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The ‘Unani medicine’ is an old age system of medicine, also known as Greeko-Arab medicine, was founded by Hippocrates. The Unani medicine is based on the principle of equilibrium and balance of natural body humours (blood, bile, black bile and phlegm).
‘Arthritis’- common joint disorder characterised by joint pain and inflammation, affecting humans since ancient time and can disable humans if not treated in time. ‘Arthritis’ is a general term covering more than 100 different conditions.
In conventional treatment, pain killers, surgeries and other medical interventions are used to treat different types of arthritis; in order to relieve pain and prevent dysfunction of joints.
However, conventional treatment cannot get total control over symptoms leading to great dissatisfaction and may be disabilities in some cases.
The complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) has been proved effective in treatment of various arthritis, controlling symptoms without medicinal side effects; while improving quality life of patients.
Let’s know how the time tested Unani system of medicine helps in controlling the symptoms of various types of arthritis from renowned Unani practitioner and researcher Dr. Munshi.
Dr. Younis Munshi MD (Unani) is working as Scientist-3 in Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Dept. of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and FW.
He had already published four international and seven National publications.
Dr. Munshi had also presented one paper in San Diego University, CA, USA in 9th International Conference on Functional Foods held in August 16-19, 2012
Dr. Munshi had presented at least 13 papers in different national seminars/conferences on various topics including leeching therapy, diet therapy etc.
Can you provide brief introduction about Unani system of Medicine.
The name Unani is derived from a Greek word Ionian which means medicine- a symbol of life. Tibb means the knowledge of the states of the human body in health and illness (decline of health).
Unani Tibb strives to find the best possible ways by which a person can lead a healthy life. Hence, Unani is an age old, time tested system of medicine dating back 5000 years to Greece.
It refers to a tradition of Greeko-Arabic medicine which is based on the teachings of Greek physician Buqrat (Hippocrates; 460-377 BC) and Roman physician Jalinoos (Galen) and developed into an elaborate medical system by Arab and Persian physicians such as Al Razi (Rhazes), Avicenna (Ibne sina), Al Zahrawi and Ibn Nafis.
How unani system of Medicine, helps in treatment of arthritis?
The Unani System of Medicine is based on the humoral theory. There are 4 humors in the body viz,
- Phlegm (Balgham),
- Yellow Bile (Safra),
- Blood (Dham)
- Black Bile (Sauda).
When these four humors are in balance and equilibrium of them is maintain the body stays in healthy state. The disturbance of equilibrium or imbalance of these humors leads to diseased condition.
As far as the Arthritis is concerned the physicians of Unani system have mentioned different types of arthritis e.g. Naqras (Gout), Waja-ul-Warak (LBA), Waja-ul-Mafasil Har (Rheumatoid Arthritis), Waja-ul-Mafasil Sajiz (Osteoarthritis) etc.
All these type of arthritis are caused due to derangement of one or the other humor. While determining the course of treatment temperament of the persona and temperament of the medicine are considered. The medicines are selected on the base of disease stage, patient temperament (imbalance of particular humour) and temperament of the medicine.
The suitable medicine and regime help to balance the imbalance humour; thus treats the root cause and gives relief from the symptoms of pain and inflammation of joints
Which type of arthritis is treatable with Unani system of medicine?
As I mentioned above when all the types of arthritis are mentioned in the Unani System so the treatment is available for both osteoarthritis as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
We have studied the efficacy of Leeching (Regimental therapy) in osteoarthritis where we have been able to reduce the joint swelling of Knee by an average of 0.7 inches (Data already published).
In Rheumatoid Arthritis we had been able to reduce the DAS score from average of 6.2 to the average of 2.4 with Munzij/Mushil therapy (Concoction and Purgation) one of the regimental therapies, which prove the efficacy of Unani Medicine in both the conditions.
How is patient of arthritis treated under the treatment of Unani? Various modes of treatment?
