Unani HIV-Aids Research
An ancient Graeco-Arab system of medicine, not much is known about unani`s efforts in developing an AIDS cure. Clinical trials of nigella sativa are, however, on amongst unani medical researchers in Florida. They say the herb is effective in boosting the immune function and should help in the search for an AIDS antidote.
Traditional systems of medicine are no doubt prevalent in various countries of the world, but most of these are empirical. On the other hand, unani and its allied branches have rational and scientific basic principles. It is distinct from other branches of medicine, as the drugs it uses are natural in their sources and forms. It emphasizes on retaining natural compounds which belong to the human body, and hence prescribes only natural remedies. Unani medicine believes that diseases can be kept at bay by the use of clean and fresh water, breathing clean air and consuming fresh food. Likewise, a balance should be maintained between the mind and the body so that the metabolic process can take place easily and the body waste evacuated. Unani medicine also believes that all life forms have originated from the sea.
In Unani medicine, herbs are used in many different systems in different ways. However the ultimate objective of their use is that they should interact directly with our body chemistry. They may be used in various forms like food, medicine, cosmetics or perfumes. But in all cases their active herbal constituents must be observed into the body for deriving the required benefits. They circulate to influence our whole system. According to Hakeem Hashmi, a prominent Unani physician, the skill of the herbalist lies mainly in strengthening the body`s own healing mechanism instead of suppressing or disturbing it, as modern medicine tends to do.
According to the Unani discipline as it stands today, the human body is composed of 7 natural and basic components called `Umoor e Tabaiyah` which are responsible for maintenance of health. These are :
• Arkan (Elements)
• Mizaj (Temperament)
• Akhlaat (Humors)
• Aaza (Organs)
• Arwah (Vital forces or Neuro)
• Quwa (Faculties)
• Afaal (Functions)
The loss of any one of these basic components or alteration in their physical state could lead to disease, or even death. It is highly essential to consider all these factors so as to reach the correct diagnosis and consequently the correct line of treatment.
The Unani physicians describe that there is a special ability hidden in every individual called the defensive mechanism of the body or in the language of Unani — `Tabiyat-e-Muddabare Badan`. The `Tabiyat` may be defined as the sum total structural function and psychological character of the human being. The `Tabiyat` or nature is the best physician, and maintains the equilibrium of the four humours or `Akhlat`. Their quantity and quality should be as per the natural chemical composition of the body.
A regular at the Salvation Army HIV/AIDS Counselling Center, a patient tried various therapies, including unani. When he was down with jaundice and his weight dropped below 60 kg, he took aaraish, an inexpensive unani medicine. He regained 15 kg. AC says many PWAs are trying naturopathy, auto-urine therapy and ashwagandha (Indian ginseng).
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AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician using certain clinical or laboratory standards.
American Institute of Preventive Medicine