Unani By Md Khursid Alam Ansari
Origin of Drugs: In the Unani system of medicine there are three basic sources of medicine referred to as mavalid-e-salasa. These are:
1. Nabati Advia (Botanical Drugs): These drugs are derived from plants and herbs. Ex: Afsanteen, Baaqla, Izkhar, Makau etc
2. Haiwani Advia (Zoological Drugs): These drugs are derived from animal Sources. It may be in the form of its hide, organs, nails, horns, and flesh. Ex: Barasingha, zohra-e-gau.
3. Medani Advia (Geological Drugs): These drugs are derived from the components of the earth like sand, stones, and minerals. Ex: Gil-earmani, Yabroojj, Moti, Neela totiya, etc
Dawa (Drug): Those substances which enter the body get affected by hararat-e-ghariziya (innate heat) and produce a new kaifiyath that changes kaifiyath-e-marziya to kaifiyath-e-sehiya are called Dawa.
Diet (Ghiza): Those substances that when entering the body gets affected by the harath-e-ghariziya and rutubath (body fluids) and are broken down into tiny particles and finally become part of organs are called Ghiza. The ingested food material undergoes four sequential stages of digestion before becoming a part of the body and the undigested part of these substances are excreted out of the body through faces, urine, and sweats.
Drug Cum Diet (Dawa-e-ghizayi): The substances that contain more medicinal components than their nutritional components are called Dawa-e-ghizayi. Eg: kidney beans (Baqla), Coriander (Kishneez), Mint (Pudina), etc.
Diet Cum Drug (Ghiza-e-dawayi): The substances that contain more nutritional components than their medicinal components are called Ghiza-e-dawayi. The nutritional value of these substances is more than their medicinal value. Eg: Egg, fish, and chickpea (chana).
Based on the mechanism of action in the body, substances are grouped into two groups:
1. Drugs: Their mechanism of action like metabolism, absorption, assimilation, storage excretion, and mode of action are exactly known. Eg: Aslasoos – is beneficial for cough, an expectorant (munaffis e balgham), and dilates the respiratory passages.
2. Zulkhasa: the mechanism of action in the body of these substances is unknown. Its metabolism, absorption, assimilation, excretion, storage, and mode of action in the body are not exactly known. E.g, Poisons, Fad-e-zeher (mufrad antidote), Tiraqiyath (murakkab antidote).
The purpose of the diet is to provide nutrition. The purpose of the drug is to cure the disease.