Unani By Dr. Shabistan Fatma Taiyabi
Tarkeeb -e- Advia (Composition of drugs)
Every drug, either single or compound is made up of various constituents that are responsible for the properties of drugs. The process of amalgamation of the basic component of a drug is known as Tarkeeb -e- Advia (Composition of drugs). There are two basic types of Tarkeeb -e- Advia.
Active Constituent (Joher faal): constituent, those are responsible for dominant action are called Joher faal. for example, Morphine is the active constituent in opium, when it is used for its sedative action.
Need and principle for compounding the drugs
The naturally occurring drugs are formed by natural composition (Tarkeeb -e- Tabayi) and all such drugs are called single drugs (Advia mufrida). Single drugs are also made up of many different constituents but due to their natural composition (Tarkeeb -e- Tabayi) these drugs are called advia mufrida. Drugs are also manufactured by compounding or dissociating various naturally occurring substances are called compound drugs (advia murakkaba) and the process of making the compound drug is called artificial compounding (Tarkeeb -e- -Sana’yi).
The need for compounding drugs are following:
To detoxify the drug (Islah-e-dawa): If a drug has any harmful effect then it should be detoxified before use. If the smell or taste of some drugs is unpleasant that may cause nausea, vomiting, or other side effects then it should be corrected before administration. The process of rectification of harmful effects is detoxification. There are several methods of detoxification of drugs that can be used as per need. Sometimes another drug is mixed to detoxify the given drug or eliminate the unpleasant smell or taste of the given drug. The drug used for the detoxification of a given drug is called Musleh. For example, Shehem-e-hanzal which is effective in intestinal disorders is administered along with Ajwain khurasani to rectify its harmful effect effect. Saqmonia and Revand are given along with Zanjabeel, sometimes these are also given with Kateera. Zangar is given with Simagh-e-arabi to rectify its harmful effects.
To increase potency (Izafa-e-quwat): Sometimes a single drug is not enough to combat a disease then another drug with the same effect (afa’al) is mixed to increase its potency. Some drugs with different effects may also enhance the potency of a given drug when these are mixed. Sometimes it is not wise to increase the dose of a particular drug to achieve therapeutic purpose due to other associated undesired effects or cost or inaccessibility. Hence, drugs are compounded. For example, Aftimoon is given along with Filfil-e-siyah for purgation.
To decrease potency (Tazeef-e-amal): Sometimes a single drug has more powerful effects than the need. Then potency of a given drug should be reduced, hence other drugs are mixed with that particular drug to achieve the purpose. For example, Zangar is given along with wax; Kafoor with Zafran; Farfiyun with Simagh-e-arabi etc.
To decrease penetrative power (Ibtay-e-nufuz): Sometimes the drugs have high penetrative power than needed, then it should be slowed down by compounding. There are two methods for decreasing penetrative power (Ibtay-e-nufuz) of the drug:
· Directly acting drugs (Ibtay-e-nufuz zati): The added drug directly decreases the penetrative power of a given drug, like vinegar mixed with water; kafoor with Roghan-e-Bedanjeer; sankhiya (arsenic) with Roghan-e-zard.
· Indirectly acting drugs (Ibtay-e-nufuz arzi): The added drug does not directly decrease the penetrative power instead it acts on the body organs and makes them less penetrable. Or the added drug regulates an opposite mechanism to cancel out the undesirable effects. For example, a diuretic (mudir-e-boul) is given along with a diaphoretic (mu’arriq). For example, saqmonia and ghariqoon are very strong purgatives due to which they are excreted before producing their medicinal effects. Therefore, these are compounded with tabasheer, ood, mastaghi, etc, to slow down their elimination.
To increase penetrative power (Surath-e-nufuz): if the desired drug has low penetrative power that can be increased by compounding with another drug, for example, vinegar is mixed with the drug to increase its penetrative power. Generally, vinegar, water, thin amiable oils, etc.
To treat compound diseases (Ilaaj-e-amraz-e-murakkaba): To treat compound diseases, if therapeutic need cannot achieve with a single drug then the drugs are compounded. for example, when there is a fever along with a cold then a compound drug that can cure both is prescribed.
To increase the quantity of drugs (Izafa-e-miqdar-e-dawa): The therapeutic dose of a few drugs is very less that is difficult to measure without specialized equipment. Hence, other non-harmful substances are mixed to increase the amount of the desired drug for easy dosing. For example, Safoof-e-chutki is administered with mother milk.
To restrict the actions of the drug (Taseer-e-kulli-ki-taseer-e-juzzi): In some circumstance disease of a particular organ can be cured by a single drug only but this drug has many other effects that may be harmful to other organs. In such cases, its undesired action on other organs should be nullified. Hence compounding is done to protect the other organs. For example, medicines used in cardiac diseases are compounded with zafran.
To protect the drugs (Tahaffuz-e-dawa): Under normal condition, every natural drug has a limited lifespan, after that it loses its properties. Drugs are also preserved for transportation. Hence these drugs are compounded for preservation. For example, Ex-seasonal fruits are preserved in honey or sugar (rubb).