Relevance of Traditional Unani (Greco-Arab) System of Medicine in Cancer: An Update

  • Mohd Kashif Husain
  • Mohd Khalid
  • Goli Penchala Pratap
  • Munnawar Husain Kazmi


Cancer is one of the most dreadful diseases worldwide. The incidence of cancer has drastically increased in low- and middle-income countries and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed countries. Use of alternative medicines along with conventional ones against cancer managed the symptoms, control side effects, and improve the quality of life and mental state. Indian systems of medicine (ISM) including Unani (Greco-Arab medicine) have been used for healing and preventative health care all over the world since decades. Cancer (Arabic-Sartan) has been well described in Unani classical texts as a hard inflammation (Warm-e-Salabat) with lesion. The cancer management in Unani system includes regimenal therapy (Ilaj bi’l-Tadbir), dietotherapy (Ilaj bi’l-Ghidhā), pharmacotherapy (Ilāj bi’l-Dawā), and surgery (Ilāj bi’l-Yad). In pharmacotherapy, many Unani drugs have been evaluated preclinically (in vitro and in vivo studies) for its anticancer activities and found to be very effective, but unfortunately, no attention has been paid to explicate the efficacy of compound formulations of these Unani medicines in cancer management, till date. The aim of this chapter is to exploit and bring together the Unani system of medicine with conventional cancer therapies at interdisciplinary and integrative levels and also to discuss the future strategies for the prevention and management of cancer.


Sartan Cancer Unani medicine Integrative oncology 



MK Husain is thankful to Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, for the Young Scientist Award, 2017. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of either CCRUM or CRIUM.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohd Kashif Husain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohd Khalid
    • 3
  • Goli Penchala Pratap
    • 1
  • Munnawar Husain Kazmi
    • 2
  1. 1.Survey of Medicinal Plants UnitCentral Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM, Under CCRUM)HyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Ilmul Adviya (Unani Pharmacology)Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM, Under CCRUM)HyderabadIndia
  3. 3.Swasthya Rakshan Parikshan ProgrammeCentral Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM, Under CCRUM)HyderabadIndia

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