As far as the mode of treatment is concerned we practice three options for the treatment according to the preference which are as follows:
1. Diet/Regimental therapy (Ilaj Bil Tadabeer wa Agzia)
2. Pharmaco-Therapy (Ilaj Bil Advia)
3. Surgical intervention (Ilaj Bil Yad)
First and foremost consideration is being given to Diet-Regimental therapies. If it does not show results then we shift to pharmaco therapy and last surgical Intervention may be considered.
The regimental therapies have given very positive effects in all types of arthritis. The regimental therapies include
- Turkish bath,
- Purgation etc.
These all therapies have collectively given excellent results in controlling the symptoms and general well being of patient.
What is role of Diet therapy or how diet therapy helps in treatment of arthritis?
'Prevention is better than cure'. When we adopt proper dietary regime, and take due care of Asbab-e-Sitta Zarooria (Six essentials of life) we can prevent the communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. The six essentials of life have been described as follows:
- Maakool wa Mashroob (Food and Drink)
- Body movement and rest
- Mental work and rest
- Sleep and Wakefulness
- Retention and Evacuation
So if proper balance of all these six essentials maintained, via purity and timely implementation, a human can avoid development of major chronic diseases. The adoption of proper dietary regimen can control the progress of the disease.
I have already published one paper regarding the increase of disease activity in arthritis by different diets in Pakistan Journal of Nutrition in 2008. According to it, the survey conducted in arthritis patients shows that protein rich diets aggravate the symptoms of arthritis, that includes red meat, kidney beans etc.
Also, unani system believes in detoxification (Istefarag) of the body by the way of purgation, diuresis, vanisection etc.
The detoxification of the body is advisable in the starting of a particular season to avoid seasonal diseases or aggravation of certain diseases in particular season
Regarding juvenile arthritis we had been able to treat by way of combination of certain herbs believed to be full of phyto-steroids.
How diet therapy differs from nutritional therapy?
The diet of the patient is altered by adding beneficial food substances considering diseased condition of patient. While nutrition therapy greatly deals with the nourishment you receive from food substances that you eat. Here they consider some food items are nutritious and some have less nutrition in it.
But the Unani System believes in medicinal properties of food in particular and in olden times they were not in practice of counting calories and nutrition. Here is the difference between diet therapy and nutrition therapy.
The diet has an important role as far as Unani Medicine is concerned. It has been mentioned that the food stuffs which are having hot temperament should be avoided in the diseases of joints which include most of the pulses, red meat etc.
In a classical book Al-Hawi-Fi-Tibb written by Zikriya Razi (Razis) the bird meat and fish has been mentioned to be beneficial in arthritis. In our study published in Pak J of Nutrition we have also observed that fasting has definite effect on the reduction of symptoms in arthritis which has also been supported by different modern scientific studies conducted from time to time in different European countries.
What types of drugs are used in Unani system?
Drugs or medicine are prepared from Herbs, Minerals and even, from animals also. Large number of formulations is used considering the patient illness, temperament etc. So, if we say that this herb or that herb is beneficial in controlling the specific type of Arthritis, will be wrong. Unless and until we know the patient’s temperament, we cannot predict the medication.
In what form the drugs are used?
Drugs can be used in crude form as single herb or in compound form.
What are preventive aspects of Unani?
Environmental factors and mental status of a person affects the internal balance of humours of the body and can disturb. However, maintenance of the humour via six essentials of life can provide healthy life to people.
Robert Wallace, MS, MD
"Arthritis is one of the conditions identified in the report Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action, with notable implications for the nation's health and economy. It is an important and continuing challenge to public health."
Image:national institute of Unani medicine
Exclusive interview of Dr. Purushottam Deshpande- Naturopathy cancer specialist
Cancer represents ‘the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body’. Currently, cancer is one of the leading causes of death Globally. Due to increase awareness regarding the benefits of using CAM (Complementary and alternative medicine) more and more people are turning towards the CAM to combat cancer, and to overcome the side effects of Conventional treatment including Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy.
