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Herbs in Unani: What are they and how are they used?
Herbs in Unani medicine Unani is an Islamic traditional medicine system which is practised in India. It has become well known for its uses of natural medicines and treatments. It aims at holistic curing of the body. The basic principles of Unani are centred on the four primary body humors. Now according to Unani medicine, […]

Herbs in Unani medicine

Unani is an Islamic traditional medicine system which is practised in India. It has become well known for its uses of natural medicines and treatments. It aims at holistic curing of the body.

The basic principles of Unani are centred on the four primary body humors.

Now according to Unani medicine, bodily humors are fluids in the body that are linked with the body’s functioning and well-being. They are joining forces of the body with its environment.

The four humors in Unani are:

Blood
Phlegm
Black Bile
Yellow Bile

According to Unani practitioners, any imbalance caused in these humours can affect health.

This is why Unani treatments aim at balancing these four humours. Because they believe this leads to a healthier temperament and a better physical and mental lifestyle.

Like all great traditional treatments, Unani makes use of herbs and natural products. The procedures, treatments, and medicines are all naturally derived.

Using herbal techniques prevents negative side-effects. It is generally a safe and efficient approach.

Below we have listed some well-known herbs and foods that are used in Unani. We have also mentioned what conditions they are used for, the benefits they carry and how to add them to your daily routine.

What are some herbs used in Unani medicine?

There are many herbs used in Unani medicine. Below are just a few more well-known ones:

TULSI

Tulsi is a common herb which has many medicinal properties. It is involved in various medicinal practices.

Medicinal benefits and cure:

It is used to cure respiratory and cold-related conditions. It combats – cold, influenza, cough, asthma, bronchitis, etc.

The anti-fungal qualities of Tulsi help to fight – typhoid, flu, malaria, fungal diseases, etc.

Also used cures common ailments – ulcers, mouth disorders, migraines, high blood pressure, and fevers.

The presence of essential phytochemicals in Tulsi has anti-cancer properties. The antioxidants fight the free-radicals and protect against chronic diseases.

Also soothes the skin, reduces stress, nourishes skin, and keeps away pimples. It is healthy and chemical-free skin medicine.

How is it used?

The leaves of Tulsi are the most medicinally beneficial.
A bunch of raw leaves must be consumed daily for the most benefit.

The leaves can be made into herbal tea mixed with honey, lemon, and ginger.

Tulsi leaves, and roots can be made into a paste for applying on skin.

ALOE VERA (common Unani term: Sibr)

Aloe Vera is a versatile medicinal plant. It is good for the skin, hair, and several health-related problems.
It is high in many vitamins and essential minerals.

Medicinal benefits:

According to Unani, it has many properties – Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Antioxidant, Detoxification, etc.

Unani therapies use it to cure – Jaundice, Gastritis, Ulcers, Haemorrhoids, arthritis, gastric issues, Hepatitis, and many more.

Aloe Vera is also efficient in wound-healing and is also prominently used on the skin as well as hair-care.

How is it used?

For treating stomach-related problems, raw Aloe pieces can be consumed with water. It has laxative benefits as well.

Aloe extracts are a part of Unani massages and therapy treatments.

Aloe vera gel is applied on skin and hair. It can be combined with other nutritious elements too.

ALMONDS

Almonds (Badam) are considered amazing seeds rich in proteins and fats. It is packed with nutritional minerals.
Medicinal benefits:
As per Unani, badam is a popular fruit ( Yes its a fruit - the actual almond is from its seed!). It is said to be overall nutritious. It assists in well-maintenance of humours that ultimately leads to healthy and strong organs and their functions.

Unani uses Almonds for many bodily systems. For example:
The nervous system – headaches, autism, insomnia, memory loss, etc.
Respiratory system – pneumonia, cough, throat infections, etc.
Urogenital system – Renal stones, ulcers, inflammations, and sexual weakness.

Skin – indices glow, moisture, and wound healing.

And also for fo conditions to do with Gastro-intestinal tract – constipation, stomach ulcers, splenic issues, etc.

How is it used?

Daily consumption of almonds is a common way of gaining its benefits. Eating a handful raw or crushed and even added to other recipes or foods.

Almond oil is used for skin and head massage.

Powdered almonds mixed with water also work efficiently.

