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Nature’s Sustainable Aqua Gift — Pearl in Unani medicine


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Unani medical system is a holistic approach of science and human body. It is a natural and simple method of extracting from nature and based on the way body responses. Although several researches are working to find solutions for many diseases, this system still have not gained the popularity in the modern world for the developers in this field and beneficial for the patients. This paper explains the importance of sustaining the Unani system and drugs made from component (Pearl- Marwareed) obtained from marine animal, providing insight on good aquaculture practice in India. Hence, exploring the Islamic perspective of Unani medicine, the safety contour of the drugs and the usage of pearl in its preparation. The data were collected from personal interview with Hakeem (Physician with wisdom) across India and extensive literature as well as recommendation to promote Unani medical system in India. Significant sustainable strategies are suggested for further improvement in Aquaculture industry. We suggest policy makers and researchers focus more on implementation of best techniques and technology to develop Indian Aquaculture products and they usage in traditional medicinal system ‘Unani’
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Journal of Halal Industry and Services
Original Research Article
Mumtaz Rabbani1*, Betania Kartika Muih1, Khairusy Syakirin1
1International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Gombak, Selan-
Nature’s Sustainable Aqua Gi — Pearl in Unani medicine
Abstract: e Unani medical system is a holistic approach of science and the human body. It is a natural and simple method of
extracting from nature and based on the way body responses. Contrary to the prevalent credence,good health is always associated
with nutritious food and active lifestyle, but historical facts have laid a sturdy substructure that a natural gem-like Pearl hashigher
impact rate on the human body. Reports indicate that India is one of the top countries welcoming more medical tourists and the
industry is expected to grow to $8 billion this year. is paper explains the importance of sustaining the Unani system and drugs
made from a component (Pearl-Marwareed) obtained from a marine animal, providing insight on good aquaculture practice in
India. Hence, exploring the Islamic perspective of Unani medicine, the safety contour of the drugs and the usage of pearl in its
composition. e data were collected from personal interviews with Hakeem (physicianswith wisdom) across India and extensive
literature. is paper recommends to promote Unani medical tourism in India. us, generating positive statistics and providing
signicant sustainable strategies for further improvement in the Aquaculture industry. Policymakers and researchers need to focus
more on implementation of best techniques and technology to develop Indian traditional products and theirusage in traditional
medicinal system ‘Unani.
Keywords: Unani system of medicine; Pearl-Marwareed; Aquaculture practice; safety contour; sustainable strategies.
Received: 30th October 2019
Accepted: 3rd February
Published Online: 2nd March 2020
Citation: Rabbani M, Muih BK & Syakirin K. Nature’s Sustainable Aqua Gi — Pearl in Unani medicine. J Halal Ind Serv 2020;
3(Special Issue): a0000060.
Copyright © 2020 by Rabbani M et al. and HH Publisher. is work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Lisence
(CC-BY-NC4.0) 1
Mumtaz Rabbani, International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART),
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia; mum-
Unani Medical System in India
It originated in Greece, was developed by Persian
and Arab physicians who brought the system to India part of
the various alternative medical systems of India which include
Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Siddah and Homeopathy. e Indian
subcontinent has been a permanent home for the growth in
Unani science and medicines. Currently, India is the global leader
of Unani medicine and has its wide network of a well-organised
and functional network of educational, healthcare, research and
Pharmaceutical institutions (Ur-Rahman, 2013). is system
is popular among masses with Unani Hakeem (physicians &
practitioner) scattered across the nation. e vital role is to
form an integral part of national health care delivery structure
(AYUSH, 2019)
Figure 1.Advantageous attributes of Indian System of Medicine (AYUSH) (Author’s source)
Figure 1demonstrates the benecial and advantageous
attributes of the Indian systems of Medicine which include
Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddah and Homeopathy commonly
known as AYUSH. Tender steps are beingtaken by the
Government and great dedication and consideration areprovided
to the multi-facet advancement of Unani medical system to
use its potential strength in Indian healthcare services. Despite
several measures taken Unani has not gained much recognition
in the ultra-modern planet. According to Itrat (2016),this is due
to the lack of research data and lack of adequate accepted research
methodology for understanding and evaluating Unani medicine.
Indeed, it is fascinating and incredible the work of these Unani
practitioners and physicians in using these remarkable resources
into their drugs to cure the illness since it has become a part of the
mainstream system of medicine in India, Bangladesh, the Islamic
Republic of Iran, Pakistan (WHO, 2010). Although several
researchers are working to nd solutions for many diseases,
this system still hasnot gained popularity in the modern world
amongthe developers in this eld, despite the benecial fact for
the patients.
