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Selected Unani Research Topics
From the MEDLINE Database

Paramedical training in Tunisia. The Avicenna Professional School of Public Health in Tunis
Ben Yedder W.
Tunis Med 1981;:874-5
No abstract.

Patient origins and usage of a Unani clinic in Aligarh Town, India.
Izhar N.
Soc Sci Med 1990;:1139-41

Cases exist in India, and elsewhere, of the coexistence of both traditional and modern allopathic medical systems. A survey of patients, practitioners and staff at a Unani clinic in Aligarh Town, India, suggests that utilization of Unani medicine is widespread among people of various ages and socio-economic strata.

Porci habent squinantiam (Ibn Sina)--a contribution to the history of swine therapeutics in the Middle Ages
Schäffer J.
DTW Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1993;:211-8

In the Middle Ages and in the early modern ages the knowledge of the diagnosis and therapy of porcine diseases mostly based on an ancient body of thought that was adopted in a more or less mutilated form. This fact is not only reflected in the books of the scholars, but also in the written records of the public animal medicine. The traditional magic medicine with its rich drug supply as well as with its prayers, blessings for the animals and emergency fires as they are called holds an important role among this public animal medicine. Only in a few cases it is possible to make a historical diagnosis due to the lack of the description of symptoms. Besides, it is difficult to judge the drugs that were used for prophylaxis and therapy with regard to the possible effects. On the basis of Latin, English and German sources from the 9th to 15th century comments are revealed on the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of febrile general diseases and parasitic infestations of pigs. In a review it is tried to discuss the basic problems of interpretation.

Possible hepatotoxicity of Nigella sativa seeds and Dregea volubilis leaves.
Tennekoon KH, Jeevathayaparan S, Kurukulasooriya AP, Karunanayake EH.
J Ethnopharmacol 1991;:283-9

Aqueous extracts of the seeds of Nigella sativa and mature leaves of Dregea volubilis were administered orally under light ether anaesthesia to male Sprague-Dawley rats for 14 days. Key hepatic enzyme concentrations and histopathological changes in the liver in both treatment groups at the end of 14 days were compared with a control group which received distilled water under identical conditions for 30 days and with a group of normal animals. Serum gamma-glutamyl transferase concentrations were significantly increased in both extract groups while serum alkaline phosphatase concentrations were significantly increased following administration of only D. volubilis when compared with either the control or the normal group. Serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations were significantly increased in both extract groups when compared with the normal group but not with the control group. Degenerative changes in hepatocytes were seen following administration of D. volubilis while consistent significant histopathological changes were not evident following administration of N. sativa.


Post-coital contraceptive efficacy of the seeds of Nigella sativa in rats.
Keshri G, Singh MM, Lakshmi V, Kamboj VP.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1995;:59-62

Hexane extract of the seeds of Nigella sativa L. prevented pregnancy in Sprague-Dawley rats treated orally at 2 g/ kg daily dose on days 1-10 post-coitum. Significant anti-fertility activity was also observed in its column fractions and subfractions. At contraceptive dose, the active hexane extract exhibited only mild uterotropic activity comparable almost to 0.002 mg/kg dose of 17 varies; is directly proportional to-Ethynylestradiol, but was devoid of any estrogenicity in the immature rat bioassay.

Problems of public health in the "Canon" of Ibn-Sina ( on the millennium of his birth)
Petrov BD.
Gig Sanit 1980;:22-5
No abstract.

Problems of traumatology in the works of Ibn-Sina (Avicenna)
Shvabe IuIa.
Ortop Travmatol Protez 1979;:68-70
No abstract.

Problems of urology in the works of Abu Ali Ibn-Sina
Mukhtarov AM, Bolgarskii IS.
Urol Nefrol (Mosk) 1980;:52-5
No abstract.

