Unani system of Medicine owes its origin to Greece. It was the Greek philosopher – Physician Hippocrates (460-377 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 a number of other Greek Scholars enriched the system considerably. Of the Galen (131-210 AD) stands out as the one who stabilished its foundation. Unani Medicine got enriched by imbibing what was best in the contemporary systems of traditional medicine in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle east and Far east countries.

Physician Hippocrates
(460-377 BC)

In India, Unani system of Medicine was introduced by Arabs and soon it took firm roots in the soil. When Mongols ravaged Persian and Central Asian cities like Shiraz, Tabrez and Galan, scholars and Physicians of Unani Medicine fled to India. The Delhi Sultan, the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs and the Mughal Emperors provided state patronage to the scholars and even enrolled some as state employees and court physicians. During the 13th and 17th Century Unani Medicine had its hey-day in India. Among those who made valuable contributions to this system into period where Abu Bakr Bin Ali Usman Ksahani, Sadruddin Damashqui, Bahwa bin Khwas khan, Ali Geelani, Akbal Arzani and Mohammad Hashim Alvi Khan.

(980-1037 AD)

The scholars and Physicians of Unani Medicine who settled in India were not content with the known drugs.They subjected indian drugs to clinical trials. As a result of their experimentation added numerous native drugs to their own system further enriching its treasures.

During the British rule, Unani Medicine suffered a setback and its development was hampered due to withdrawal of governmental patronage. Since the system enjoyed faith among the masses it continued to be practised. It was mainly the Sharifi Family in Delhi, the Azizi family in Lucknow and the Nizam of Hyderabad due to whose efforts Unani Medicine survived during the British period. An outstanding physician and scholar of Unani Medicine, Hakim Ajmal Khan (1868-1927) championed the caused of the system in India.

Hakim Ajmal Khan