The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine(CCRUM) was established in the year 1978 as an Autonomous Organisation of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The Council is engaged in the multifaceted research activities in Unani medicine. The areas chosen for research include clinical research, drug research, literary research and survey & cultivation of medicinal plants programme. The Council has a network of 25 research institutes/units functioning in different parts of the country. These include two Central Research Institutes of Unani Medicine - one each at Hyderabad and Lucknow, eight Regional Research Institutes of Unani Medicine – one each at Chennai, Bhadrak, Patna, Kolkata, Aligarh, New Delhi, Srinagar and Mumbai, six Clinical Research Units – one each at Allahabad, Karimganj (Assam), Bhopal, Burhanpur, Bangalore and Meerut, a Unani Medical Centre at New Delhi, four Drug Standardisation Research Units – one each at New Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Bangalore, a Chemical Research Unit at Aligarh and a Literary Research Institute in New Delhi is also functioning in New Delhi. The Headquarters of the Council is in New Delhi. During the past over 25 years of its existence the Council have made significant strides in its research programmes and emerged to be a major organisation of research in the country.
Under clinical research programme, the Council have taken-up clinical studies on 30 diseases some of them having national priorities. These include; Bars (Vitiligo), Nar-e-Farsi (Eczema), Dau Sadaf (Psoriasis), Iltehab-e-Kabid (Infective hepatitis), Hasatul Kuliya Wa Masana (Renal and bladder calculus), Qarah-e-Meda wa Asna-e-Ashari (Duodenal ulcer), Ishal-e-Muzmin (Chronic diarrhoea), Ishal-e-Atfal (Infantile diarrhoea), Deedan-e-Ama (Helminthiasis), Waram-e-Kuliya (Nephritis), Rabu-e-Nazli (Tropical. pulmonary eosinophilia), Jarbul Ajfan (Trachoma), Waram-e-Lissa (Gingivitis), Kasrat-e-Tams (Menorrhagea), Sailan-ur-Rahem (Leucorrhoea), Humma-e-Ijamia (Malaria), Zusantaria Mevi (Amoebic dysentery), Humma-e-Aswad (Kala Azar, Leishmaniasis), Daul Feel (Filariasis), Ziabetus Sukari (Diabetes mellitus), Waja-ul-Mafasil (Rheumatoid arthritis), Iltehab-e-Tajaweef-e-Anf (Sinusitis), Zeequn Nafas (Bronchial asthma), Kasrat-e-Shahmuddam (Hyperlipidemia), Falij-e-Nisfi (Hemiplegia), Irq-e-Madani (Dracontiasis), Zaghtuddam Qawi (Hypertension), Muzmin Zubeh-e-Sadaria Sabit (Chronic stable angina), Bawaseer (Piles), Takassur Kuliya Muzmin (Chronic renal failure). In these diseases multifaceted studies were conducted. The Council have so far screened 120 new formulations/drugs in different diseases. Extensive clinical trials were conducted with 55 formulations/drugs that were proved effective in the preliminary screening. Out of these, studies on 30 drugs have been completed. Significant leads have been achieved in the successful treatment of some chronic diseases such as Bars (Vitiligo), Iltehab-e-Kabid (Infective Hepatitis), Zeequn Nafas (Bronchial Asthma), Iltehab-e-Tajaweef-e-Anf (Sinusitis), Waja-ul-Mafasil (Rheumatoid arthritis), Nar-e-Farsi (Eczema), Daus Sadaf (Psoriasis), Humma-e-Ijamia (Malaria), Daul Feel (Filariasis), Ishal-e-Atfal (Infantile diarrhoea), Irq-e-Madani (Guineaworm infestation) and Sailan-ur-Raham (Leucorrhoea). The council have so far developed 20 drugs. Twelve drugs have already been decoded by publishing the studies in the form of monographs. Eighteen new drugs developed by the Council have already been filed for grant of patent rights where as other 11 drugs are in the process of patenting. Besides, 24 kit medicines developed by the Council for common/seasonal ailments have also been filed for provisional patents.
A part from the therapeutic trials, the Council have also evaluated the beneficial effects of certain Unani therapies such as Munzij and Mushil therapy, Hajamat (Cupping), Leaching on scientific lines, in some of the diseases. These therapies have been proved of immense therapeutic potential in the successful treatment of some chronic diseases such as; Waja-ul-Mafasil (Rheumatoid arthritis), Irqun- Nisa (Sciatica), Zaghtuddam Qawi (Essential Hypertension), Nar-e-Farsi (Eczema) and Frost bite.