Protective effect of cysteine and vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella sativa extracts on cisplatin-induced toxicity in rats.
el Daly ES.
J Pharm Belg 1998;:87-93

Cisplatin [cis-dichlorodiammineplatinum (II)] is a widely used chemotherapeutic drug that is toxic to the kidney. Concurrent administration of cysteine together with vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella sativa reduced the toxicity of cisplatin in rats. When administered i.p. for 5 alternate days with 3 mg/kg cisplatin, cysteine (20 mg/kg) together with vitamin E (2 mg/rat) an extract of Crocus sativus stigmas (50 mg/kg) and Nigella sativa seed (50 mg/kg) significantly reduced blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine levels as well as cisplatin-induced serum total lipids increases. In contrast, the protective agents given together with cisplatin led to an even greater decrease in blood glucose than that seen with cisplatin alone. The serum activities of alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase of cisplatin-treated rats were significantly decreased, whereas the activities of glutathione reductase and isocitrate dehydrogenase were significantly increased. Addition of cysteine and vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella sativa in combination with cisplatin partially prevented many changes in the activities of serum enzymes. In cisplatin-treated rats, the liver activities of isocitrate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase were significantly increased, whereas much greater changes were found in the kidneys, with increased activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and decreased activities of alkaline phosphatase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, sorbitol dehydrogenase and gamma-glutamyl transferase, as well as a decreased phosphorylation to oxidation ratio in the mitochondria, indicating reduced adenosine triphosphate production. Also, administration of cysteine and vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella sativa together with cisplatin partially reversed many of the kidney enzymes changes induced by cisplatin. Cysteine together with vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella sativa tended to protect from cisplatin-induced falls in leucocyte counts, haemoglobin levels and mean osmotic fragility of erythrocytes and also prevented the increase in hematocrit. The results of this study indicate a basis for the toxic effects of cisplatin, and suggest a possible way of counteracting the toxicity by introducing protective agents such sulfhydryl compounds, other antioxidants and extracts of natural products. It also appears that cells adapt to the effects of cisplatin through the induction of systems that produce NADPH, which in turn compensates the decrease of free sulfhydryl groups. We conclude that cysteine and vitamin E, Crocus sativus and Nigella Sativa may be a promising compound for reducing cisplatin-toxic side effects including nephrotoxicity.

Razi's report about seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) from the 10th century AD.
Bungy GA, Mossawi J, Nojoumi SA, Brostoff J.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1996;:219-24

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is considered a disease of the postindustrial revolution era. Clinical reports of patients are readily available from the 19th century starting with John Bostock's description of his own summer symptoms. Also patients with "rose catarrh' are described in the 16th and 17th century. Although asthma is well described by Maimonides, clear descriptions of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hay fever are rare in the first millennium. This report by Razi (prior to 925 AD) is perhaps the earliest such report yet. It is contained in a compendium written by Ibn Sharabeyun ben Ibrahim in the 13th or 14th century AD. The volume also contains work by Avicenna (Abu Ali-Sina; a friend of Razi) and other contemporary writers. Some of the treatments suggested in this early report may not be so acceptable to modern sufferers.

Rhazes and Avicenna
Nurhussein MA.
Ann Intern Med 1989;:691-2
No abstract.

Rhizosphere fungi of five plants in Egypt.
El-Hissy FT, Abdel-Hafez SI, Abdel-Kader MI.
Z Allg Mikrobiol 1980; 20(3;:177-84

75 species which belong to 25 genera were collected during this investigation. All of these fungi were previously isolated from Egyptian soils and other sources. The total count and the number of genera and species in the rhizosphere soil of the 5 plants were regularly higher than in non- rhizosphere soil. The composition of the rhizosphere fungus flora was considerably influenced by the type and the age of the plant. The most prevalent fungi in the rhizosphere of the test plants after 45, 90, and 150 days were as follows: in Helianthus annuus, Stachybotrys atra and Aspergillus niger; in Chrysanthemum coronarium, Cladosporium herbarum, A. sydowii and Penicillium funiculosum; in Nigella sativa, Fusarium moniliforme and A. sydowii; in Datura innoxia, A. fumigatus and A. terreus; in Hyoscyamus muticus, C. herbarum and A. sydowii; and in soil, P. funiculosum, A. terreus and A. niger. The counts of total fungi and most of the common fungal species, except in the case of Datura innoxia, reached their maxima after 90 days and sharply declined after 150 days.

Role of Avicenna in the development of otolaryngology
Iskhaki IuB, Kal'shtein LI.
Vestn Otorinolaringol 1980;:81-5
No abstract.

Search for anti-cancer drugs from Indian medicinal plants (Ayurvedic, Unani, etc.).
Pal S, Chakraborti SK, Banerjee A, Mukerji B.
Indian J Med Res 1968;:445-55
No abstract.

