Future prospects of fermentation in unani based drugs

Kumar, Kishore ; Zakir, Mohammed

Abstract

Unani system of medicine is being practiced in India for hundreds of years for treating various ailments by its holistic approach with natural means and drugs. Unani formulations are based on herbal, mineral and animal origin. Till date, there is no major development in different forms of the drugs and are being used as they are mentioned in the classical literature. There is need of the hour to devise pharmaceutical processing techniques to achieve palatability, more stability, absorption and assimilability of both single and compound Unani drugs without deviating from the original essence as described in the literature. Fermentation (Takhmīr) may be explored as a unique tool for the modification of dosage forms for herbal Unani drugs. It is a process of chemical change caused by organisms or their products for transformation to another compound of medicinal value. It extracts a wide range of active ingredients from the herb than any other methods of extraction. During fermentation, undesirable molecules like sugars are removed from plant extracts and made the product more bio-available and stable, less toxic and more efficient. In the Unani system of medicine, various products have been mentioned in classical literature where the process of the fermentation is applied for the preparation of drugs like Sirka, Nabeez, Dar Bahra, etc. Fermentation based drugs used in Ayurveda are Asvas and Arishthas are generally found superior to extracts for absorption in the gut with enhanced therapeutic properties, quicker action, and longer shelf life. In order to achieve better therapeutics in Unani Drugs, the process of development of compound formulation based on fermentation should be adopted for different forms of Unani formulations.

Keyword(s)

Bioavailability; Fermentation; Jawarishat; Majoonat; Pharmaceutical; Therapeutic

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