Unani or Herbal Medicine Development before Independence of our country:
The development of Unani Medicine as well as other Indian systems of medicine gained considerable momentum after Independence. Even prior to Independence, a Health Survey and Development Committee was appointed in the year 1943. The committee underscored the future role to be played by the indigenous systems of medicine of India. In 1946, the conference of Health Ministers resolved that adequate provisions should be made at the Centre and provinces for research in indigenous systems of medicine, Ayurveda and Unani. The conference also recommended for starting educational and training institutions of these systems. In pursuance of the recommendations of the Health Ministers’ conference, a number of committees were appointed by the Government of India, famous of them being Colonel R.N. Chopra (1946) and C.G. Pandit (1949) Committees. These committees recommended detailed outline for the development of Indian systems of medicine. The Government of India established in 1969 a Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH) to develop scientific research in different branches of Indian systems of medicine – Unani Medicine, Ayurveda, Siddha, Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy. Research activities in these systems continued under the aegis of the CCRIMH until 1978, when it was split into four separate research councils, one each for Unani Medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha, Yoga and Naturopathy, and Homoeopathy, so as to further develop these systems in consonance with the basic philosophies of the respective systems. Also, with a view to streamlining education and regulating practice in Indian systems of medicine – Ayurveda, Unani Medicine and Siddha, the Government of India set up by an Act of Parliament, Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM). In 1995, the Government also set up a full-fledged Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy (ISM & H) in the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to further boost the development of Unani Medicine and other Indian systems of medicine. The Department of ISM & H was renamed in November 2003 as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). As far as Unani Medicine is concerned, today India is the world leader. The Government of India is providing increasing support and funds for the multipronged development of Unani Medicine as well as other indigenous medical systems, to draw the fullest advantage of these systems in health care delivery to the masses.