Unani system of Medicine (Unanipathy) which originated in Greece is based on the principles propounded by Galen, a Greek practitioner. After him, many Arab and Persian scholars enriched the system. Among them Abu Sina, an Arab philosopher and Physicist who wrote 'Kitab-al-shifa' or 'Avicenna' was noteworthy. This system earlier known as 'Galenic', later became Unani (Arabic name for Greek) system of medicine.
This system has a long and impressive record in India. It was introduced in India around 10th century A.D with the spread of Islamic civilization. Now Unanipathy has become a part of Indian system of Medicine and India is one of the leading countries so far as its practice is concerned. It is very much similar to our Ayurveda.
Unani Medicine established that disease was a natural process and that symptoms were the reactions of the body to the disease. It believes in the humoral theory which presupposes the presence of 4 humours -Dam (blood), Balgham (phlegm), Safra( Yellow bile) and Sauda (black bile) in the body. Each humour has its own temperament - blood is hot and moist, phlegm cold and moist, yellow bile hot and dry and black bile cold and dry. According to Unani, if the four main humours and the four primary qualities were all in a state of mutual equilibrium, one is considered healthy.
The diagnosis of diseases in Unani system of medicine is through examination of pulse, urine and stool. This system observes the influence of surroundings and ecological conditions such as air, food, drinks, body movement and repose, psychic movement and repose, sleep and wakefulness and excretion and retention on the state of health. This influence causes a dominance of one of the four humours in every human body. Unani believes that it is this dominance which gives a man his individual habit and complexion i.e his temperament.
In short, Unanipathy aims at maintaining proper health by conserving symmetry in the different spheres of a man's life. Unani practitioners not only cures bodily diseases but also acts as an ethical instructor.
Regimental Therapy - It includes venesection, cupping, diaphoresis, diuresis, turkish bath, massage, cauterisation, purging, emesis, exercise and leeching.
Dietotherapy - It deals with certain ailments by administration of specific diets or by regulating the quantity and quality of food.
Pharmacotherapy - It deals with the use of naturally occurring drugs mostly herbal drugs of animal and mineral origin. Single drugs or their combination in raw form are preferred over compound formulations.
Unanipathy has shown remarkable results in curing diseases like Arthritis, Leucoderma, Jaundice, Bronchial Asthma, Filariasis and several other acute and chronic diseases where other systems do not give the desired level of positive response. The Unani system is a secular system in character and is popular among the masses.