Origin and Development
The Unani System of medicine owes, as its name suggests, its origin to Greece. It
was the Greek Philosopher-physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC) who freed Medicine
from the realm of superstition and magic, and gave it the status of Science.
Unani system of medicine developed into an elaborate medical system
by Arabs, like Rhazes, Avicenna, AL-Zehravi, Ibn-e-nafs, & others. The Unani System
got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary systems of traditional
medicines in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China & other middle east Countries.
The Theoretical frame work of Unani Medicine in based on the teaching
of Hippocrates. After him a number of scholars enriched the system considerably.
of them, Galen (131-210AD) stands out as the one who stabilized its foundation on
which Arab & Persian physicians like Rhazes(850-925AD) constructed an imposing edifice.
In India, Unani System of Medicine was introduced by Arabs and soon
it took firm roots. The Delhi Sultans (rulers) provided patronage to the scholars
of Unani System and even enrolled some as state employees and court physicians.
During the British rule, Unani System suffered a set back due to withdrawal of State
Patronage, but continued to be practiced as the masses reposed faith in the system
An out standing physician and scholar of Unani Medicine, Hakim Ajmal Khan(1868-1927)
championed the cause system in India. After Independence of India, Unani System
was recognized as one of the Indian Systems of medicine and steps were taken to
develop and Propagate this system.
Unani Medicine has been used for centuries and in known for its therapeutic
efficacies, there is a need to scientifically establish its efficacy and safety
in order to achieve global acceptance. Organized research work in this system is
therefore the need of the hour. in post independent era, Central Council for research,
drug development, literary work, survey & cultivation of medicinal plants program
is contributing significantly for last three decades.
Vitiligo, sinusitis, filariasis, eczema, malaria, jaundice, infective
hepatitis nervous system disorders, bronchial asthma, arthritis and several other
acute and chronic diseases are some of the conditions where Unani therapies have
earned recognition after scientific validation where other systems have not been
able to give desired response. Now the system has crossed national boundaries and
is popular among the masses globally.
According to the principles and philosophy of Unani Medicine, disease is natural process. Its symptoms are the reactions of the body to the disease and the chief function of the physician is to aid the natural forces of the body.
Unani Medicine is based on the Humoral Theory.