Ideally, India would blend both its traditional and
conventional medicinal systems to provide the best care to its
medical patients in the best feature that matches each system and
grantsallowance to compensate each other’s’ weakness in the eld
of treatment and research.
Nature’s Sustainable .....
Islamic perspective of Unani medicine
Although this formal medicine was developed by the
Greek physician Hippocrates (Irfan, 2011), the latter portion was
established by the Persian, Arab physicians. One such great scholar
who wrote many books but one such book caught fame chiey
was ‘al-Qanun, the classical medical book in which the great
Muslim physician and Polymath Ibn Sina popularly referred to as
‘e Prince of Physicians’ wrote and constituted the Proponents
of Tibb al-Unani (Avicenna-Ibn Sina, n.d.). Eventually, this
famous book became the Medical authority and inuenced the
development of Medical science and its therapeutics. Tibb Unani
is basically Greco-Islamic medicine (Leslieet al., 1992) and the
literature wasoriginally translated from Greek to Persian, then
secondarily into Arabic text, by the Muslims who were non-
Unani medicine is considered as the Halal version
of Indian pharmaceuticals and drug industry (Islam &
Chandrassekaran, 2013). It is the best alternative for non-
alcoholic and vegetarian consumers for its Halal conscious aspect
and its composition. A new term with core holistic principle has
evolved in recent studies called Halalopathy(Cochrane, 2019).
According to Jawad Alzeer, this Halalopathy is not new, but the
approach was advanced by the Greeks and propagated by Islamic
polymaths including Ibn Sina, al-Biruni and al-Razi (Cochrane,
2019) whose inuence is apparently present in the Asian countries
and referred to as Unani. Good health and sickness are closely
related in Islam as it teaches Muslims to be more understanding
ohe concept of suering and death which is considered as part
of life. Muslims believe everything that is bestowed upon us is
by the will of God and indeed it is a test for humanity. us,
Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him (PBUH) has shared the
importance of showing respect for the body and maintaining it
with good health. One such Hadith says: ‘Your body has a right
over you’ (Unity, 2017) and the Prophet PBUHalso stated that
Verily there is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also
created its cure’ (Bukhari) (Rassool, 2014). In addition, health in
Islam is based on the regime of hygiene/cleanliness which is a
part of faith. erefore, creating a better and healthy community
to ght against illness. Physicians must possess the quality of
mercy and without the permission of Allah it is impossible to
deal with mutual respect between both parties: e physician
and the patient. Consequently, in Islam,the reward of caring for
a sick person is high and will be multiplied if done with proper
treatment and intention.
Methodology and Data Analysis
e research was carried out based on the interest of
Aquaculture in relation to its component usage in the age-old
Unani system of medicine. Both primary and secondary sources
were utilised to generate results. Personal interviews with several
well acquainted Hakeem (Unani physician) (Usmani, 2018)
were conducted to collect the data on resources used during
the preparation of drugs and to compile a percentage gure
based on the data received. Data on the usage of pearl as an
ingredient in Unani drugs, itseectiveness, proportion and safety
contour of drugs were collected and compiledthrough published
articles and personal interviews. Information from various
publicationswasused to analysethe current trend of Aquaculture
practice in India and the signicance of pearl usage in Unani.
Table 1. Medical Stakeholder roles in Traditional Healthcare system
Role in Medical system No. of Interviewees
Government Unani Administrators
Private Sector Unani Hakeem
Public Sector Unani Hakeem
Interviews(n=6) were conducted both in English and
Urdu. Digital recorders were used during interviews and each
interview waslater transcribed by the author. Aer successive
transcription, all data were surveillance closely for potential
criteria of this study.
Usage of Aqua-animal based component (Pearl) in
preparation of Unani Medicine
Unani is one of the oldest medicinal systems based on
its validity of principles in addition to its method of treatment.
Pearls are calcareous concretions (Dubey, Dubey, Mehta, Saluja,
& Jain, 2009) which are formed as protection against the minute
particles or parasites which penetrate between the mantle and
shell causing irritation in the mollusc. Consequently, these
foreign objects deposit and form as an irregular or spherical
shaped blister under the layer of the shell obtaining Pearl. e
Unani common name given to pearl is ‘Marwareed’ (Jamal et al.,
2006). Very frequent usage of pearl powder is at the highest rank
in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. Pearl is used in ash
form for its potential as an oral immunomodulator (Elahiet al.,
2014). erefore, pearl used in ash, calcinated and powder form
isused to treat various illnesses which include heart weakness,
myocardial degenerations, tuberculosis and habitual abortions
(Elahiet al., 2014). ese gems have been adored and admired
as a symbol of beauty and power. Studies reported ancient
Ayurvedic and Unani physicians have used powered pearls in
their medicines (Modayil & Kripa, 2001). However, they stated
the whitening eect of the toothpaste was most probably due to
the chemical eect. e market for halal food and products is
growing robustly, both domestically and internationally (Zakaria
& Buang, 2004).
