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Unani system of medicine originated from Greece (UNAN), travelled to Arabia with the muslims and later migrated to India along with muslim travellers and armies. Here it is still in practice as a distinct system of medicine.
Father of unani system of medicine is considered to be Asclapius - I whose exact period of existence is unknown but in his time and also later he was considered to be a god. He had 12 thousands disciples. Hygiea (goddess of health) and Bancia ( goddess repellent of diseases ) were his daughters. After his death temples were erected in his name where patients came to be treated by their dreams and by the aura of his grave.
But the real father of medicine was Hippocrates born on 460 BC in Feroha city ( Now Hamas city of Syria ). He learnt medicine from his father Erclidus and later added his awn thoughts and experiences in it. He was the first man to propagate the knowledge and practice of medicine to common people. He devised Hippocratic oath which is even now the guiding light of modern doctors. He was first man who gave the world pathology. He based his system on the concept of humours of body which is even now the basis of unani practice of medicine. He was the first man to describe the influence of atmosphere, diet and hygiene on the human body. He was also the first man who wrote books on medicine. His books are said to be 72 in no, six of which were on surgery. He is credited to be the first man to establish hospitals Which were in fact temples of Asclapius - I. He died in 363 BC at the age of 97.
World's first medical school was established in Alexandria Roughly 300 Years B.C. by Betlimus - I, ruler of Egypt after Alexender, the great. Here Anatomy developed as a distinct science and it also gave us one of the greatest exponent of unani system - Galen (Jalinus). He was not only the product of this school but here his 16 books were taught as syllabus for the entire course of 7 years duration. Here Herofilus under took, perphaps for the first time in the history of medicine, dissection of cadavers and even living persons who were criminals condemned to death penalty . He performed between 200-700 dissections. This tradition was continued by Eristatus (304 B.C. - 250 B.C.) who also performed dissections and paved the way for emergence of physiology as a distinct science. He wrote 62 books which are not available now.
After the decline of Greek empire, Roman empire took over. At this time too, there were great persons & physicians who added to the knowledge of unani system. Celsus was the first person to compile a history of medicine. Dioscuridus was the man who worked on medicinal plants and is the father of pharmacology and pharmacognosy. His book of herbs, which is divided in 5 chapters, contains detailed references of various medicinal plants and drugs of animal origin.
Galen was born roughly 200 years after Christ. He was very fond of medical knowledge so he traveled far and near to get this knowledge. Galen also emphasized on Anatomy and Physiology as the basic sciences of medicine. He believed in humoural theory of diseases. He described brain, nerves and their functions in detail. He also worked on surgery.
After the conquest of Rome by muslims, unani system of medicine was taken over by Arabs. Though various Caliphs took personal interest in this system . In this time Jabir Bin Hayan (Gabor) developed the pharmaceutical aspect of this system. He is also the inventor of acids & oxides of metals. He was a close friend of prince Khalid Bin Yazid who also added to the knowledge of chemistry in relation to medicine. At this time Caliph Mamun-Al-Rashid established various medical libraries with hundred & thousands of books. He also got translated Roman & Greek works in Arabic. At the same time Sasani ruler Shahpur - I established a big medical school in Jundishahpur. He also made contacts with Indian Medical luminaries. Various Indian texts of medicine written in Sanskrit language were translated into Arabic and incorporated into unani system of medicine. There were many great translators who did a great job in bringing unani and Indian medicine together. Some of them were Yoqoob Bin Ishaq Al kundi, Sabit Bin Qirrah, Yohanna Bin Masoya & Hunain Bin Ishaq Al Ibadi.
Another great physician & writer of this time was Abul Hasan Ali Bin Sahal Rabban Tabri (776A.D. - 850 A.D.). He has written Firdaus - ul - Hikmat (Paradise of wisdom) which is a great compilation of the fundamentals of unani system. At the same time Abu Sahal Masihi wrote Kitab-ul-Maita. But the greatest physician of this era was Abu Bakr Mohammed Bin Zakaria Raazi (Rhazes) (841 A.D. - 926 A.D.) He developed unani system further and was the first person to acknowledge bacterial infection & epidemics. His books Kitab-Al-Havi, Kitab-Al-Mansoori and Kitab-Al-Judri - Vo-Hasba (Book of small pox and chicken pox) are indicators of his vision. Ali Bin Abbass -Al-Majoosi had written Kamil-us-Sanaa, a great book of pathology & basics of unani treatment.
Abu Ali Hussain Bin Abdullah Bin Ali Bin Sina or Ibn-e-sina (Avecenna) was the greatest unani physician. he had written Al-Qanoon (Canon) which till 16th Century was the standard text book of all medical school of Europe. At his time unani system reached at its peak. He has written another 47 medical books.
Abul Qasim Zahravi was the great surgeon of this time. He devised many surgical procedures and invented many surgical instruments some of which are still in use. His Kitab-Al-Jarahat (book of surgery) is a compilation of his surgical knowledge. But his foremost work is another book on surgery Kitab-Al-Tasrif.
IbneRushd (1126 AD - 1198 AD) has written Kitab-Al-Kulliyat (Colliget) which is a compilation of fundamentals of unani system. Abu Mohd Abdullah Bin Ahmad Alias Ibn-e-Betar (1197 A.D.- 1248 A.D.) has great research works to his credit in Botany and pharmacology. He has written a book on his findings namely Kitab-Al-Jame Fil-Advia Al Mufarradah. ( Complete book of single drugs ).
Ali Bin Ala - ud - din Al Qarshi (Al-Qarshi or Ibn -e-Nafis) (1210 AD - 1288 AD) had written Kulliyat-e-Nafisi which is till now the standard book of unani fundamentals.
Then unani system moved to India where it was accepted by general masses as well as rulers. Hakim Ali Hasan Gilani, Hakim Mohd. Arzani and Hakim Alvi Khan were the great Indian unani physiciains. Hakim Sharif Khan of Delhi, Hakim Ajmal Khan of Delhi and Azizi Family of Lucknow have contributed a lot in the development of unani system. Hakim Ajmal Khan has started Ayurvedic and unani Tibbia college in Karol Bagh of Delhi which is still a premier institution of unani medical education . Hakim Abdul Hameed has to his credit establishing the largest unani drugs manufacturing unit Hamdard wakf labs. Delhi & so far the only university of unani education - the Jamia Hamdard, Tughlaqabad, Delhi.