Unani System of medicine as the name suggests, owes its origin to ancient Greece. Imbibing what was best in the contemporary system of traditional medicines prevailing in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle East and Far East countries, the Unani treatment system had become an extremely enriched one. It had also got benefited from the native medical system or folk medicine in practice at that time in various parts of central and southern Asia. That is why this system is known in different parts of the world in different names such as Greco-Arab medicine, Ionian medicine, Arab medicine, Islamic medicine, Traditional medicine, Oriental medicine etc.
In India, the Arabs had introduced Unani system of medicine and soon it had found its roots in the soil. When Mongols ravaged Persian and Central Asian cities like Shiraz, Tabrez, and Geelani, scholars and physicians of Unani medicine had fled to India. The Delhi Sultans, the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs and the Mughal emperors provided state patronage to these scholars and physicians and even enrolled some of them as state employees and court physicians. Between the 13th and 17th centuries Unani medicine had its prime time in India. Among those who made valuable contribution to the system in the period were, to name only a few, Abu Bakr bin Ali Usman Kashani, Sadruddin Damashqui, Bahwa Bin Khwas Khan, Ali Geelani, Akbar Arzani and Mohammad Hashim Alvi Khan.
Unani system is based on the Hippocratic theory that a perfect balance of 'Arkan' (elements), 'Akhlat' (humor) and 'Mijaz (temperament) helps to keep the body and mind healthy. Every individual has an inherent power of self-preservation called the 'Quwat-e-Modabira'. The theory presupposes presence of humors in the body-'Dum' (blood), 'Balgham' (phlegm), 'Safra' (yellow bile) and 'Sauda' (black bile). This system aims at restoring the equilibrium of various elements and faculties of the human body. It has laid down six essential prerequisites for the prevention of diseases and places great emphasis on the maintenance of proper ecological balance on one hand and keeping water, food and air free from pollution on the other.
These essentials, known as 'Asbab-e-Sitta-Zarooriya', are Air; Food and Drink; Body Movement and Repose; Mental Movement and Repose; Sleep and Wakefulness; Retention and Evacuation.
Treatment in the Unani system of medicine is done mainly through diet control for simple diseases in the initial stages followed by the administration of single drug. However if it fails, compound preparations may be administered. The various treatments are 'Ilaj-bit-tadbeer' (Regimental therapy), 'Ilaj-bit-dawa' (Pharmacology therapy) and 'Jarahat' (Surgery). In Pharmacology therapy, the physicians use naturally occurring drugs, mostly herbal. The advantage with naturally occurring drugs is that most of these do not have any side effect.
Scholars Of Unani