History of Unani Medicine  


The Origin of  Unani system of medicine Is from Greece. The term ‘UNANI’ is derived from the word ‘UNAN’ or “YUNAN” which means Greece in Arabic Its also know as Greco-Arab medicine. the treatment of Unani is based on teachings of Hippocrates It was the work of the Greek philosopher-physician Hippocrates {Buqrat In Arabic} (460-377 B.C.), who freed medicine from the realm of superstition and magic and gave it the status of science. He considered illness to be natural rather than a supernatural phenomenon, and he felt that medicine should be administered without ritual ceremonies or magic.By his method of careful study and comparison of symptoms, he laid the foundation for clinical medicine.

After Hippocrates Many scholars enriched the system of Unani Medicine. Of them Galen {Jalinus in Arabic} (131-200 A.D.) stands out as the one who established its foundation on which Arab physicians like Rhazes {Al-Razi in Arabic} (850-932 A.D.) and Avicenna {Ibn-Sena in Arabic} (980-1037 A.D.) constructed an imposing edifice. Galen introduced and practiced the Unani system of medicine in pre-Islamic Egypt, researched, experimented and developed hundreds of new medicines and cures for almost all types of diseases.

Unani medicine was the first to establish that disease was a natural process and that symptoms were the reactions of the body to the disease. It believes in the humeral theory which presupposes the presence of the four humors – Dam (blood), Balgham (phlegm), Safra (yellow bile) and Sauda (black bile) in the body. Each humor has its own temperament – blood is hot and moist, phlegm cold and moist, yellow bile hot and dry and black bile cold and dry. Every person attains a temperament according to the preponderance in them of the humors which represent the person’s healthy state, which are expressed as sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic.


marble pestle and mortar with herbs

It was further enriched by imbibing the best of contemporary systems of medicine in the middle eastern and far eastern countries like  Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle East and Far East countries enriched the Unani system. That is why this system is known, in different parts of the world, with different names such as Greco-Arab Medicine, Ionian Medicine, Arab Medicine, Islamic Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Oriental Medicine, etc.

A Unani physician does not prescribe the strongest drug at the beginning of the treatment. He selects the drug according to the degree of variation from the normal healthy condition and observes the effect produced by the treatment. At the same time, he instructs the patient to observe some restrictions in diet and lifestyle.Besides the use of herbs for treatment, Unani medicine employs a variety of other techniques intended to cleanse the body and restore humor balance. These techniques include: mushil (purging), taareeq (sweating), hammam (bath therapy), munzij (ripening), mahajim (cupping) and riyazat (exercise).



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