Unani Medicine: Its Origin and Development

The Unani system of medicine owes as its name suggests (Unani is an Arabic spelling of Ionian, meaning Greek), its origin to Greece. It was the Greek philosopher cum physician Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC) who freed medicine from the realm of superstition and magic, and gave it the status of Science. The theoretical framework of Unani medicine is based on the teachings of Hippocrates. After Hippocrates, a number of other Greek scholars enriched the system considerably. Of them, Galen (129 – c. 200/c. 216 AD) stands out as the one who stabilized its foundation, on which Arab physicians like Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (also known as Rhazes and Rasis) (854-925 AD) and Avicenna (980-1037 AD) constructed an imposing edifice.

Unani medicine got enriched by imbibing what best in the contemporary systems of traditional medicine in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China, and other Middle East and Far East countries.

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