Usage of pearl powder in Unani and Ayurvedic
medicines is believed to generate cosmic energy and cure
several illnesses(Jadhav, 2009).Whereas the unique preparation
of Herbo-mineral (botanical herbs and mineral pearl) used for
treating Tuberculosis, Diabetes, Asthma, cough (Wavareet al.,
2014). Several preparational method this gem is mentioned in
Unani therapeutics (Wavareet al., 2014).
Numerous formulations are used in dierent dosage for
the cosmetic purpose in which the term is usually referred to as
cosmeceutical. Some formulation contains a single dose of herb
(plant-based), mineral/metal or animal-based origins like amla,
almonds, neem, pearl, cucumber, aloe vera, clay and a few others
to sought as a drug, thus (Begum & Idris, 2016) claiming to be
scientically validated to prove the accuracy of Unani medicine.
Aquaculture management in Pearl Oyster in India
Aquaculture practice isworked out on an annual basis
in India (SathiaDhaset al., 2009). e Aquaculture industry has
seen tremendous growth in the last few decades, India with the
production of approx. 2.3 million tons per annum (SathiaDhaset
al., 2009) is considered as the second largest Aquaculture
producer. Despite its contribution is only around 5% out of the
entire global production. India practises a traditional method
Mumtaz Rabbani et al.
of coastal aquaculture. e Indian version of pearl is named
as Mukta. e Aquaculture industry has seen a remarkable
expansion in recent years with major development in states like
Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
and Punjab (Mishra, 2017). In general, pearl production is a
challenging task ‘for the suite of numerous factors and processes
that need to be understood and mastered’ (Charpy & Lo, 2012).
e technique of pearl culturing was initially started by the
Chinese where pearl objects were rst developed in freshwater
mussel (Modayil & Kripa, 2001). ese precious gems were used
in old Traditional Chinese medicines.
Realising the utmost importance of pearl culturing,
the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA),
Bhubaneswar, India, initiated research in 1987 and evolved base
technology for growing pearl freshwater environment (Ram,
1997). e process to culture pearl involves various implantation
procedures. e culture of implanted mussels requires both
biological and physiochemical conditions (Ram, 1997).
e opportunity to cultivate approximately 73 dierent
marine organisms are highly potentfor the pharmaceutical/
drug industry due to its importance which includes nshes,
crustaceans, MOLLUSCS, seaweeds and sea cucumber (Devaraj
& Appukkuttan, 2000) along the shallow coastal region. e
natural resource of pearl oysters is found in the Gulf of Mannar
and Gulf of Kutch (SathiaDhaset al., 2009), it requires a long-term
investment for a successful process due to the high demand of
pearls which are classied into categories based on their quality,
size and shape and uniformity of coating. Indian pearl market has
been preparing to enter the worlds largest pearl merchandising
business. is could not be possible without extensive planned
research and developmental strategies constructed to grow and
produce ‘two types of pearls — golden and black pearl (Modayil
& Kripa, 2001) in order to enter theinternational market for
marine pearl industry.
Safety Contour of Unani medicine
e prole of Unani medicine is < 92% of medicinal plants
and herbs used. Basically, these drugs are from herbal sources,
therefore making theman herbal product or therapy for easy
consumption. While the rest > 5% is from minerals, metallic
and animal origin. e speciality is these drugs are collected
and processed by the Unani physicians themselves based on the
essential proportion.
Figure 2 illustrates the percentage of various resources
used in the preparation of Unani drugs. esedata regarding the
resources used during the preparation wereobtained from several
Unani practitioners and physicians (Usmani, 2018) across India
and from primary sources.
Despite the search for new research techniques and
preparation of Unani medicine, valid data areyet to be conrmed
based on its physicochemical parameters and activities (Wavareet
al., 2014). Nationwide seminars are conducted in favour of
Unani profound scholars, academicians to highlight treatments
for various non-communicable diseases such as hypertension,
mental illness, diabetes, obesity and many more through Unani
system. “Clinical and pharmacological studies are being carried
out at dierent Unani research institutions and hospitals of India
showing good results” (INDIA, 2018).
Implementation of Signicant Sustainable Strategies in
utilisation of Pearl in Unani
1. e subsequent measures will contribute to the
sustainability of pearl production and its usage in Unani.
