Unani Medicine has a specific and unique set of principles and methods that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions which are primarily based on the ancient methods used and taught by Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna. The methods are still practised in Europe, the Middle East and Asian subcontinent.
Unani Medicine uses a holistic set of principles that make it easy for a practitioner to turn diagnosis into a treatment procedure. Hippocrates taught that the majority of illnesses do not need medicines; instead a perfect regime (diet, exercises, stress management, rest etc) alone can cure them.
Two aspects or principles are very important – the life force or thymos, and the four vital essences or humours.
Unani medicine categorizes people into four humors or constitutional types – sanguine (blood), phlegmatic (phlegm), choleric (yellow bile) and melancholic (black bile). “The medicines used are herbal in origin and in exceptional cases gold and silver oxides are used“. In disease, the thymus or the humors may be affected by the emotions but can also be affected by age or disease.
Problems with the humors are more common however and may result from having too much or too little of one or more humors in the body.
They may also be disrupted by a poison or an invasive micro-organism. Humors are affected to some extent by the life force (thymus) but more by the food we eat, drinks we drink and external influences such as the environment.
Diagnosis is made by pulse reading, detailed questioning of the patients condition, examination of stools and urine, observations of the patients tongue, eyes, hands and skin colour and also using reflexes. Once the diagnosis is made, the imbalance in the body is corrected through a regimen of diet, exercise, physical therapy (cupping, massage, sauna, manipulation) and medicines.
It is particularly useful for:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Mild Hypertension
- Infertility and chronic Bronchitis