National Unani Day 2020: Age-old remedies for common ailments
Every year, February 11 is celebrated as National Unani Day in India. Founded by the ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates nearly 2,500 years ago, it was formalized and propounded by the Islamic polymath Ibn Sina in the medieval era.
Unani is based on the principle of harmonious coexistence of the four ‘humors’ of the body. The four humors are blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile and correspond to sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. Every person is composed of a mixture of these humors and when this balance is lost the individual falls sick. Treatments in Unani are based on maintaining this balance by providing therapeutic care - when these fail then medications may be prescribed as well. Here are some common problems and their suggested remedies according to Unani medicine:
1. Piles (Bawaseer-e-aamiya)
Piles, or haemorrhoids, are caused by a swelling of the veins in the anus and lower rectum. If the piles are inside the rectum, they are internal haemorrhoids, and if they are outside, along the anus, they are external.
Pile formation is attributed to poor diets lacking adequate fibre, obesity, and chronic constipation and diarrhoea. Those who sit on the pot for too long and strain also tend to develop piles.
Unani therapy suggests avoiding baked, fried and spicy food. It also recommends eating foods that are high in fibre like green leafy vegetables so that the body does not get constipated.
According to Unani, lukewarm milk mixed with ghee at night can help treat piles. Further, it might also be a good idea to avoid potatoes. Mango and sesame seeds are considered to be effective. Vegetables such as radish, turnip, bitter gourd and onion are recommended as well.
2. Acne (or Busoor-e-labaniyah)
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that dermatologists see. It is usually caused by the blockage of hair follicles by excess oil, dead skin cells or ingrown hairs.
Acne most commonly occurs on the face, back, and shoulders because that is where the largest number of sebaceous (sebum- or oil-producing) glands are. Teenagers are affected the most because of the increase in androgens, a certain type of hormone, during puberty.
According to Unani, suppurative (pus-forming) material is transported to the skin due to increased abnormal heat. The suppurative material turns yellow due to contact with air. Because the pores can’t handle the sudden influx, it leads to acne. Further, the use of certain diets and indigestion are also linked with Busoor-e-Labaniyah.
Some Unani suggestions to tackle acne include drinking large amounts of water (10-12 glasses a day) to flush out toxins, protecting the skin from sunlight by using sunscreen, avoiding coffee, tea, alcohol smoking and wearing tight clothes, exercising regularly and having a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some Unani formulations may help as well:
- Apply Indian cucumber juice mixed with lemon juice to the affected area. Rinse after a few minutes.
- Take an apple, grate it and mix it with one spoon of honey. Apply this to the affected area and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Make a paste of almond powder and castor oil and apply it to the area for 15 minutes. Rinse after.
3. Hair loss (Intisar-e-Sha’r)
Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body but is most noticeable on the scalp. In most cases, hair loss is due to age and is hereditary, but acute stress or physical trauma can also cause the hair to thin and shed. Certain medications, hairstyles, radiation therapies can also accelerate the process of hair loss.
Here are some Unani-based therapies that may prevent hair loss:
- A head massage with coconut milk is supposed to be helpful. Make sure to rinse the milk with warm water afterwards.
- Mix 300 ml of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of pomegranate bark. Heat the mixture until it boils and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain and filter the mix and massage the scalp with it. Let sit for 20 minutes and then rinse.
- Make a paste of olive oil, cinnamon and honey and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
4. High blood pressure (Zaghtuddam Qawi)
Chronic hypertension (or high blood pressure) can lead to several serious health issues. Sometimes the cause may be inherited, but lifestyle choices can induce high blood pressure as well. Not exercising enough, being obese, smoking, consuming high amounts of alcohol and stress can all cause high blood pressure.
According to Unani, increased blood flow in the vessels is caused by a hot, moist temperament attributed to the ‘sanguineous’ type. ‘Dryness’ of the vessels, which is attributed to ‘melancholic’ type may also lead to high blood pressure.
The suggested treatments include:
- Garlic, pepper, ginger and lemon are said to be good for lowering blood pressure.
- Avoid coffee and instead, have green or hibiscus tea.
- Foods that are fried and have a large amount of salt should be avoided.
- Dark chocolate can be consumed to lower blood pressure but only in moderation.
For more information, read our article on High Blood Pressure.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2020 18:52:18 IST
Rapid and cheap: These new testing kits could change the course of COVID-19 in India
World Bank commits US$1 billion to help India fight COVID-19
Spit attacks seen in India, after Italy, Australia, UK report similar instances
Doctor’s Day 2020: Let's celebrate the heroes who made 152,314 recoveries possible so far
No community transmission of COVID-19 yet. Here's what stage 3 would mean for India
25,000 coronavirus deaths globally: Here's how the most vulnerable can stay safe
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Second person in Dharavi tests positive for COVID-19; 576 Tablighi Jamaat attendees quarantined in Maharashtra
Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: COVID-19 patient assaults doctor in Hyderabad hospital, police says action will be taken against culprit
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Centre suspends two Delhi govt officers, issues show-cause notice to two others over 'dereliction of duty'
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Bihar govt says six of nine COVID-19 cases in state have no travel history
Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: G20 leaders to support strengthening WHO's mandate, pledge $5 trillion for global economy
Man dies from hantavirus in China: All you need to know about the virus, and how it spreads