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Inhalation Therapy and Unani Medicine

Mohammad Saad Ahmad Khan and *M.M.H. Siddiqui

Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine July - September 2012, Vol. 7 No. 3, Pages 47-57


It is tempting to think of inhalation therapy as a modern approach to drug delivery, but this would negate some thousands of years of history and literally hundred of ingenious devices and hopeful medications. The first recorded use of inhalation therapy is from ancient Egyptian Ebrus Papyrus (1554 BC). In Unani Medicine the Greek physician Hippocrates (460- 370BC) advocated the inhalation of vapors of herbs. Over a thousand year later Zakariya Razi, an Arab physician commonly known as Rhazes in western world advocated the inhalation of vapor of arsenic. More recently at the end of the 12th century, Maimonides, the physician of Sultan Saladin recommended the inhalation of vapor generated from herbs thrown in to the fire for the treatment of asthma. In Unani Medicine inhalation therapy is in use from a very long time and in future it can be used more effectively by adapting the recent advancement in basic sciences and inhalation therapy. The present study attempts to summarize the basic principles of inhalation therapy and its use in Unani Medicine.

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