According to the 2007 NHIS, more than one-third of adults Americans (about 38 percent) had used some form of CAM and about 40 percent of cancer survivors reported using CAM; 18 percent had used multiple CAM therapies. The CAM including, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Aromatherapy etc, are gaining popularity as a choice of treatment to improve quality life of patients. Among all, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Naturopathy are leader.
Let’s know more about the role of the alternative system of Medicine - NATUROAPTHY in the treatment of lethal disease and how Naturopathy can improve the quality life of patient from experience Naturopathic practitioner and speaker Dr. Purushottam Deshpande.
Dr. Purushottam Deshpande is PhD (Alternative Medicine) in cancer and chronic Ailments by Naturopathy and Alternative Remedies from Indian Board of Alternative Medicines.
- Former industrialist, X- president of many NGO’s, Practicing Naturopathy and alternative Remedies from 1963. He had done remarkable research in organic farming, Solid Waste Management, Naturopathy and alternative remedies for cancer and chronic ailments.
- Given extensive training to over 600 healthcare provider and Doctors for the treatment of cancer by naturopathy in Pune and Hyderabad. He also gives free training to desired persons on every Sunday.
- Regular visiting lecturer in National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune- Central government organization. Author of some books.
- Dr. Deshpande is also engaged in promotion of awareness of cancer through regular social lectures, Interviews on Aakashvani, Doordarshan, E TV, and Z TV. The awareness campaign propagates prevention, management and treatment of cancer by naturopathy.
According to Dr. Deshpande,
"In Nature nothing happens wrong automatically. For every disease there is certainly a cause. Whether it is Bacterial, Viral infection or autoimmune system disorder, if you are in good state of health, you can keep all of them away. However, wrong food habits, improper lifestyle and habits, various addiction, environmental pollution, stress and strain can collectively lead to dreaded diseases, including Cancer.
- The cancerous part of body may show some specific signs, such as the particular part may become warm with changes in colour, texture with or without swelling. Many times associated structural changes can also be seen on precise observation.
- The cancer patient starts loosing the weight due to high consumption of nutrients by cancer cells at the cost of normal cells.
- The oxygen saturation level drops some time.
- Digestive system may also be affected leading to various symptoms such as hyperacidity and poor digestion.
The naturopathy way of treatment for cancer includes various modes of treatment which includes local, external, nutritional support, detoxification and improving the levels of oxygen and alkalinity. The treatment of cancer broadly includes cold compression, chlorophyll rich juices and oil massage, chlorophyll rich juices Tarpan with herbal paste, Nutritional support through retention enema of juices and oil, juices Shirodhara, Pranayam , yoga, exercise and diet.
Is there any specific type or stage of disease (tumor) where the Naturopathic medicine is effective? Or advisable?
Almost all type of tumor, except the tumor adhering to bone or deeply situated and not accessible; can be treated with Naturopathy. I have treated and obtain positive results in many advance stage cancer, with Naturopathy. Naturopathy treatment can be combined with conventional treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Is patient with carcinoma treated differently than patient suffering from other disease? Or how the cancer patients are treated? The common components for the treatment of carcinoma.
The Treatment for carcinoma and other diseases is different with different components. The local treatment for cancer is restricted to the cancerous part only. Even, different type of cancer may be treated in various ways, For example In case of Breast cancer,cold compression is localized to breast only, however, in case of treatment of other type of cancer the cold compression is applied to Abdomen. Similarly, the treatment for other diseases is also monitored separately.
The common component of the treatment of carcinoma include,
- Cold compression
- Local Tarpan
- Juice and oil massage
- Juices shirodhara
- Retention enema
- Colon cleansing
- Stomach cleansing
- Gravitation therapy
- Intake of potential natural nutrients
- Dietary restriction
- Yoga and Pranayam
- Medicinal bath, round vessel bath, nasal treatment and
- Counseling, meditation etc.
