Unani (Unanipathy), one of the oldest medical systems in the world owes its origin to Greece. But later many Arab and Persian scholars enriched the system. Earlier known as 'Galenic', this system became Unani (Arabic name for Greek) system of medicine or Unani-Tibb, with the passage of time.
This ancient medicine system of holistic and natural healing which has been practised for almost 6000 years, came to India through the Arabs. Though it was practised widely in India during the Sultanate regime, the system suffered a setback during the colonial rule. After independence, it was popularised again in India by Hakim Ajmal Khan and Dr Salimuzzaman Siddiqui. The theoretical structure of Unani medicine is based on the teachings of Hippocrates who has based his theory on the four humours in the human body namely Blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Each of these humour relates to a specific temperament in the human body. Balance of such humor is achieved through curative agents such as minerals, herbs and animal based drugs. Unani is considered as close to Ayurveda medicine of India because both these medicines are based on the theory of 'the presence of elements' - fire, water, earth and air. At present, the Unani system of medicine, with its own recognised practitioners, hospitals and educational and research institutions, forms an integral part of the Indian system of Medicine and India is one of the leading countries so far as its practice is concerned.
Unani system strongly believes in nature and its healing properties. Unani Medicine established that disease was a natural process and that symptoms were the reactions of the body to the disease. According to the Unani system of medicine, a person can maintain proper health by conserving a balance in various life activities. Unani is a holistic approach to healing. As a result, it incorporates various therapies for healing not only the disease but also focuses on the overall health condition of the patient.
Unani system of medicine recognises the influence of surroundings and ecological conditions on the state of health of human beings. The system has laid down six essential prerequisites for the prevention of diseases and places great emphasis, on the one hand, on the maintenance of proper ecological balance and, on the other, on keeping water, food and air free from pollution. 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.Unanipathy has shown remarkable results in curing diseases like Vitiligo, Eczema, Rheumatoid, Arthritis, Leucoderma, Psoriasis, 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.
Government dispensaries, Unani hospitals, health department, private nursing homes, Unani pharmacies, research centers as Unani hakims and pharmacists
Candidates seeking admission to a Bachelor course in Unani Medicine are required to pass their Intermediate / Senior School Certificate Examination (C.B.S.E.) / Indian School Certificate Examination (SC) Plus two or equivalent examination. Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) regulates the education of Unani in India. There are about 35 recognised colleges of Unani medicine in India.
Candidates must pass the above exams with 50% and above marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology from a recognized institute to get admission to BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery). BUMS (Kamil-E-Tibb-O-Jarahat) is of 5 and half year duration including house surgency. Students can also pursue MD (Mahir-e-Tibb) and MS courses which is of three-year duration, after getting a BUMS degree. Those who have studied Urdu as a language in their 10+2 examination are given preference. Medium of instruction is mostly in Urdu but English is also used. There are also training courses for compounders or pharmacists in Unani medicine.