In collaboration with government policies, extensive
positive factors can have a huge impact on the industry.
2. Creating awareness and promoting good farm management
practice in the Indian aquaculture industry.
3. Development of human resource administration.
4. Environment awareness program.
5. Monitoring and constant recording of Ecosystem health.
6. Investigating the potential utilisation of pearl in Unani
drugs as Aqua medicine.
7. Setting a proper design research chart to support
Aquaculture farmers in India.
8. Promotion of positive and eective socio-economic
environment for the local pearl communities.
9. Need for future Government policies to set sustainable
schemes to encourage pearl farming in collaboration with
Unani Drug Labs.
10. Require great technology with government intervention.
11. Largely organised and coordinative eorts to promote the
Unani system of medicine in Southeast countries due to its
Muslim friendly nature.
Challenges faced
ere is a vast dierence in the methodical and
technical teachings of medical systems such as Ayurveda, Unani
and Siddha (AUS) in India. is is especially with the domestic
market contributing more to the demand and supply of freshwater
aquaculture products, lack of proper infrastructure processing
facilities (Jong, 2017)impairs the access to quality products.
e pattern diers among areas. “Poor exposure to clinical
skills, poorly equipped colleges and reliance on rote learning
are major deterrents to quality AUS physicians” (Patwardhan,
2019).Promoting traditional herbal medicines comes with more
challenges (Sen & Chakraborthy, 2016) such as; 1.Quality and
administration issues, 2.Infrastructure and technology issues,
3.Irrational Clinical issues, and 4.Lack of adequate R&D.
Based on the pharmacological eect of the (pearl-
marwareed) dose; prepared in accurate proportion by Hakeem
(Unani physician) the eect could change with a dierent dose
Figure2. Percentage of resources used in preparation of Unani Drugs
(Author’s source)
Nature’s Sustainable .....
of the same drug. Mainstreaming quality of Health and usage
of herbal traditional medicine will provide thefunctionality of
these gems in Unani medicine which isconsumable, ensuring the
Halal factor and the quality of the medicine and cultured pearl
used. Since it attracts more Muslim medical patients who are also
domestic and international medical tourists. e country must
support qualied physicians and practitioners of this traditional
medicine by establishing strong systems for accreditation and
licensing the Unani dispensaries or clinics with Halal certication
from well-organised and focused Halal certication bodies
namely Halal India and others. Considering the requirements and
safety of medical patients, the practitioners must upgrade their
knowledge and skills of having better communication between
traditional physicians and conventional providers.
e higher potentiality the better the progress
and prospects of the Traditional System. If both Ministry of
AYUSH and Ministry of Tourism join together, the possibility of
a winning situation will be elevated for AYUSH and promotion
of Traditional Medical Tourism in India. Proper investment
opportunities for pearl farmers can generate high quality of pearl
production with improvement in aquaculture practice across
farming regions. erefore, providing a better business venture
for pearl farmers inclusive of good lifestyle through Unani.
Conict of Interest
e authors declare that there is no conict of interest in this
e authors are thankful to the Ministry of Education of Malaysia
for the funding through FRGS/1/2018/SSI03/UIAM/02/3grant.
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... The Co-founder of Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences, Prof. Syed Ziaur Rahman, says that USM is highly effective in curing chronic diseases [6]. The attributes of USM made its high approachable among the folks such as Heterogeneity nature, Affordability, Easy accessibility, and Flexibility [7]. This system takes the whole body, which is filled with fluids that interact with the environment. ...
... The government needs to promote the Unani medical system across the globe. Tibb Unani medical system is gaining more significance among Non-Muslims of India [7]. Researchers aim to cater to the needs of Muslim medical patients and observe specialized therapies and proper management facilities of the whole system. ...
... Modern research helps us to get a more scientific view of this medical system [31,32]. Currently there is a lack of research data and lack of adequate accepted research methodology for understanding and evaluation of Unani medicine [33]. ...
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The miswak, a traditional chewing stick for cleaning teeth, is made from the plant Salvadora persica. It contains a wide range of healthy components in maintaining good oral hygiene. The objective of this study is to determine the effectiveness of whitening toothpaste containing Salvadora persica extract at removing tea and chlorhexidine stain by comparing with one of commercially available whitening toothpaste and drinking water as a control group. A randomized experimental study was done. The standard method cycled clear acrylic specimens through artificial saliva, 0.2% chlorhexidine and tea on the hour 8 times per day and stain were measured using a spectrophotometer to achieve baseline reading. Test interventions were 2 whitening kinds of toothpaste; whitening toothpaste containing Salvadora persica extract (group A), commercial whitening toothpaste (group B) and drinking water as a control group (group C). Treatment interventions were done at 09:00 and 16:00 by exposing the specimens to slurries of each treatment for 2 minutes. The specimens remained in the artificial saliva between each cycles day and night. At the end of the day, the stain was assessed by spectrophotometer and Lobene Stain Index. The comparison of total stain removal assessed by spectrophotometer on day 5 between all groups was significant (p=0.007). The median of total stain removal and visual assessment recording using Lobene stain index showed Salvadora persica whitening toothpaste scored more reduction of staining followed by commercial whitening toothpaste and then control group. As a conclusion, the whitening toothpaste containing Salvadora persica is more effective at removing tea and chlorhexidine stain.
