Hypertension in Unani System of Medicine
Danish Ali, Tabassum Latafat, B.D. Khan, Jamal Azmat and Md. Wasi Akhtar
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine January – March 2017, Vol. 12 No. 1, Pages 21-30
Unani scholars were all mindful of Zaght-e-damwi (blood pressure). They viewed Zaghta-e-Inqabazi as Systole and Zaghta-e-Inbesati as Diastole. The organs of dissemination have been portrayed by Ibn Nafees (1208- 1289). The term hypertension or Zaghtuddam Qawi has not been used as such in any of the established Unani writings. Rather Unani physicians have described hypertension as Imtila Ba Hasbil Auiya and said this happens because of sue- e-mizaj damwi. They were aware of the hypertension, as they have discussed it in terms of giving a detailed account of its related symptoms such as migraine, palpitation, vertigo and epistaxis etc. Few of them described expanded blood volume in lumen of veins as the cause of hypertension. They further described that hypertension is an appearance of yabusat-e-mizaj (dryness of temperament) which is the primary cause of atherosclerosis (Tasallub-e-Sharaeen). Imtila has been mentioned as one of the reasons for khafqan (palpitation) and other disorders. Thus Imtila appears to be a correlate of hypertension. Later on Unani physicians coined the term Zaghtuddam Qawi for hypertension. Unani scholars appear to give vivid description of the circulatory disease determinants including hypertension however they were unable to assimilate their depictions to designate the malady. Imtila has been attributed to be associated with migraine, congested eyes, pulsatile conduits, puffiness of face, heavy head, anxiety, yawning, epistaxis, torpidity, flushing of face, warm body with no outside cause and ejections etc which are the symptoms and indicators of hypertension. The principle of treatment has been established by Unani physicians in the light of its physiopathology and the clinical features. There appears to be a great degree of similarity in Unani
and that of modern concept of hypertension.