolism, and waste excretion from various parts of the body etc.
· Cupping (Al-hijama)
It is very effective treatment of unani for cleaning the skin and waste matters, to stop excessive menses or epistaxis, to correct liver diseases, in the treatment of malaria and spleen disorders, treats piles, inflammation of testes and uterus, scabies, boils etc
· Sweating (Tareeq)
Sweating helps to remove waste materials from skin, blood, and other parts of the body. In this treatment bath with warm water, massage, steam bath etc are used.
· Dieresis (Idrar-e-Baul)
Through urine, poisonous waste, excess humor etc are excreted from the body. This treatment is done by keeping the patient in a cold room and applying cold water and is effective to cure the disease of heart, liver and lungs.
· Turkish bath (Hamam)
Depending on the disease, this treatment is done by cold bath or hot bath and helps to get rid of the waste matter, fat, and helps to increase nutrition in human.
· Massage (Dalk,Malish)
Soft massage, hard massage with or without oil relaxes and gives a good feel for a patient. In unani massaging treatment is very common and effective.
· Counter irritation
For the healing of tumors, pain and inflammation this unani treatment is very effective.
· Cauterization (Amal-e-Kae)
This is another effective treatment to remove the pathogenic matters which are affected in some organs.
· Purging (Ishal)
This method uses purgatives for intestinal evacuation and widely used in unani medicine
· Vomiting (Qai)
This is used to cure headache, migraine, tonsillitis, mental diseases like mania, melancholia.
· Exercise (Riyazat)
It has a great importance to keep the body in perfect health and condition. In unani there are rules, timings, and conditions for various types of exercises which are helpful for our health and for treating certain diseases.
· Leeching (Taleeq-e-Alaq)
For the treatment of skin related ailments this method is used which helps to remove the toxin from the blood.
Quality, quantity and type of food play a vital role in the treatment of different diseases in unani. Foods can be laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic according to unani and it can affect the disease and thus is important in the treatment of that ailment.
In this treatment herbal drugs which are effective, natural and do not have any side effects to the body are used. According to unani these medicines also have their own temperament like human beings. Unani physicians prescribe the medicine taking in account of these temperaments. Medicines can be in the form of powders, infusion, jawarish, majoon, khamira, syrup,decotions etc and is prescribed according to the need .
In unani this is limitedly used, even though they have developed its own instruments and techniques for doing surgery.
The treatment for a patient is done by a unani physician by considering the temperament of the patient, humor, organ affected and the seriousness of disease.
Current status of Unani in India
The government of India has recognized Unani as one among the principal systems of medicine in India. It achieved an augmented stature in the whole Indian subcontinent.The government formed a special ministry for the development and propagation of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeo systems of medicine in the name AYUSH Ministry. The Indian Medical Central Council (IMCC) act of 1970 has been implemented in India for the education and practice of Unani system of medicine. Many word class institutes like National Institute of Unani Medicine had been set up for the vast number of students to pursue advanced learning in Unani stream of medicine. There are over 40 under graduate and post graduate colleges teaching Unani medicine in India. Post graduate courses in unani offer M.D in Ilm-ul-Advia (pharmacology), Moalijat (medicine), Kulliyat (Basic principles), Jarahat surgery), Amraz-e-Niswan (gynaecology), Tahaffuz-i-wa-samaji-tibb (preventive & social medicine) and Amraz –e-Atfal (paediatrics).National HealthCare Delivery system acquired unani as its integral part and is recognized by the WHO. WHO perceives Unani system as inexpensive, therapeutically effective, free from side effects and easily available.
Sexual Disorders: Cure in Unani
Unani system of medicine is blessed with perfect healing techniques and medication pertaining to all sorts of sexual disorders. Majority of scholars strongly believe that Unani system attained an iconic status due to its treatment proficiency and medical artistry in the treatment of sexual disorders.
A very detailed physiological investigation consisting of one to one interaction with the client, pathological analysis and physical check up are initiated by the Unani physicians and a complete cure is obtained. Each disorder like Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, Venereal Disease etc. has a specialized treatment method which is 100% effective and safe.
Medicines are prepared with at most care from natural herbs with zero side effects and technically and perfectly processed. Each dysfunction demands specific medication and Unani with its holistic approach delivers it. Unani also uses famous cupping therapy for the desertion of sexual diseases.