Unani System of Medicine (USM), prescribes elaborate pharmaceutical processing of drugs to achieve palatability, stability absorption and assimilability, and to enhance the safety and efficacy of drugs. These objectives are obtained not only by developing various dosage forms on rationale and experimental bases but also by devising many processing (Tadabeer) techniques. This pharmaceutical processing is applied to both single (single ingredients) preparations and compound (multiple ingredient) preparations. It also has a unique speciality of adding corrective drugs (musleh advia) to counter the toxicity of main drugs. Now a days these drugs are being manufactured mostly in the classical form. Modern instruments are used in preparation of drugs. Sometimes minor alterations are made in the dosage form and due care in mind not to depart from the original essence. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) are followed in order to ensure quality of these drugs.
Unani medicine since its origin passed through many stages, countries, cultures and civilizations. It contains not only Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Arabic, Persian and Indian origin drugs and formulations but from several parts of the world. So wide variety of drugs/ mixture of drugs from different parts of world is available in Unani texts. It is duty of Unani medicine physicians/ experts to prescribe best treatment through best available drugs to the suffering humanity. Ilmul Advia (Unani Pharmacology) is an important wing of Unani system of Medicine. It is related to the identification of drugs, their pharmacological actions and uses of Mufradat (single drugs) as well as Murakkabat (compound formulations). It also includes Saidla (Unani Pharmacy) which guides in proper way to prepare Murakkabat (compound formulations).
Drug designing is one of the major concerns in any system of medicine as it is not just the efficacy and potency of any drug formulation that plays a pivotal role, but shape, taste, colour etc. also plays an important role in the intake of any medicine. This becomes more concerning in our Unani System of Medicine (USM) in the present era with special emphasis on Unani Drug Formulations.
Drug design also known as rational drug design or rational design is an splendid inventive process of new medication on the basis of biological targets. That is the invention in medical history in order to yield significant therapeutic response which enhances the therapeutic benefits of new drugs.
All other System of Medicines has modified their formulation according to the need, but in USM formulations are maintained at the same stage as they were discovered. We cannot deny the formulations made by our eminent Unani Formulations, but we need to change them according to the need today e.g Diabetes is now one of the major prevalent disease that has been now more common, so if we continue using our Unani Formulations as Majoon, Khameera, Jawarish etc. which contains 70-80% Sugar in it; it will definitely worsen the condition; and this is one of the profound reason of Why USM is not exercised at a level where it should be. Although Sugar in these type of formulations used was due to their preservation, taste correction, etc. but when it is worsening we need to search for some alternatives from natural flora which can cover up the preservation or taste etc. Such case is not only due to Sugar inclusion but Safoof (Powder) used in USM is very difficult to take, similarly Hab (Pills) or Qurs (Tablet) get broken up easily and got scattered away during storage only. Present paper will include a brief discussion on the problems arising in USM formulations and possible alternatives to solve such problem to an extent.
It has wide scope to study as well as research. As it includes evaluation identification, cultivation, collection, storage etc) of Mufradat (single drugs) and Murakkabat (compound formulation) on one hand and on the other hand their action and uses. In relation to Pharmacognosy, Pharmacology and pharmacy of modern stream it is much wider and this single discipline comprises Kulliyat Advia (Principles of drugs), Mufradat (Single drugs), Morakkabat (Compound formulations) and Saidla (pharmacy).
Doses forms of Unani drugs have been developed to achieve the basic objectives of pharmaceutical processing of drugs i.e. palatability, stability, assimilability and the enhancement of safety and efficacy.
In Unani system of medicine, drugs are used mainly in four forms. Mostly these drugs are used orally.
1. Solid form: like Habb (Pill), Qurs (Tablet), Safoof (Powder) etc.
2. Semi-solid form: like, Majoon, Jawarish, Khameera Laooq, itrifal etc.
3. Liquid form: Like Decoction (Joshanda), infusion (Kheesanda), distillate (Arq), syrup (Sharbat), drops (Qatur) etc.
4. Gaseous form: Like bakhoor (fumigation) and inkabab (steam inhalation), perfumes, Lakhlakha etc.
4. In addition to oral drugs Unani scholars also administer the drugs locally through sitz bath (Aabzan), enema (Huqna), suppository (Shiyaf), Pessary (Firzaja), liniment (Tila) etc.