> Unani

Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy

Unani system of Medicine has originated in Greece. It was further enriched and developed by Arabs and Persians. Hippocrates explained that the disease was a normal process and its symptoms were the reaction of the body to the disease. The chief function of the physician was to aid the natural forces of the body. He held that there exists in the body four humours that keep up the balance of it. He also laid emphasis on diet, drugs of plants, animal and mineral origin for curing the disease.

The Unani system of Medicine is based on the Humoural theory. Humoural pathology which presupposes the presence of four humours namely - Blood (Dam), Phlegm(Balgham), Yellow bile (Safra) and Black bile (Sauda) in the body. The temperament of persons is expressed accordingly by the words Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic according to the preponderance of them in the body. Everybody has got unique humoural constitution which represents the healthy state of humoural balance of the body. The Unani medicine plays a vital role when the individual experiences the humoural imbalance. The correct diet and digestion can bring back the humoural balance. Its main emphasis is on diagnosis of a disease through Nabz(Pulse), Baul(Urine), Baraz(stool) etc. It has laid down six essential prerequisites for the prevention of disease. They are known as 'Asbab-e-sitte Zarooriya' viz. air, drinks and foods; bodily movement and repose; psychic movement and repose; sleep and wakefulness; excretion and retention.

The modes of treatment are as follows:-

      (i) Ilaj bid-Tadbeer (Regimental therapy)
      (ii) Ilaj bid Ghiza (Dieto Therapy)
      (iii) Ilaj bid Dawa (Pharmaco Therapy)
      (iv) Jarahat (Surgery)

The regimental therapy includes venesection, cupping, sweating, diuresis, bath(Hammam), massage, cauterization, purging, vomiting, exercise and leeching etc. Dieto therapy aims at treating certain ailments by administration of specific diets, whereas pharmaco therapy deals with use of naturally occuring drugs, mostly herbals though drugs of animals and mineral origin are also used.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

The unani system of diagnosis of diseases and treatment restoring health, revolves round the concept of temperament or 'Mizaj'. The humours also have specific temperament. Changes in temperament are related to changes in the balance of humours. Any change in temperament brings about a change in the health of the individual. Thus imbalance of the harmony of humours and temperament along with failure of one or more parts of the body to eliminate pathogentic waste causes disease.

The Government recognized the merit of Unani system and attempts were made to develop it as a viable system of medicine for National Health care. The Unani drugs are cost effective, safe and widely accepted by the people of India. Therefore, the Tamil Nadu Government have established a Unani Medical College and Unani dispensaries.