Significance of the creativity of Abu Ali Ibn Sina for modern dermatology
Belova LV.
Klin Med (Mosk) 1985;:140-3
No abstract.

Standardization of Jawarish Jalinoos (an Unani medicine).
Israili AH.
Planta Med 1971 Jul; 20(1;:60-6
No abstract.

Sterols in the seed oil of Nigella sativa.
Salama RB.
Planta Med 1973;:375-7
No abstract.

Stomatologic subjects in the "Canon of Medical Science" of Avicenna
Belolapotkova AV.
Stomatologiia (Mosk) 1980;:69-70
No abstract.

Studies on the activity of individual plants of an antidiabetic plant mixture.
Al-Awadi FM, Gumaa KA.
Acta Diabetol Lat 1987;:37-41

A blood glucose lowering extract of a mixture of five plants in use by Kuwaiti diabetics was studied for the identification of its active component(s). Only the extracts of myrrh and aloe gums effectively increased glucose tolerance in both normal and diabetic rats. The remaining components, gum olibanum, Nigella sativa seeds and gum assafoetida were without effect.

Studies on the antimicrobial activity of Nigella sativa seed (black cumin).
Hanafy MS, Hatem ME.
J Ethnopharmacol 1991;:275-8

Filter paper discs impregnated with the diethyl ether extract of Nigella sativa seeds (25-400 micrograms extract/disc) caused concentration-dependent inhibition of Gram-positive bacteria represented by Staphylococcus aureus. Gram-negative bacteria represented by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli (but not Salmonella typhimurium) and a pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. The extract showed antibacterial synergism with streptomycin and gentamicin and showed additive antibacterial action with spectinomycin, erythromycin, tobramycin, doxycycline, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, ampicillin, lincomycin and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim combination. The extract successfully eradicated a non- fatal subcutaneous staphylococcal infection in mice when injected at the site of infection.

Teachers of Abu Ali Ibn-Sina
Abdullaev AA.
Klin Med (Mosk) 1978;:142-5
No abstract.

Teachings of "calor innatus" in the Latin Canon medicinae of Avicenna
Stolberg M.
Sudhoffs Arch Z Wissenschaftsgesch 1993;:33-53

This contribution examines the natural philosophy behind Avicenna's treatment of the basic physiological concepts of "innate heat", "innate spirit" and "natural moisture" in his famous "Canon medicinae" and in the short tractate "De medicinis cordialibus" usually appended to it in its Latin editions. Contrary to current belief, these concepts, far from being concisely systematized, fulfill a range of differing explicatory functions within the "Canon", which can only with great difficulty be assembled to form a homogeneous, non-contradictory theory. Furthermore, Avicenna differs in essential points from orthodox aristotelian-galenist teaching, particularly regarding the celestial origin of the unrenewable, life-preserving faculties of the "innate heat". It is suggested that the "Canon's" unparalleled popularity may have been due not so much to its systematic form, but to the need of scholarly (re)interpretation, as witnessed by many contemporary commentaries, which offered ample opportunity to academic physicians to show their learning and wit.

The anti-stress activity of a gem-containing Unani formulation against diverse stressors.
Ahmad G, Amin KM, Khan NA, Tajuddin.
J Ethnopharmacol 1998;:187-93

Drugs of mineral origin, especially gems, are extensively used in Tibb-e-Unani (Unani Medicine), both as single drugs and as compound formulations. But such drugs have not yet been adequately studied scientifically. Jawahir Mohra ( JM) is one such, as yet unstudied, anti-stress Unani preparation, containing a few herbal and animal ingredients also. Therefore in the present study, a modified JM preparation was investigated for its anti-stress activity against physical, chemical and metabolic stimuli. The non-gem complement (NGC) of JM was also studied for action against physical stress. In albino rats stressed by swimming and subsequently tested for motor function by Rota rod (muscle coordination), activity wheel (forced motor activity) and photoactometer (spontaneous motor activity), JM treatment for 7 days produced a striking and significant increase in activity. The NGC also increased the activity significantly which was however less than JM. JM also produced a striking increase in cold swimming endurance and in the latency of post-anoxia convulsions, while pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced defecation and urination in an open field arena under continuous stimulation by intense light and sound was significantly decreased. Therefore, the present investigation indicates that the gem-containing Unani compound JM has significant anti-stress activity of a non-specific type against diverse stressors. This could be due to adipogenic activity of the preparation. The study also shows that the gems in JM contribute significantly to its anti-stress activity.