What type of medicine given to patient of cancer or explain about different type of mode of action to treat carcinoma?
Under naturopathy treatment high potency nutritional supplement made from Wheat grass, Tulsi, Pudina, Ginger, Garlic, Guduchi, and some other plant juices, are used. Indigestible fiber, water is removed to reduce volume and weight by using the low temperature with high air pressure technique. Patient is advised to take different types of juices, oil, Prash, Cream, Extract powder and Tablets. Leafy green vegetable extract, carrot beat extract, lemon juice turmeric powder is also used. Cold Compression that is dry in nature applied.
How Naturopathic medicine / treatment improve the quality life of patient suffering from carcinoma?
Instant and long term relief from pains, stress, mental stability, good sleep, improvement in immune system, oxygen saturation level, alkalinity, are most effective means of treatment in cancer patient.
Kindly explain us, How Naturopathic medicine are beneficial in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy?
In most cases patient undergoing chemotherapy and Radiation suffer from side effect of them including low appetite, nausea, uneasiness, poor digestion, excretory problem, burning sensation, loss of sleep etc. These all side effects and many other symptoms of Carcinoma such as pain can be managed effectively by Naturopathy.
Views and Comments of all Naturopathic practitioners and Health care professional as well as from readers are welcome. Share your views to create awarness in the way to Spread Health and Wellness... Thank you.
Cancer represents ‘the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body’. Currently, cancer is one of the leading causes of death Globally. People with cancer want to do everything they can to combat the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Not only the disease the conventional treatment also can make patient exhausted.
Now, people are looking for supportive therapies to combat the disease as well as the side effects of the conventional treatment including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. More and more people are turning towards these traditional complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and therapies. The number of people who had been benefited with these therapies is increasing.
The CAM including, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, acupressure, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, aromatherapy etc, are gaining popularity as complementary therapies and are known to improve quality life of patients. However, more researches needed and are undergoing to accept some of them as alternative medicine for cancer. Among all, Ayurvedia, homoeopathy and Naturopathy are leader.
According to the 2007 NHIS, more than one-third of adults Americans(about 38 percent) had used some form of CAM and about 40 percent of cancer survivors reported using CAM; 18 percent had used multiple CAM therapies.
Let’s know more about the role of the ancient system of medicine- AYURVEDA in the treatment of lethal disease and how ayurveda can improve the quality life of patient from renowned International ayurvedic oncologist and speaker Dr. Gaurang Joshi.
Dr. Gaurang Joshi (B.A.M.S- Gold medalist) is an International Ayurveda Consultant expertise in ayurveda and oncology. He and his wife Dr. Bhavana, are running an Exclusive Ayurveda PanchaKarma Treatment center, Atharva Multispecility Ayurvedic Center at Gujarat, India. Dr. Joshi holds a position of President at International Psoriasis Foundation. Dr. Joshi and Dr. Bhavana Joshi had conducted number of researches on cancer and Ayurveda and had also represented research papers at various International conferences.
Is there any specific type or stage of disease (tumour) where Ayurvedic medicine is effective? Or advisable?
It’s Our Tragedy or Luck, But almost 90% of the Patients who wishes to undergo the Ayurvedic treatment approaches the Ayurveda consultant at very Advance Stage, either it is locally advance or locally advance with Metastasis which limits the use of Ayurveda in the initial stage of tumor(cancer). This limits the application of Ayurvedic treatment in first stage. Nevertheless, we have treated few patients successfully in very 1st Stage of carcinoma with Ayurveda system of medicine. I am glad to share our success story; we have been able to treat a couple of patients in first stage, one diagnosed with Ca.Bucul Mucosa and the other patient named Mr.Umedsinh; a Known Case of Ca.Bucul Mucosathis. Here I would like to highlight that ayurveda had great role in the treatment of 1st stage of Head and Neck cancer.
Is patient with carcinoma treated differently than patient suffering from other diseases? Or how the cancer patients are treated? The common components of treatment of carcinoma.
