Unani science

The Earth may not be flat nor is it the center of the universe, but that doesn't mean old-world intellectuals got everything wrong.

In recent years, modern science has validated a number of teachings and beliefs rooted in the ancient wisdom of Unani science.

This system of medicine is a comprehensive medical system, providing promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare. Its fundamentals, diagnosis and treatment modalities are based on scientific principles and a holistic approach, considering each individual in relation to his/her environment and emphasizes on the health of body, mind and soul.

The Unani system of medicine, sometimes referred to as the "Greco-Arab" medicine or "Unani Tibb"; is based on Greek philosophy, originated in Greece and the term Unani is derived from 'Unan', Arabic and Urdu for 'Greece'.

Hmadard India

The theoretical framework of Unani medicine is based on the work of Hippocrates (460-377 BC). By his method of careful study and comparison of symptoms, he laid down the foundation for clinical medicine based on diet and rest. He advocated that the chief function of a physician is to aid the natural forces of the body in combating a disease. 

A number of Greek scholars after Hippocrates such as Galen (131-200 AD) followed by Arab physicians like Rhazes (850-932 AD) and Avicenna (980-1037 AD), enriched the system considerably. Rhazes and Avicenna authored Al-Hawi and Al-Qanun respectively, which were compilations of their observations.

Four Humors

Unani system follows the humoural theory which postulates the presence of four humours in the body: dam (blood), balgham (phlegm), safra (yellow bile) and sauda (black bile), a parallel to kapha, vata and pitta, the three doshas in ayurveda.

These humors temperament are:
  • Blood
    hot & wet
  • Phlegm
    cold & hot
  • Yellow bile
    hot & dry
  • Black bile
    cold & dry

The quality and quantity of four humors affect the state of health and disease in the body.


Concept of Health

In the Unani system of medicine there are six basic factors which are considered essential for the maintenance of good health and prevention of diseases.

If a person is in practice of these basic principles with perfect balance, his/her health remains maintained.

Health is thus considered as a state of body with humors in equilibrium and body functions normal. It is based on six essential elements:
  • 01


  • 02

    Drinks and food

  • 03

    Sleep and wakefulness

  • 04

    Excretion and retention

  • 05

    Physical activity

  • 06

    Mental activity and rest

India is the leading geography with the largest number of educational, research and health care institutions of Unani Medicine.

Quick facts
about the
ancient principle

An integral part of the national health care delivery system, equilibrium plays a very important role here. Effective, inexpensive and easily available, Unani says that the human body is maintained by the harmonious arrangement of the 7 natural and basic components called "Umoor-e-Tabiya" (fundamentals of physique) which are responsible for maintenance of health. These are the heroes and villains that play their crucial role in human life.

  • Arkan


    These are the smallest entities serving as primary building blocks. What man and the Universe, both biological and non biological, including drugs are made up of.
  • Mizaj


    This is primarily the uniform property in living things developed out of an interaction between elements.
  • Akhlat


    This is the manifestation of mode and mood in living beings resulting from an interaction of elements. This provides the qualitative yardstick for assessing the status of health.
  • A’za


    This essentially denotes the physical containment of the essential body.
  • Arwah


    Vital Spirit
    These are subtle substances that have vitality and act as the carrier of dynamic physiological forces.
  • Quwa


    These are the physiological powers to perform the basic functions of the organism i.e. life, sensation, movement, nutrition, and reproduction.
  • Af’aal


    These mean the functions of various organs and organ systems.
Herb gardens, nursery of medicinal plants, experimental and field scale cultivation are the major initiatives taken by us at Hamdard for the improvement of medicine.

Tremendous progress has been registered in the development of medicines. Yet, medicinal plants still continue to be an important source of drugs throughout the world.


Hamdard is one of the largest users of diversified herbs, and the pharmacology department ensures the proper identity of raw materials by macroscopic and microscopic evaluation. Each herb is photo-documented and a reference herbarium is available for authentic identification.

Isolation and Characterization
of Marker Compounds

Marker compounds are required for the standardization of herbal raw materials and formulations. Research and Development department at Hamdard is also engaged in maintaining the Marker Compounds Library to enable the analysis by sophisticated instruments.

New Product Development

  • Formulation development at Hamdard starts with literature search.
  • Proper rationale of ingredients is worked out and prototype formulation is developed.
  • Standardization of analytical parameters for raw material and formulations established.
  • Stability studies are conducted in accelerated and real conditions to ensure efficacy and safety
  • Data evaluation for suitability of formulation for desired therapeutic uses.
  • Technology transfer for manufacturing the product.
  • Post marketing surveillance to get customer’s feedback.