The Arabic triad (Hunain ibn Ishak, Rhazes, Avicenna)
Egri B.
Orv Hetil 1981;:1595-600
No abstract.

The art of therapy in Islamic medicine
Masic I.
Med Arh 1997;:5-8

History is a witness of the great importance and influence of Islamic science from the period of "Golden Age of Arabic Civilisation". A famous scientist said: "Sciences has no country, it is international; we all share in fruits of investigations of people from different traditions and all ages." Scientists from the early period of Islamic era had set fire of a stream of man's thought and progress, observation, experiments and tradition, that have become a weapon of modern science. All of that was based upon Quran and Hadiths, that have been their guidelines when setting free human mind from taboos. Medieval Arabian scientists have followed the words of Holly Prophet Mohammad s.a.v. s., saying that searching for knowledge have had to be the most important task for people, and that ink more saint than blood of the saints. These attitudes of Holly Prophet have awaken desire for studying with Muslim scientists. The result of that desire became a key of scientific progress. There are many worldwide famous Arabian scientists: El- Kindi, Er-Razi, Ibn Sina, El-Biruni, Ibu Hajsem, Ez-Zahravi, El-Farabi, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Ruzd etc. These names, among several hundreds of Arabian physicians, attribute "Golden Age" of Islamic science. That period was characterised by movements, reprocessing of ideas. That reprocessing of ideas has gained the great minds together, and that process is continuous. That is why we have to be grateful to them. Famous Muslim physicians defined medicine as skill that dealt in keeping good health, coped with ills and health recovering. They have also modified many Greek writings and established basic principles of the art of medicine. What is significant is that, regardless of historical past and modern technical and technological presence, these principles are still accurate for understanding of medical science. These principles are what the author is discussing in detail in this paper about.

The cardiovascular actions of the volatile oil of the black seed (Nigella sativa) in rats: elucidation of the mechanism of action.
el Tahir KE, Ashour MM, al-Harbi MM.
Gen Pharmacol 1993;:1123-31

1. The effects of the volatile oil (V.O.) of the black seed (Nigella sativa) on the arterial blood pressure and heart of urethane-anaesthetized rats were investigated and the effects were compared with those of its constituent thymoquinone (T.Q.). 2. Intravenous administration of V. O. in the dose range (4-32 microliters kg.-1) or T.Q. ( 0.2-1.6 mg kg-1) to rats decreased the arterial blood pressure and the heart rate in a dose-dependent manner. 3. The effects of V.O. were significantly antagonized by treatment of the animals with cyproheptadine, hexamethonium atropine and by spinal pithing. 4. Treatment of the animals with reserpine (5 mg kg- 1 day-1 for 2 days) significantly antagonized the cardiovascular depressant effects induced by 4 and 8 microliters of V.O. kg-1 but not those induced by the larger doses. 5. T.Q.-induced cardiovascular depressant effects were significantly antagonized by atropine and cyproheptadine but not by reserpine. 6. The results suggested that V.O.-induced cardiovascular depressant effects were mediated mainly centrally via indirect and direct mechanisms that involved both 5-hydroxytryptaminergic and muscarinic mechanisms. The direct mechanisms may be due to the presence of T.Q. in the V.O. The V.O. seemed to possess the potential of being a potent centrally acting antihypertensive agent.

The effect of a plants mixture extract on liver gluconeogenesis in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.
al-Awadi F, Fatania H, Shamte U.
Diabetes Res 1991 Dec; 18(4;:163-8

We have previously reported on plant mixture extract comprising of Nigella sativa, Myrrh, Gum Olibanum, Gum Asafoetida and Aloe to have a blood glucose lowering effect. The present study with streptozotocin diabetic rats is focussed on the mechanism of action, specifically on a) hepatic gluconeogenesis b) activity of key gluconeogenic enzymes, pyruvate carboxylase (PC) and phosphoenol-pyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). Similar studies using a biguanide, phenformin, have been conducted to compare the mode of action of these two compounds. The blood glucose levels (mean +/- SEM) before and after treatment with the plants extract were (16.7 +/- 1.7 mmol/L and 8. 5 +/- 1.3 mmol/L) and with phenformin (15.1 +/- 1.3 mmol/ L and 10.7 +/- 1.5 mmol/L). The rate of gluconeogenesis in isolated hepatocytes as well as activity of PC and PEPCK in liver homogenates is significantly lowered following treatment with the plants extract. Although phenformin also lowers blood glucose, it does not affect hepatic gluconeogenesis under stated experimental conditions. It is concluded that the anti-diabetic action of the plants extract may, at least partly, be mediated through decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis. The extract may prove to be a useful therapeutic agent in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