Ya,Cancer Treatment approach is totally different than the other disorders, also it will requires a lot of Counselling to the Patients and Relatives Of The Patients.
Cancer is a complex disease condition and to treat patient of carcinoma a practitioner must be experienced enough and need to have a sound knowledge about various types of carcinoma, its different stages, current treatments available, psychological aspect etc. Knowledge about family support and financial background also plays an important role in the treatment of cancer.
Ayurvedic treatment along with conventional treatment (radiotherapy or chemotherapy) specific diet plan, lifestyle management all together helps to improve the quality life of patient.
Cancer Treatment in Ayurveda can be categorised as below,
In this part, known as well as Herbs (medicines) that have shown encouraging results in treatment of cancer are used. However, more researches are undergoing to determine Ayurveda as alternative medicine for cancer treatment.
The Ayurvedic Treatment can be used along with the modern treatment to combat their side effects and improve the quality of life. Supportive treatment especially for rehabilitation, such as
- Yoga ,
- Micro biotic diet etc. had been successful in improving the quality life of patient.
As per ancient Ayurvedic text, an individual can stay away from cancer and other chronic diseases if he follows the basic rules of swasthvritta(Hygiene), Ahara(Diet), Vihara(Life Styles).
Many Ayurvedic herbs (medicines) have been proved effective in increasing immunity of a person. The remedies that are known to have anti inflammatory properties are also recommended in the treatment of cancer; depending on the case.
Role of Diet to Prevent Cancer:
Among the Many Anticancer Compound present in fruits and vegetables, Phytochemicals are the most important, as it block carcinogen action ,block the promotion and progression of cancer cells. Intake of lots of fruits and vegetables daily can help us to prevent the development of cancer. Anticancer Molecules present in them can control the progress of the disease to the lethal advance stage.
Ayurveda Panchakarma Treatment for Cancer (Detoxification Treatment):
Panchakarma means five types of therapeutic measures. These are undertaken for the purification of the body. As per ayurveda principles, the Panchkarma is necessary before starting any of the therapy. For this they explained, “As a cloth needs to be purified or cleaned of impurities and dust before it can be permeated with a new color, similarly the body needs to be purified before it can be permeated with new colors of youthfulness, health and vigor etc.”.
Herbs that are commonly used in Cancer Treatment :
- Aswagandha(withenia Somnifera)
- Satavari(Asparagous Racemosus)
- Guduchi(Tinospora cordifolia)
Some popular Anticancer Herbs:
- Soya Beans(Glycine Max)
- Tulsi: Occimum sanctum
- Punarnava(Boerhavia diffussa)
- Gomutra: cow’s urine
- Aloe vera:
- Vasha: Adhatoda vasika
- Raudra rasa, Guggula, Nityananda Ras etc….
- Tulsi(Occimum Sanctum)
- Neem(Azadirecta Indica)
- Bhallataka (Semecarpus Anacardium)
- green tea
Can Ayurvedic medicine and treatment be taken along with chemotherapy or radiotherapy?
Ans. Why not? Ayurveda Treatment can be taken by patient who is undergoing Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy; under the guidance of qualified Ayurveda Consultant. Ayurvada had helped greatly to combat the side effects of these treatments and it also enhances positive effect of these treatments ensuring the better outcome. However, to gain the maximum benefits, a balance of other component of treatment such as personal observation, Diet, appropriate selection of herbs by experienced Ayurvedic practioner etc. is must.
How Ayurvedic medicine/treatment improve the quality life of patient suffering from Carcinoma?
Ayurveda -an oldest system of medicine originated in India represents “Science of life” and longevity. At a stage, particularly in advance stage; when Pain Management is most important and Modern science loses the hope; Ayurveda can play an important role to help patient improve their quality of life. A great combination of specific herbs, non medicinal procedures such as Systematic rubbing of the affected part i.e. massage through application of heat, cold or local applications of herbal analgesic oil, ointment. For pain relief, massage is most effective when using slow, steady, circular motions.
