UNANI THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES

Treatment is adopted when Prevention fails and disease occurs. It is mainly based upon Hetero herapy. Disease, which amounts to the emergence of an abnormal Temperament, is treated by applying Drugs and Non-Drug Factors with opposite Temperament. Since , Environmental Factors, Diet and even Mental States etc. either themselves possess a Temperament or affect the Temperament, the Unani System of Medicine uses these nondrug factors very frequently and extensively, on the basis of this correlation. The Unani System of Medicine has also discovered some Specific Drug Effects, arising from Essence and not from the Qualities (Temperament). Therefore, it uses these Specific Drugs also, particularly in serious disease, as these drugs are generally more potent. The Unani System of Medicine also uses Surgery (‘IIaj bi’ l-Yad), including Ophthalmological, Gynaecological and Obstetrical Surgery.

Thus, Unani System of Medicine describes following modes of treatment:

  • Regimenal Therapy (‘IIaj bi’ I-Tadbir)
  • Dietotherapy (‘IIaj bi’ I-Ghidha)
  • Pharmacotherapy (‘IIaj bi’ I-Dawa)
  • Surgery (‘IIaj bi’ I-Yad)

  • However, the first preference of treatment is given to regimental therapy and diet, and drugs and surgery are used only if required.

    REGIMENAL THERAPY
    Regimental therapy (‘IIaj bi’ I-Tadbir) is one of the most popular methods of treatment, practised by Unani physicians since antiquity. Literally, ‘Tadbir’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘regimen’ or ‘systematic plan’ whereas ‘IIaj means ‘therapy’ or ‘treatment’. Thus, Ilaj bi’ l- Tadbir means treatment through regimen, by which care of the sick person is taken and the general health is maintained. In this way, Regimenal therapy comprises mostly nonmedicinal procedures by which the lifestyles for preservation of health and treatment of disease are modulated. Ancient Unani physicians, e.g. Hippocrates, Galen, Rhazes, Avicenna, Albucasis etc. have described various regimens for the management of diseases, either independently or in combination with other therapies. These include changes in diet, physical exercise, lifestyle modification and measures to eliminate to morbid humours (Tanqiya) from the body or divert them (Imala) by Cupping (Hijamat), Massage (Dalk), Leeching (Ta ‘liq’), Venesection (Fasd), Purgation (Ishal), Emesis (Qay’), Diuresis (Idrar-iBawl), Enema (Huqna), Diaphoresis (Ta’riq’), Expectoration (Tanfith), counter Irritation (IIam), Siz Bath (Abzam )etc. Some other regimens are also used for elimination/diversion of morbid material or resolution of the inflammation, e.g. Turkish bath (Hammam), Irrigation (Natul), Fomentation (Takmid)etc.