It is based on the theory of moods , on the use of plants and natural substances , in order to restore or maintain the state of health.
Strengthening physical, mental and spiritual strength; maintaining the human body in a state of balance, harmony and vigor , these are the goals of UNANI medicine.
The purpose is to strengthen its immune defenses and compensate for its deficiencies with the use of plants and natural substances, in order to restore or maintain the state of health.
The theory of moods
According to the humoral theory, the essence of things is found in the four main elements, Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
The terms EARTH, WATER, AIR, and FIRE do not literally mean ground earth, flowing water, or flames, but rather "basic material " associated with a state that characterizes each of these elements and that can be found in many materials or substances.
At the same time, the human body is made up of four liquids in motion, the “Humours ” which are the organic transposition of each of the fundamental elements: Blood and Air, Lymph and Water, Yellow Bile and Fire, Black Bile and Earth.
For Hippocrates, Health is a state of equilibrium, a "proper proportion" of Humors.
We enjoy the most perfect Health when these elements are duly proportioned to each other in terms of composition and volume. Pain or disease arises when one of these elements is lacking or in excess .
In the Unani system , monitoring and observing these changes is a precise way of assessing what is happening in the organism. Therefore, a method of classifying these changes appeared, called Temperament.
Each individual has a predominant Mood to which corresponds a certain inclination: sanguine, angry, melancholic, phlegmatic.
Temperaments & Moods
Simple Temperaments : Hot, Cold, Dry, Wet
Compound Temperaments : Hot and Wet, Hot and Dry, Cold and Wet, Cold and Dry
humors, bodily fluids
Each mood has its own temperament:
Blood : Air element ⇒ Hot & humid temperament
Yellow bile: Element Fire ⇒ Hot & dry temperament
Black bile : Earth element ⇒ Cold and Se Temperament
Phlegm: Water Element ⇒ Wet and Cold Temperament
The body acts and reacts according to the presence of humors through the intermediary of the 4 main Temperaments. If the proportion of contrary elements is equal in quantity and balanced, the temperament is perfect . If the proportions of contrary elements are unequal and unbalanced, it causes disease.
The four elements are in perpetual motion. The same goes for the human body where changing these four elements is a continuous process.
Therefore, the perfect temperament is difficult to maintain.
Both physical factors : food, drinks, climate, physical activities, age, etc.
That psychological factors intervene to disturb this temperament thus causing the shift towards one of the 4 other temperaments with its own effects on the organism and health.
The 4 Unani therapies
The special techniques used in this therapy are Massage, Exercise, and Steam Bath or Hammam.
It advises modifications in the quality and quantity of the food that the patient takes.
Natural remedies are used. They can be of animal, vegetable or mineral origin.
Some special surgical methods used in Unani medicine are bloodletting, cupping, leeches, or diathermy.