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The unani system of medicine has a long and impressive record in india by the arabs and Persians sometime around the eleventh century. Today, india is one the leading countries. In so for as the practice of unani medicine is concerned. It has the largest number of unani educational, research and health care institutions.

As the name indicates, unani system originated in Greece. The foundation of unani system was laid by Hippocrates. The system owes its present from to the arabs ho not only saved much of the greek. Literature by rendering it into Arabic but also enriched the medicine of their day with their own contributions in this process they made extensive use of the science of physics, chemistry, bontany, anatomy, physiology, therapetuies and surgery.

Dawakhan hakim jamil khan ajmal khan was initiated by hakim fasiullah khan (cousins hakim ajmal khan) in early decade of 20 century. His prime motive was to serve the humanity. Hakim fasiullah khan was very well known unani physician & herbalist and considered to be one of the best in his time. He was unoppossed priesdent of jamiat –ul-ullma-e-hind and a philanothropist. Hakim fasiullah also served as a vice chairman of hajj-committee Mumbai till his death.

Unani medicine got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary system of traditional medicines in Egypt Syria, traq, Persia, india, china and other middle east countries. In india, unani system of medicine was introduced by arabs and soon it took firm roots. The delhi sultans (rules) provide patronage to the scholars of unani system and even enrolled same as state employees and court physicians.

After independence the unani system along with other india system of medicine received a fresh boost under the patronage of the nation government and its people. Government of india took several steps for the all around development of this system. it passed laws to regulate and promote its education and training it establish research institution, testing laboratories and standardized regulations for the production of drugs and for its practice. Today the unani system of medicine with its recognize practitioners, hospitals and educational and research institution forms an integral part of the nation health care delivery system.


Unani system has its origin in Greece and was developed by arabs into on elaborate science based on the teachings of bugrath (Hippocrates 460-377bc).

A number of other greek scholars enriched this system considerably of them jalinus (galen 131-200ad)who drew inspiration from Hippocrates stand out as the one who stabilized its foundation on which arab physicians like rhazes (850-923 AD) and Avicenna (980-1037AD) constructed and imposing edifice. Hence it is also known as greek o arab medicine.

Unani medicine got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary system of traditional medicine in Egypt. Syria Iraq, Persia, india, china and other middle east countries. It took firm roots during 13 and 17 centuries A.D and has its hey-day in india.

All the traditional systems of medicine along with unani system faced almost complete neglect for about two countries.

He established an ayurvedic and unani tibbia college and hidustani dawakhana a pharmaceutical company for ayurvedia and unani medicine in delhi 1916.

After independence the unani systems along with other india system of medicine received a fresh boost under the patronage of the national government and its people.

Government of india took several steps for the all around development of his system. It passed laws to regulate and promote its education and training.


ELEMENTS (arkan)

The system involved four elemts thus differing from the ayurvedic system of three doshas and the Chinese system of five elements.

Each of the four elements has its own temperament as follows:

Air Hot and moist
Earth Cold and dry
Fire Hot and dry
Water Cold and moist

In the unani system, the temperament of the individual is very important as it is considered to be unique. The individuals temperament is believed to be the result of the interaction of these four elements.

HUMOURS (Akhlat)

The basic theory of unani system is based upon the well-known four-humour theory of Hippocrates. This presupposes the presence, in the body, of four, humours viz, blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile.

Humours are those moist and fluid parts of the body which are produced after transformation and metabolism of the aliments; they serve the function nutrition, growth and repair; and produce energy, for the preservation of individual and his species.

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
  • 2) Hepatic Digestion

The third and fourth stages of digestion are known as

  • 3) Vessels Digestion
  • 4) Tissue Digestion

While the humours are flowing in the blood vessels, every tissue absorbs its nutrition by its ‘attractive power’ and retains it by its ‘retentive power’ than the ‘digestive powr with assimilative power’ converts it into tissue. The waste material in humour at this stage is excreted by the ‘expulsive power;


These are the various organs of the humour body. The health or disease of each individual organs affects the state of health of the whole body.


