This is a fact that Nature has blessed India with a wide range of herbs spreading over different regions from Himalayas to tropical forest since an immemorial and sherbs time. They have been used in preparing Herbal Medicines to cure the diseases and to promote a healthy system in our country has become a great repository of this knowledge, organized in the Unani and Ayurvedic herbal systems of Medicine.
Unani term is derived from the word Unan which means Greece. This alludes to the origin of the system, credited to Hippocrates (Buqrat) a great Greek physician (370 BC – 460 BC). This system was further developed by Galen (Jalinoos) also a Greek physician (130 AD – 200 AD). In the medical school of Alexendria (Egypt) Galen studied the Egyptian System of medicine and introduced the unani practice in pre-Islamic era of Egypt. Later Galen (Jalinoos) appointed the court physician to the king of Egypt where under the patronage of the king he researched, experimented and developed innumerable (hundreds) new medicines and he cured for all types of diseases. He wrote near about 400 treatise.
Beside Galen some other unani luminaries are Rhazes (Abu Zakaria Razi), Avenzoar (Abul Qasim Zuhravi), Avicena (Ali Ibne Sena), Ibn -e- Nafis, Ibn -e- Betar and Hunain who worked and authored on eye "Ten Treatise on the eye" is the earliest text book on ophthalmology. Avenzoar (Abul Qasim) linked surgery, therapeutics and pharmacology into a homogenous whole. Rhazes (Zakaria Razi) gave a clear account on Small Pox and measles in his treaties first time. He was the only physician in medical history to prove mercury as a medicine in the ointment. He wrote a book namely AL – HAVI is praise worthy. Avicena (Ali Ibne Senna) wrote a very famous book namely AL – QANOON. This book was an encyclopedia of medical knowledge of his days and now it has been translated in many languages of the word.
Unani system of medicine made great advances after the advent of Islam in Arab Countries. The Arab physicians under the patronage of caliphs of Baghdad made great improvements in this system and made thousands of cure for the diseases. From the Arab Countries this system of medicine came to Persia and become popular by making further advances. Later on Arab and Persian traders who came to India for business brought this system of medicine to India and it is also said that the Muslim ruler who came to India brought with them a number of scholars, clerics and Hakims what it may be the fact.
In India great progress in Unani system of medicine was made by great Hakim of Delhi and Lucknow. The unani system of medicine and Hakims received Royal patronage and Hakims become Royal Court Physician to the Sultan -e- Waqt and Mughal emperors.
The Unani and Ayurvedic system of medicine comprises of medicines prepared solely with natural ingredients i.e. herbs, fruit, flowers, leaves and minerals which do not have any harmful side effect to the human body. These both systems do not always offer a rapid relief merely in a symptomatic way but gives real cure by removing the root cause. On the other hand western system of medicine (Allopathic) in the field of medicine have another point of view. Allopathic medicine mostly are prepared with their chemical formulas which admittedly have harmful, allergic and toxic side effects and they only can be used for quick symptomatic relief.