The father of medicine, Avicenna, in our science and culture. Abu Ali ibn Sina (980-1037)
Becka J.
Cas Lek Cesk 1980;:17-23
No abstract.

The forging of the Renaissance physician: a philosophic and historic perspective. Part II: The philosophic basis for pre-Renaissance medical knowledge.
Faria MA Jr.
J Med Assoc Ga 1992;:124-6
No abstract.

The great Abu Ali Ibn-Sina (Avicenna) and the lie detector
Porksheian OKh.
Sud Med Ekspert 1990;:5l-2
No abstract.

The history of sports medicine. Part I.
Snook GA.
Am J Sports Med 1984;:252-4

It is clear that sports medicine is a very old and honorable medical specialty from the early Hindu and Chinese writings through the age of Hippocrates and Galen. From the contributions of Avicenna and Paré to Hitchcock and physicians of our own time, the specialist in sports medicine has played an important role in the development of medical techniques to promote health and fitness and to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who participates in athletic competition.

The in vitro anti-tumor activity of some crude and purified components of blackseed, Nigella sativa L.
Worthen DR, Ghosheh OA, Crooks PA.
Anticancer Res 1998 May-Jun; 18(3;:1527-32

A crude gum, a fixed oil and two purified components of Nigella sativa seed, thymoquinone (TQ) and dithymoquinone (DIM), were assayed in vitro for their cytotoxicity for several parental and multi-drug resistant (MDR) human tumor cell lines. Although as much as 1% w/v of the gum or oil was devoid of cytotoxicity, both TQ and DIM were cytotoxic for all of the tested cell lines (IC50's 78 to 393 microM) . Both the parental cell lines and their corresponding MDR variants, over 10-fold more resistant to the standard antineoplastic agents doxorubicin (DOX) and etoposide ( ETP), as compared to their respective parental controls, were equally sensitive to TQ and DIM. The inclusion of the competitive MDR modulator quinine in the assay reversed MDR Dx-5 cell resistance to DOX and ETP by 6- to 16-fold, but had no effect on the cytotoxicity of TQ or DIM. Quinine also increased MDR Dx-5 cell accumulation of the P-glycoprotein substrate 3H-taxol in a dose-dependent manner. However, neither TQ nor DIM significantly altered cellular accumulation of 3H-taxol. The inclusion of 0.5% v/v of the radical scavenger DMSO in the assay reduced the cytotoxicity of DOX by as much as 39%, but did not affect that of TQ or DIM. These studies suggest that TQ and DIM, which are cytotoxic for several types of human tumor cells, may not be MDR substrates, and that radical generation may not be critical to their cytotoxic activity.

The medical legacy of Ibn-Sina
Petrov BD.
Sov Zdravookhr 1980;:53-6
No abstract.

The place of acupuncture in the management of psychogenic impotence.
Yaman LS, Kiliç S, Sarica K, Bayar M, Saygin B.
Eur Urol 1994;:52-5

Successful sexual functioning is a complex process involving psychological and social responses as well as neurological, biochemical and vascular processes. Today it is believed that more than 50% of the sexual dysfunction cases have an organic etiology. Reflecting the controversy over the management of psychogenic impotence, there are several different methods which are currently in clinical use. In this prospective study we aimed to evaluate the curative effects of acupuncture therapy in men with purely psychogenic impotence. Of the 29 patients treated with this procedure 20 patients demonstrated successful erections following a varying number of acupuncture sessions. In the light of our findings we may conclude that acupuncture may be an effective alternative in the management of purely psychogenic impotence.

The portrait of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
Brandenburg D.
Med Welt 1983;:682-4
No abstract.

The professionalization of ayurvedic and Unani medicine.
Leslie C.
Trans N Y Acad Sci 1968;:559-72
No abstract.

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