Ruh (spirit is gaseous substance, obtained from the inspired air, it helps in all the metabolic activities of the body it burn the akhlat latifah to produce all kind 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 carries of different power, which make the whole body system and its parts functional.

NATURAL POWER (Quwa Tabiyah)

Natural power is 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 process 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.

PSYCHIC POWER ( Quwa Nafsaniyah)

Psychic power refers to nervous and mental power. It is located in side the brain and is responsible for perceptive and motive power. Perceptive power convey impression or sensation and motive power brings about movement as a response to sensation.

VITAL POWER (Quwa Haywaniyah)

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.


This component refers to the movement and functions of all the organs of the body. In case of a healthy body the various organs are not only in proper shape but are also performing their respective functions.

This make it necessary to have full knowledge of the functions of the human body in full detail.


The various treatments recommended by unani physician are:

ILAJ BIL GHIZA (Dieto therapy)

If the treatment is possible by diet only than the drugs should never be used.

Most of the disease can be cured by administration of specific diets or by regulating the quantity and quality of the food, for example cold water is better for the person possessing hot temperament.

ILAJ BID DAWA (Pharmaco therapy)

If the shift is of greater degree from normal condition and dieto therapy alone is not sufficient then pharmaco therapy is advised in addition to the diet therapy.

These drugs may be derived from plants minerals or animals.

Pharmaco therapy (IILAJ BID DAWA) is mainly dependent upon local available herbal drugs which make the system indigeneous.

In unani medicine, single drugs or their combination in raw are preferred over compound formulations.

Further the material medial of unani medicine being vast, the medicine are easy to get as most of them are available locally. The naturally occurring drugs used in this system are symbolic of life and are generally free from side effects.

Such drugs which are toxic in cured from are processed and purified in many ways before use.

The greek and arab physicians large number of poly pharmaceutical recipes which are still in vogue.

In unani medicine compound formulations are also employed in the treatment of various complex and chornic disorders.

Since emphasis is laid on a particular temperament of the patient thus accelerating the process of recovery and also eliminating the risk of drug reaction.

ILAJ BIT TADBEER (Regimenal therapy)

Unani physician attempts to used simple physical means to cure a disease, special techniques are prescribed. These may be used in adjuvant to dieto therapy and pharmaco therapy.

These are the various rejuvenate and detoxification drugless regimens/therapies they are not only curative but are also widely used for the prevention of diseases.

Commonly used regimental therapies
Hamam Turkish bath & various types of medicated baths
Dalak massage and physiotherapy
Riyazat physical exercise
Takmeed fomentation
Hijamat cupping
Fas’d venesection
Ishaal purgation
Qahi emesis
Idrar e baul diuresis
Kai cauterization
Taleeq leeching


Avicenna in his book “canon of medicine” has described meningitis so accurately in detail that it has scarcely required any additions even after 1000 years.

He was first person to described intubation (surgical procedure to facilitate breathing) western physician began to use this method at the end of 18 century.

He accurately described surgical treatment of tumours, saying that excision of should be radical and all diseased tissues be removed, including amputation and removal of veins running in the direction of the tumour. He also recommended cauterization of the area if needed. This observation is relevant even today.

The arab physicians developed a ‘soporific sponge’ (impregnated with aromatics and narcotics and help under the patients nose ) , which precede modern anesthesia and also described how “minute bodies” enter the body and cause disease –will in advance of pasture discovery of microbes.

Avicenna described contamination to infection and also devised the concept of anaesthetcs.

The use of plaster of paris for factures was a standard practice. It was rediscovered in the west in 1852.

Avincenna described tuberculosis as being a communicable disease.

Al razaes (865-925AD) was first to describe smallpox and measles al hawi / liber continens.

The arab surgeon zohrawi (abulcasis was first to describe hemophilia he was first surgeon in history to uae cotton which is an arabie word for surgical dessings for control of humorrihages.

Jabir ibn hayyan/geber ( 8 century) known as father of chemistry invented the method of evaporation dissolution crystallization, calcinations and also distillation apparatus.

He discovered the formula of acqua regia, nitric acid, sulphuric acid etc.

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