Unani System of Medicine
The Unani System of Medicine originated in Unani in Greece. It is an alternative medicine that is based on the teachings of Hippocrates. Hippocrates formed the theoretical framework of Unani Medicine after he freed the concepts of health from the realms of magic and superstition and gave it the status of science.
The principles of the Unani system are based on the Humoral Theory postulated by Hippocrates. It presupposes the presence of 4 humors –phlegm, blood, black bile and yellow bile – in the body and believes that the health or illness of a person depends on the balance of these humors.
It advocates that the mixture of these humors or substances in the body of a person plays a role in determining his temperament or MIZAJ. The predominance of blood results in a sanguine temperament while the predominance of phlegm makes a person phlegmatic. The people with the predominant yellow bile or black bile in their body tend to have a bilious or melancholic temperament, respectively.
When the equilibrium of these four humors is disturbed, a diseased state sets in. An abnormal balance between these humors also results in the initiation of pathological changes in the healthy organs and tissues, which exhibit as the clinical manifestations or the symptoms of diseases.
Hence, the Hakims or the doctors practicing Unani system of medicine, adopt methods to bring the four temperaments in a state of equilibrium in order to restore the health of a person. This system also advocates lifestyle changes and healthy modifications in the diet for preventing diseases.