Traditional Medication has its origins in ancient cultures, it is not only the method of treating illness but a way of living, It is used to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve physical and mental illnesses. Traditional Medications are based on ancient practices and diseases are treated with foods and daily practises. It is often referred to as the Alternative Medical System. Traditional medicines are indigenous to different cultures. Some traditional medicine systems are recorded in ancient literature, while some are passed through generations.
The majority of the population in India, China, Africa continue to rely on their own traditional medicine to meet their primary health care needs. It incorporated the medicinal use of the plant, animal and mineral, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises for treating ailments and for wellness. Some herbs have powerful ingredients, it can be used to treat ailments it has equal power to chemic drugs. Unani is one of the Traditional medical systems it is practised around the world from ancient times to treat ailments. Unani Medicine has pioneered in Greece and was developed by Arabs into an elaborate medical science, it is also called Unani Tibb, Arabian medicine, or Islamic medicine, a traditional system of natural healing based on principles of harmony and balance, combining the physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
About Unani Medical System
The word “Unani” refers to “Greek” in Arabic. Unani is an alternative medicine it was pioneered in ancient Greece later and was developed by Arabs based on the framework of the teaching of Buqrat and Jalinoos due to this Unani is referred to as Greco-Arab Medicine. The Unani medical system is also called Hikmat. It is based on the qualities of four temperaments and humour by Hippocrates and Galen they are, blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, and on 4 human body elements hot, cold, moist and dry. It is now primarily practised in Persia, Pakistan, India, It is also practised in South Africa, England and other countries. Unani medicine iterates about the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing and illness and each person are responsible for their wellbeing. The ultimate goal of Unani is preserving health otherwise preventive medicine.
In India during Mughal period Unani medicine growth was exceptional, Unani hospitals were established by Mughal Emperors and Delhi Sultans and nobels in various parts of the country. Numerous Unani medicine literatures was written during this period. For Unani’s contribution official patronage was given to the scholars and physicians and soon it spread all over the country. Among those who made valuable contributions Claudius Galenus of Pergamum, who lived in the second century of the common era. Hakin Ibn Sina has contributed Unani as a system of healing, Abu Bakr bin Ali Usman Kashani, Sadruddin Dimashqui, Bahwa bin Khwas Khan, Ali Geelani, Akbar Arzani and Mohammad Hashim Alvi Khan
Subsequently, Ajmal Khan, who was born in India, Niamathullah Family of Madras, Majeedi family of Delhi, Ùakém Abdul Hameed, Usmani Family of Allahabad are attributed as few of most significant contributors to Unani medicine.
Unani Medicine and Treatment Systems
According to Unani practitioners the health of the human body is made up of 7 components which they call as Al-Umoor Al-Tabiya, they are
• Arkan or Anasir – elements
• Mizaj – temperament
• Akhlat – body humours
• Aaza or Aza – organs and systems
• Arwah – vital spirit
• Quwa – faculties of powers
• Afaal or Al Af’al – functions.
These seven natural components maintain the balance in the natural compositions of the human body. Each individual’s constitution has a self-regulating power called as tabiyat – Health. Unani achieves health and wellness by combining natural, spiritual, homoeopathic treatments and medicines.
In Unani, any illness of a person will be diagnosed based on observations and physical examination and considering
• The composition of the individual’s body
• Temperament, structure and strength of faculties of that person
• Outside, environmental factors
• His/Her own Preservative and preventive methods of physical and Intellectual activites.
Based on the individual’s health condition will be diagnosed based on
• Izalae Sabab – elimination of cause
• Tadeele Akhlat – treating humors
• Tadeele Aza – treating tissues/organ
Unani has 4 therapies called as Ilaj-Bil-Tadbeer for sickness and wellness:
Regimental Therapy includes venesection, aromatherapy, bloodletting, stem bathing, exercise, leeching and dalak (massaging the body)
It may also involve the prescription of Unani drugs or surgery but it will be prescribed at last. Unani also uses nature-based products like kalonji oil, Ajwain, coconut oil, mustard oil, black pepper, and coriander seeds for diagnoses and treatments. A variety of medical researches has proved that Unani medicines are effective with minimal side effects, Unani medications such as standardization, quality control, and toxicity assessments have helped to achieve this. Despite countless benefits with minimal to zero side effects Unani remains under-utilized.