GINGER

The ginger stem has been a part of several medicinal systems since long.
Medicinal benefits:
Unani makes use of the many purifying qualities of ginger. It is an antioxidant protecting against free radicals and infections.

It is also known for anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

In Unani ginger is used to cure many ailments. Some of them are – Arthritis, joint pains, muscular aches, sprains, etc. It increases strength and endurance power of the body.

Ginger also solves issues such as – indigestion, constipation, cramps, sore-throats, coughs, fever, nausea, etc.

How is it used?

Unani makes use of ginger in many ways. It can be used as a spice in foods, consumed raw, made into a paste, or even dried and powdered.

Ginger oil is used for massaging.

Ginger extract tea and syrups are used to cure sore-throat and coughs.

HONEY (Asl Khalis)

Honey is a famous natural medicine. It is a multi-functional all-rounder for the body.

Medicinal benefits:

The high glucose-content in honey is perfect for energy provision and immunity. It is also rich in minerals and several vitamins.

In Unani medicine, honey is notable for its following properties:

Nutrition (Mughazzi)
Antiseptic (Daf-e-Taffun)
Digestive (Hadim)
Anti-inflammatory (Muhallil-e-Waram)
Blood-purifier (Musaffi-e-Dam)
Wound-healer (Mundamil-e-Qurooh) Etc.


It has these medicinal uses:

Cough and sore throat
Cataract
Ring-worm
Jaundice
Ulcers
Ascites
Leprosy
Heart diseases
Sexual debility
Skincare
Etc.

How is it used?

A daily spoonful of honey is a common remedy.

It is often mixed in warm water or teas.

Directly applied to the skin for cleansing and massaging.

CLOVES (Qaranfal)

This is a remedial spice with many health benefits.

Medicinal benefits:

Cloves have been approved as effective in treating skin-issues by Unani.

Cloves benefit many allergic and respiratory ailments too. They include – cough, throat-issues, blocked nose, sneezing, asthma, rhinorrhoea, pharyngeal itches, etc.

It also promotes digestion, healing of wounds, dental health, etc.

How is it used?

The Qaranfal can be chewed upon for throat and cough relief.

The oil or powder extracted from Cloves is used in dental and skin care.

Essential clove oil is also a part of Unani aromatherapy.

Gooseberry (Amla)

All parts of the Amla tree are medicinally beneficial. The fruit is the most efficiently used in Unani since ages.
Medicinal benefits:
Amla has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its richness in vitamin C.

Unani uses Amla for a variety of treatments including – blood-sugar, memory retention, ulcers, cholesterol control, etc. Amla has several curing effects on diabetic symptoms.

Amla has excellent hair and skin benefits as well. It is used in scalp massages, skin creams, shampoos, etc.

How is it used?

Most basic manner of including Amla is directly consuming the fruit.

The fruit can also be made into juices, powders, pickles, pastes, etc. and used accordingly.

Amla extracts are often added to shampoos, lotions, and oils.

Turmeric (Haldi)

Unani uses turmeric for a variety of treatments as it is believed to have great medicinal potential. One of its main features is that it has many immunity-benefits.

Medicinal benefits:

As medicine in Unani, turmeric is used to treat numerous disorders. They include – Rheumatism, Toxin-release, Leukoderma, intestinal worms, digestive disorders, hepatitis, insect bites, and wound healing.

The presence of Phytochemicals in Haldi is also very advantageous. They are used to combat – diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc.

Traditionally turmeric is also famous for its effects on the skin. It cures breakouts, adds glow, cleanses, and nourishes. It is also used in hair removal techniques.

How is it used?

Turmeric is used as a powdered spice, raw with honey, or as pastes.

It is often instilled in massaging creams, lotions, oils, etc.

Turmeric added in milk is a very nutritional everyday drink.

Final words:

The above-mentioned herbs, fruits, and spices are some among the many natural Unani medicines.

The herbal and natural qualities provide the ultimate benefit with minimum side-effects.

As Unani treatments use herbal products, one is intensely benefitted by the phytochemicals and plant nutrients.

They have innumerable qualities required to restore the balance between all the bodily elements. Ultimately the several benefits of Unani herbs bring physicals and mental harmony.

Using herbal remedy is easily accessible, home-made, versatile, and natural.

The approach of Unani treatment using herbs is very modern, sustainable, and is gaining immense attention overtime.

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