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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (2): 114-124.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.01.003

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Aamar-e-Advia (shelf-lives) of drugs in Unani system of medicine: A conceptual review

Ameena Yasmeena,b, Ghulamuddin Sofib, Kaleemullah Khanc   

  1. a. Department of Ilmul Advia (Pharmacology), Government Unani Medical College, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru-560079, Karnataka, India
    b. Department of Ilmul Advia (Pharmacology), National Institute of Unani Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru-560091, Karnataka, India
    c. Registered clinical practitioner and Independent researcher, Mysore-570019, Karnataka, India
  • Received:2019-06-28 Accepted:2019-12-13 Online:2020-03-10 Published:2020-01-16
  • Contact: Ameena Yasmeen E-mail:ameena2309@gmail.com

In an era of globalization and increased global demand for herbal medicines, it is essential to ensure the quality and consistency of drugs. Changes in the quality of an herbal product over time should be detectable. The assessments of chemical quality and therapeutic efficacy of herbal drugs are necessary to establish their shelf-lives. Thus, stability testing is needed to establish standards for herbal products. Unani medicine has its own conceptual framework for studying health and disease. The mode of treatment includes Ilaj bit Tadbeer (regimental therapy), Ilaj bil Ghiza (dietotherapy), Ilaj bil Dawa (pharmacotherapy) and Ilaj bil Yad/Jarahat (surgery) as a final option. Ilaj bil Dawa is the most used mode of treatment. The drugs include either crude drugs prepared from plant, animal and mineral sources, called Mufrad(single) drugs or various formulations prepared from these crude drugs, called Murakkab (compound) drugs. To date, stability studies have been carried out on compound drugs, whereas only a few single drugs had had their stability tested. These studies are needed to understand how the quality of an herbal drug varies over the time when it is prepared and consumed. This may also help to standardize procedures for manufacturing compound formulations ab initio. The present study reviews the concept of Aamar-e-Advia (shelf-lives) described in the literature of the Unani system of medicine. Further, various factors that are considered important to assess the shelf-life of Unani drugs are discussed in the context of contemporary protocols for shelf-life assessment.

Key words: Drug stability, Shelf-life, Expiry date, Unani medicine, Aamar-e-Advia, Drug potency

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