Scientific Basis for the Innovative Uses of Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.) mentioned by Unani Scholars in different ailments

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Jamal Akhtar
Fouzia Bashir
Salma Bi


The Unani Medicine is a comprehensive medical system, which meticulously deals with the various states of health and disease. It provides promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare. The fundamentals, diagnosis and treatment modalities of the system are based on scientific principles and holistic concepts of health and healing. The history of Unani Medicine is traced back to ancient Egypt and Babylon, but Hippocrates (460–370 BC) is the father of Unani Medicine who set the ground for Medicine to develop it as a systematic science. Other scholars like Galen (129-200 AD); Rabban Ṭabarī (775-890 AD), al Rāzī (865-925 AD) and Ibn Sīnā (980-1037 AD) developed Unani Medicine to great heights. The system is enriched with detailed therapeutic uses of plant, mineral and animal origin drugs. Ibn Baytār’s classical pharmacopoeia describes 1400 medicinal plants and minerals, while the largest Indian compendium by Muḥammad Najm al Ghanī published in 1930, describes 2500 natural products. Unani scholars retain its traditional strength successfully and also benefitting from contemporary scientific development over the years. The system fully appropriated the paradigm of validation of existing knowledge on modern scientific parameters as well as new action of existing drugs was also discovered. Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.) is a commonly used medicinal plant of Unani Medicine which has Blood Purifier, Abortifacient, Analgesic, Astringent, Brain Tonic, Diuretic properties and used in the treatment of different diseases, e.g. Jarb-o-Hikka (Scabies), Juzaam (Leprosy), Bars (Leukoderma), Iltehaab-e-Mafasil (Arthritis), Dunbal (Boils) and Zarba-o-Saqta (bruises), Su'aal (Bronchitis), Harq-o-Salq (Burn and Scald), Humrah Dimaaghia (Erysipelas), Hasbah (Measles) and Judree (Small Pox) and Suda’ (Headache). This paper is a view to present a snapshot of the scientific aspects and the relevance of Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.) mentioned by Unani Physicians in the contemporary and emerging health scenario.

Henna, medicinal uses, antifungal activity, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory

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How to Cite
Akhtar, J., Bashir, F., & Bi, S. (2021). Scientific Basis for the Innovative Uses of Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.) mentioned by Unani Scholars in different ailments. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research, 14(1), 1-21.
Review Article


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