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History of Unani Medicine:


The Unani System of Medicine has a long and impressive record in India. As the name indicates, The Unani system originated in ancient Greece. The foundation of Unani system was laid by Hippocrates. Unani Medicines got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary systems of traditional medicines in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle East countries. It was introduced in India by the Arabs and Persians sometime around the eleventh century.

After independence the Unani System along with other Indian systems 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 round development of this system. It passed laws to regulate and promote its education and training. It established research institutions, testing laboratories and standardized regulations for the production of drugs and for its practice. Today the Unani system of medicine with its recognized practitioners, hospitals and educational and research institutions, forms an integral part of the national health care delivery system.

Principles and concepts of Unani

Principles and concepts of Unani
The Unani system of medicine; sometimes referred to as Greeco-Arab medicine or Unani Tibb; is based on Greek philosophy. As per this traditional system, the human body is composed of four basic elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire having Cold, Hot, Moist and Dry temperaments respectively. The body fluids are composed of four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. These humors have their own temperament:

  • Blood:  Hot & Moist
  • Phlegm:  Cold & Hot
  • Yellow bile:  Hot & Dry
  • Black bile:  Cold & Dry
    The quality and quantity of four humors affect the state of health and disease in the body.

    Origin and development

    Unani system of medicine owes its origin to Greece. It was the greek philosopher- physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), who freed medicine from the realm of superstition and gave it the status of Science. After that Arab physicians like Rhazes (850-925 AD) and Avicenna (980-1037) AD) constructed an imposing edifice. Unani medicine got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary systems of traditional medicine in Egypt, Syria Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle East and Far East countries.

    In India, Unani system of Medicine was introduced by Arabs and soon it took firm roots in the soil. The Delhi Sultan, the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs and the Mughal Emperors provided state patronage to the scholars and even enrolled some as state employees and court physicians. During the 13th and 17th Century Unani Medicine had its Hey-day in India.  
    During the British rule, Unani Medicine suffered a setback and its development was hampered due to withdrawal of governmental patronage. Since the system enjoyed faith among the masses it continued to be practiced. It was mainly the sharifi Family in Delhi, the Azizi family in Lucknow and the Nizam of Hyderabad due to whose efforts Unani Medicine survived during the British period. An outstanding physician and scholar of Unani Medicine, Hakim Ajmal  Khan ( 1868-1927) championed the cause of the system in India.

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    physician Hippocrates(460-377  BC) Avicenna (980-1037 AD) Hakim Ajmal Khan(1868-1927)

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