Unani Medical System under Ayush
The development of Unani Medicine, as well as other traditional medications such as Siddha, Yoga, Naturopathy, and Homoeopathy, got a boost after independence. A Health Survey and Development Committee appointed in the year 1943 to submit a report about medical systems of India. In 1946, Health ministers conference has decided that adequate provisions should be made at central and states for the benefit of Indian traditional medicines like Ayurveda and Unani and also to establish educational institutions. Based on the committee’s recommendation Indian systems of medicine was established.
In 1969, the Central Government of India established the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH) to conduct research and scientific activities for the growth of Indian Traditional Medications. The dissolution of CCRIMH in 1978 has led to setting up of individual research councils for Ayurveda & Siddha, Unani Medicine, Yoga & Naturopathy, and Homoeopathy. The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine started functioning independently as an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with effect from January 1979. For overall development of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. Later in 1995, the Department of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM & H) was formed with the objective to develop the ISM. In 2003, this Department was renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and in 2014 separate ministry on AYUSH was formed
With the aim of providing focused attention to the development of education and research in AYUSH systems of medicine, the Department of AYUSH has been elevated to a full-fledged Ministry of AYUSH with effect from 09 November, 2014.
There are just 35 medical colleges are in India that provide Unani medicine educational programs. Some institutions offer admission NEET Exam (National Level Exam) some institutions offer admission for state-level exam. Unani medical courses are offered as
• Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery
• Post Graduate Diploma in Unani Medicine and Surgery
• Diploma in Unani Medicine and Surgery
• Doctor of Medicine (Unani)
• Master of Medicine in Unani.
Clinical practice for Unani medical graduates will be allowed after duly registering in a constitutional government registration board or council. Some graduates and postgraduates may serve funded-research projects as research fellows or associates. The academic research is mostly undertaken by Post-Graduates under the supervision of Unani academicians or in collaboration with experts. Pharmacopoeia is a book of standards and quality control of drugs it lists the parameters and protocols for testing and analysis, these parameters finalized by Unani Pharmacopoeia Committees for evolving these protocols or parameters for experimental work is endowed to Pharmacopoeial Laboratory for Indian Medicine.
At present, Unani Medical system has its own recognized practitioners, hospitals, educational and research institutions, it plays important role in the Indian traditional medical systems and in the national healthcare. The Government of India is providing immense support and contribute funds for the development of Unani Medicine as well as other traditional medicines of India to make it to react to the general public of India.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the fundamentals of Unani Medical systems ?
The fundamentals of Unani Medical systems are ,
1. Umoor e Tabaiyah – Natural Components
2. Mawaleed e Salasa – Trimatter theory
3. Asbaabe Sitta Zarooriya – 6 essential factors
4. Principles of Diagnosis
5. Principles of Treatment
2. What is the eligibility Criteria to pursue Unani Medicine ?
For admission into Unani, Medicine programme is that the student must have cleared Higher Secondary Certificate or 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and Urdu as core subjects. The student should have scored at least 50 per cent in 10+2 examination.
3. What are roles of humors in human body ?
The humour are responsible for nourishment and overall body actions for that absolute of qualitative and quantitative balance is necessary. If not, it may lead to health ailments.
4. What is the career scope of Unani Medicine ?
After completing BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery) degree the student will be called as Hakeem (Doctor) and qualified to do the private practice, they can work as a doctor in a government or private hospital. There is huge scope Unani Medicine degree not only in India but also in abroad. Several research institutions and organisations have the demand for such professionals
5. What is the course fee ?
The course fee for Unani medicine may vary but the average fee may starts from 50, 000 to 1,50,000 per annum.