Prevention of Disease
This infact covers the steps laid down in the classics of Unani medicine
for the prevention of disease and epidemics. Unani medicine recognised the
influence of surroundings and ecological conditions on the state of health
of human beings long ago. It has laid down six essential prerequisites for
the prevention of disease and lays great emphasis, on the one hand on the
maintenance of proper ecological balance and on the other hand on keeping
the water, food and air free from all pollution. These essentials known
as ASBAB-E-SITTA ZARURIYA are briefly explained as under.
1. Air :
Good and clean air is most necessary for health; many diseases
occur due to changes in the air. Avicenna the famous Unani Physician says
that the change of environment relieves the patients of many diseases. Avicenna
has also emphasised the need of open airy houses with proper ventilation,
play grounds and gardens in the cities so that every one has plenty of fresh
air and a proper ecological balance is maintained.
2. Food and Drinks:
The food that we eat should be fresh, free from
putrefaction and disease producing matters. The drinking water should also
be pure. The water of some wells act as a drug due to the presence in it
of sulphur or other minerals..
3. Bodily movement and repose:
To maintain perfect health and good
trim the body requires exercise as well as rest. Again, certain diseases
can be cured by giving the body rest while some are cured by movement of
affected organs. Inflammation and fractures require complete rest to get
properly cured. On the other hand afflictions such as paralysis demand specific
quantum of movement. Several exercises help growth of muscles and ensure
nutrition, increased blood supply and proper functioning of excretory system.
Exercise also keeps the heart and liver in good condition.
4. Psychic movement and repose:
Psychological factors such as happiness,
sorrow, anger etc. have considerable bearing on the health of a human being
Unani physicians maintain that certain diseases like tuberculosis, hysteria
and mental disorder are caused in most cases, by emotional strain and maladjustment,
and therefore, while dealing with such cases a physician should do his best
to take all these factors into account. There is a branch of Unani medicine
known as Psychological treatment which deals with the above
mentioned factors and many diseases are treated with psychological means.
Sometimes this type of treatment cures the disease without using medicines
and some times by administration of drugs along with psychological methods.
The curative effect of music, pleasant company and beautiful scenery has
also been recognised by Unani physicians.
5. Sleep and wakefulness:
Normal slumber and wakefulness are essential
for health. Sleep is an ideal form of rest, physical as well as mental.
Lack of sleep causes dissipation of energies, mental weakness and digestive
6. Evacuation and retention:
Waste products of body, if not completely
and properly excreted, produce disease. The natural means of excretion are
the diuresis, diaphoresis, vomiting, faeces, excretion through uterus in
the form of menses, through eyes, ears and nose or respiration. Proper and
normal functioning of the excretory processes must be ensured in order to
maintain perfect health. Any disturbance in the normal excretory balances,
whether it be excess, dimunition or blockage, leads to disease. Practitioners
of Unani medicine have, from time immemorial cured numerous diseases by
regulating the excretory processes.