Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unani Medicine for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

The Central Council for Research in Unani medicine, under the leadership of Hakim Syed Khaleefatullah, has been carrying out research on infective hepatitis for the past many years. A large study on the effect of Unani medicine, Tukhm-e-Kasni on Iltahabe-e-Kalid(infective hepatitis) was carried out at the Uniani Regional Institute, Madras. The Tukhm-e-Kasni was administered with honey and nausbader. A report incorporating the result of this trial was published in 1992 by the Council. The result indicated that out of 290 cases, eighty-two had complete remission at the end of ten days treatment while ninety-seven cases were relieved after treatment for twenty days. Another eighty-seven cases had remission at the end of treatment for thirty days. These encouraging trials now need to be reported with a double blind controlled study.

The main ingredient is a plant known as Kasni, botanically identified as Cichorium intybus. The fruits are used after drying for this preparation. The method of preparation as described in the monograph is as follows “Heat the honey on a stove till it reaches the ‘Qimam’ stage; then add Naushader and allow it to cool. After cooling, add the Tukhm-e-Kasni powder and

Make it into a paste (Majoon).” The adult dose is 10-15gm three times a day before meals. Interestingly, there is no mention of this plant in the compilation on medicinal plants of India. It is, however, widely used in Unani medicine. Japanese scientists have also been investigating the effect of plants in patients with viral hepatitis which is a serious problem in Japan. Glycyrrhizin obtained from the plant Glycyrrhizae radix has been administered intravenously in patients in a multicentred double blind trial. This reduced the raised levels of enzymes seen in viral hepatitis. Other trials have been carried out with a preparation called TJ-9 which contains seven crude drugs.

One of these plants is the Bupleuri radix. The root of this plant is used. Result of tests carried out on eighty patients clearly indicated that the combination was effective in treating chronic viral hepatitis.

Finally, a substance, gomisin isolated from the fruit of schzandrae fructus when administered to experimental animals induced a hepatoprotective effect. This has now to be experimented in patients. It appears very clearly that the world of plants will perhaps provide hepatoprotective substance to the world, in the years to come.


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