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In spite of incredible advances in modern science, technology and allopathic medicine a large we are unable to provide quality healthcare to all. Traditional medicine particularly herbal medicine considered as a major healthcare provider around the globe particularly in rural and remote areas. A large section of people depends on such medicine for their primary healthcare mainly in underdeveloped or developing countries. Indian traditional medicinal system like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani has a very rich history of their effectiveness; modern research also acknowledged the importance of such medicine. Indian traditional medicine or medicinal plants are also considered as a vital source of new drug. Mainstreaming of such medicine is important for the people. Several steps have been taken in India to promote such medicine and to integrate them into clinical practice. Evidence based incorporation of Indian traditional medicine in clinical practice will help to provide quality healthcare to all.
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Peptic ulcer is the erosion in lining of stomach or duodenum. The word ‘Peptic’ refers to pepsin, a stomach enzyme that break downs proteins. Peptic ulcer located in the stomach is called gastric ulcer. Normally the linings of the stomach and small intestine have protection against the irritating acid produced in stomach. For a variety of reasons, the protective mechanism may become faulty, leading to a breakdown of the lining. The result is inflammation (gastritis) or an ulcer. It is believed that adults in high stress jobs are mostly affected by gastric ulcer, but people of any age even children are found affected by this problem. Ulcer is curable with the combination of different kind of antibiotics, an acid reducer and H2 receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors, etc., which are expensive to a common man and have prolong side effects also. In Unani system of medicine plants, animals as well as mineral origin drugs are being used clinically for the treatment of this disease without any side effect. These are time tested, centuries old, safe for use and cost effective. However, there is a need to maintain their purity, quality and safety by subjecting to scientific validation. Experimentally studied as well as potential medicinal plants used for gastric ulcer in Unani system of medicine are being discussed in this paper. © 2018, National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR). All rights reserved.
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Abstract Rassool GH (2015) Cultural competence in nursing Muslim patients. Nursing Times; 111: 14, 12-15. Delivering high-quality care to Muslim patients involves having an awareness of the ramifications of the Islamic faith and Islamic beliefs. Nurses need to understand the implications of spiritual and cultural values for clinical practice. They should be aware of the need for modesty and privacy, the appropriate use of touch, dietary requirements and use of medications. This article reviews the key issues involved in delivering culturally competent care to Muslim patients
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This conceptual paper provides a general understanding about Halal and Islamic marketing. Based on the limited published literature available we have tried to understand the status of various categories of Halal products and services in Islamic and Muslim majority countries. The concept of Halal or Islamic marketing was traditionally understood to apply to food products and banking & financial services but its increasing consciousnessis seen among consumers of other product categories like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, education, leisure & entertainment and hospitality & tourism services. Many multinational companies have scored very well on the Noor Index that measures the Halal-ness of brands as perceived by consumers. Further, the considerable overlap between the principles of Islamic, Vegetarian and Green marketing has led us to speculatethat one can shape marketing strategy and expand market potential with Halal certification. Finally the study discusses the relevance and potential for Halal and Islamicmarketing in India as it has the third largest population of Muslims after Indonesia and Pakistan.
Unani system of medicine is one of the oldest systems of medicine and existence of this system till now itself is an evidence of validity of its principles. However, the essence of any science is progress based on a continuous quest for new knowledge through research, development and newer applications. Unani medicine too should not be exception to this. With the same objective, Government of India established a Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine to develop this system in its own theoretical framework. But researches undertaken to revive the system have not been very rewarding except for the translations of some classical texts; which at least made the literature accessible to academicians and researchers. The past as well as the current trends have failed to reap desired results primarily due to use of inappropriate protocol designs for scientific research. Ironically, ongoing research is in line of modern medicine protocol without taking into consideration, the contrasting epistemology and principles of the systems. Thus, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the research methodology for evaluating Unani medicine. In this article, author advocates the need to adopt epistemologically sensitive methods to evaluate the Unani system of medicine.