Collaborative studies with other scientific organisations of national repute and leading medical colleges and hospitals in the areas of clinical research, drug standardization and quality control, safety evaluation and toxicity studies and development of bio-active molecules are also continued. Some of these collaborative institutions are CSIR, V.B. Patel Chest Institute, New Delhi, Deccan Medical College, Hyderabad, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal and NRDC- New Delhi
Apart from research activities treatment and Medicare facilities are also being provided for common ailments in the General OPD at the Council’s clinical centers. Over two lakhs patients are treated annually. A Unani Medical Center was established by the Department of ISM&H (now Dept. of AYUSH) at the Capital's Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi in 1998. This center is being run by the Council. It has gained a very good public response for the treatment of different chronic disorders. A large number of cases are referred from different department of the RML, hospitals. The center has so far registered over 1,90,000 new patients. Research oriented medicare facilities were also continued in urban slums/rural and tribal pockets. Under this programme above 20,00,000 population was covered in 180 villages/rural. SC/ST pockets. Above 2,50,000 patients were benefited. With a view to reduce the morbidity particularly among school children, school health programmes are also continued at different centers.
Research on fundamental aspect of Unani medicine is continued with a view to interpret scientifically the basic concepts of the humours and temperaments. Phase-I study on the assessment of the temperament has already been completed whereas phase-II study entitled susceptibility of acquiring diseases in relation to different temperaments is in progress.
Under the drug standardisation research programme, the Council has so far been able to finalise standards for 277 single drugs and 385 compound formulations. Standards for 122 single drugs have been incorporated in the National Unani Pharmacopoeia of India. Work on development of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for compound formulations has also been initiated. Besides, 48 Unani drugs have also been studied for their pharmacopoeial standards allotted by the Department of A YUSH. Work on presence of heavy metals in Unani formulations has also been initiated in the Council’s drug standardization laboratories.
Studies on the development bio-active molecules of 54 Unani formulations are also continued in collaboration with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The results reported in different samples are suggestive of immunomodulatory, antibacterial antifungal, hepato-protective activities. Besides, anti-Leishmanial, anti-oxidant, anti-filarial, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant activities.
Under survey & cultivation of medicinal plants programme ethno-botanical exploration of different forest areas in 11 states were conducted collecting about 59462 plants specimens. Besides 9000 folk claims have also been collected from different Tribes. A database of this information has already been developed and published in four volumes. Under experimental & large-scale cultivation of medicinal plants programme, Council has successfully cultivated about 22 important plants species on experimental basis. Agro-techniques for different plants were developed. Some of the plants such as Atrilal (Ammi majus), Gulnar Farsi (Punica grantum Linn.) (Abortive variety) are now being cultivated on large scale. The Council has also developed a herbal garden at Lucknow and nurseries of medicinal plants at different centers of the Council. Council has also collected 9000 folk claims out of which 6,000 claims have been published in four volumes under the titles Medicinal Plants in Folklore of Northern India, Medicinal Plants in Folklore of Southern India, Medicinal Plants in Folklore of Bihar & Orissa, and Medicinal Plants in Folklore of Kashmir Himalayas.
Under the literary research programme, the Council has brought-out translation of 52 important classical manuscripts/books from Arabic/Persian to Urdu and other languages. Besides compilation of two books and 17 brochureslleaflets on different diseases have also been done. Under the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) project of a database on the information available in the Unani classics comprising of 77000 formulations collected from 14 classics in 35 volumes was developed.
The Council participated in the medical relief work during various epidemics and natural calamities and provided medicare through Unani medicines. Unani drugs proved very effective in managing different epidemics.
With a view to disseminate research information and interaction with scientific community, the Council organised two International Seminar/Conference on Unani Medicine, 13 National seminars, and 20 workshops. The researchers of the Council have so far produced 1400 research papers. These papers were presented in different seminars. About 250 research papers were also published in different Indian and International Scientific Journals. Continued medical education programmes with a view to update the knowledge organized in different disciplines.
Besides, continuing the research on national priorities and some other life style diseases concerted efforts are also continued to intervene in the new medical challenges such as, HIV/ AIDS and Cancer where the Unani Medicine can play a vital role in strengthening the immunity level thereby improving the quality of life. The address of Council website is http://www.unanimedicine.org