Along with massage the specific diet helps patients greatly to deal with severe pain.
Also, Ayurvedic treatment taken side by side or after radiotherapy or chemotherapy had been proved to reduce significantly the side effects including,
- Vomiting, nausea
- Mouth ulcer with pain
- Loss of appetite
- Gastric Ulcer
- Loss of body hairs
- Skin infection
- Severe weakness
- Irregular menses
- severely low immunity
- Renal toxicity
- Cardiac problem
- Hepatic insufficiency
Kindly explain us how ayurvedic medicine are beneficial in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
As mention earlier, Ayurvedic treatment helps greatly in pain management and reducing the side effects of radiotherapy as well as chemotherapy. In a number of researches we have obtained an encouraging findings and data proving the successful efficacy of Ayurveda to reduce the side effects.
Can you give us information regarding the latest research or case studies findings suggesting the role of ayurvedic medicine in case of carcinoma?
The details of research project conducted by us are as follow:
- Role of Medicated Enema for preventing or Reducing the severity of CT/RT induced bleeding P/R, Piles, Skin Reactions in any Pelvic Tumor
- Roll of Ashwagandha to Prevent and Manage the Side effect Of Radio Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer.
- ROLL OF AYURVEDA TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN ADVANCED CANCER...PHARMACOLOGICAL TERATMENT OF CANCER PAIN(This Project is currently going on with Department Of Pharmaceutical Sciences,Saurashtra University)
Let us know more about your research and research papers submitted by you at various National and International Medical conferences.
- Conducted a collaborative research project at Lions cancer detection center, surat entitled "Ayurvedic Medicinal Oils" as a complimentary treatment for colorectal cancer caused by chemo & radio therapy under direct super vision of Dr.S.P.Shrivastav(M.D.) Chief Radiation Oncologist & Medical Director) from 2004 to 2006.
- Working on a collaborating research project to reduced the side effect of Radio Therapy & Chemotherapy in all types of cancer with Dr. Manisha David(M.D. Radiation Oncologist) at Gohil Cancer hospital, Navsari since 2005.
- Also doing the research work on the effect of Panchakarma treatment on Molecule levels with Dr.Narayan Patel(Ph.D.) Director of I.H.P.,U.S.A. and Dr.Madhukant Pandya (M.D. Ayurveda) Ayurveda Center, U.S.A.
- Invited By The University Of Indonesia,Faculty Of Pharmacy,As An International Speaker For the International Symposium 'Pharweek2011',Depok, Indonesia, represented 'Ayurveda as A Cancer Treatment',9th-10th September,2011.
- Presnted the Research Paper Titled ‘Phase I Randomized Study Of Jatyadi Oil Enema for Preventing Or Reducing The Severity Of Radiotherapy - Induced Bleeding P/R Or Piles in Patients with Anal Or Rectal Cancer,Cervical Cancer Or Any Pelvic Tumor‘ At World Ayurveda Congress International Conference at Jaipur,December 2009.
- Research Paper on Cancer at ‘RAJAYUCON 2009‘ ,The National Conference On Ayurveda at Rajkot, June 2009
- Attended 50 national and 2o International Ayurveda Conferences as a Guest Speaker and Key Note Speaker and also presented Research Papers in all Conferences.
- Paper Presented and invited as a Speaker at World Conference On Ayu-2012 at Pune Organised By International Academy Of Ayurveda on 5,6,7th January on Cancer and Psoriasis...the subject is Updated Approach In The Management Of Psoriasis and Cancer In Ayurveda .
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- Treating Arthritis with an Age Old “Unani” system of Medicine in Featured Interviews
- Naturopathy- Scope and Limitation in treatment of Cancer in Featured Interviews
- Exclusive Interview of Dr. Gaurang Joshi, International Ayurvedic consultant and speaker, speciality cancer (Oncology) in Featured Interviews