Drug Control

In India, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940 governs the manufacturing of Unani Drugs. This act is into enforcement by the Drug Technical Advisory Board, which is constituted by the Government of India. The Drug Consultation Committee is also responsible for the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. This committee advises the central and state boards and governments regarding matters that ensure uniformity in the country for the administration of the act.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, set up under the government of India has established a Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee to set uniform standards for the manufacturing of Unani drugs. The committee includes subject matter experts across various domains such as Unani, Botany, Pharmacology, and Chemistry.


A Pharmacopoeia is a book that contains a list of medicinal drugs, along with their associated effects and directions for use. The book also consists of certain standards with respect to the use of these drugs and their protocols for testing and analysis. These standards are set and approved by the Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee, and the experimental work for the same is controlled by the Pharmacopoeial Laboratory for Indian Medicine.

A lot of volumes of the Unani medicine have been published such as:

  • Five volumes of National Formulary of Unani Medicine consisting of 1091 formulations
  • Six volumes of Unani Pharmacopoeia of India (U.P.I) consisting of 298 monographs
  • Unani Pharmacopoeia of India containing 50 compound formulations

Pharmacopoeial Laboratory

The PLIM, short for Pharmacopoeial Laboratory for Indian Medicine, is a standards-setting and drug testing laboratory based in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1970, the laboratory caters to Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of Medicine, and comes under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act of 1940. The data worked out by the laboratory is published upon the approval of the Pharmacopoeia Committees of Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine.


The original notion of research in the Unani system of medicine was first perceived by Masih-ul-Mulk Hakim Ajmal Khan in the 1920s. His inquisitive nature coupled with his intellectual capacity, had him working with Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, who was involved in research at the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College, Delhi. Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui had discovered the medicinal properties of the Asrol plant, and its sustained research proved its uniqueness. Globally known as Rauwolfia Serpentina, the plant could treat various neurovascular and nervous disorders such as schizophrenia, hysteria, hypertension, insanity, insomnia, and various psychosomatic conditions. The establishment of the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH) led to a systematic research of various systems of medicine under the patronage of the Govt. of India in 1969. The council supported a decade’s worth of research in Unani Medicine, which was further split into four separate councils in 1978, one each for:

  • Ayurveda and Siddha
  • Homeopathy
  • Unani Medicine
  • Yoga and Naturopathy

Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine

The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine was established in January 1979 as an Autonomous Organization of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Govt. of India). The council operates with the following objectives:

  • To formulate aims and patterns of scientific research in Unani Medicine
  • To undertake other programmes in Unani medicine
  • To undertake the propagation of knowledge and other experimental measures to understand the cause, spread, and prevention of diseases
  • To initiate, conduct, aid, develop and coordinate scientific research in the fundamental and applied aspects of Unani medicine, in order to promote institutions for conducting research
  • To finance research for the advancement of the objects of the council
  • To facilitate information exchange related to the observation and study of diseases with other institutions operating with similar objectives with those of the council
  • To prepare and publish scientific literature in the form of papers, periodicals, posters, pamphlets, and books

The areas of research chosen by the council include drug research, literary research, family welfare research programmes, and the survey and cultivation of medicinal plants. The council is wholly financed by the Ministry of Ayush. A vast network of 25 institutes settled in various parts of India conducts the research activities of the council.   


The Unani is a quite popular system of medicine in India, forming an integral part of national healthcare. In India, there are 49763 Unani practitioners, scattered across the country.

Hospitals and dispensaries

Out of 28 Indian states, 15 states house 263 Unani Hospitals, with 4686 beds in total. Unani dispensaries amount to 1028, spread across 20 Indian states. The Central Government Health Scheme manages 10 Unani dispensaries: one each in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, two dispensaries in Andhra Pradesh, and five dispensaries in Delhi.


The Central Council of Indian Medicine is the administrative body that monitors the education and training facilities with respect to the Unani System of medicine. The council is a statutory body established under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act of 1970. The country houses 40 recognized institutes of Unani medicine providing education and training in Unani. For undergraduate courses, the colleges house an admission capacity of 1770 students. Affiliated to different Government institutions and voluntary organizations, these colleges follow the curriculum set by the Central Council of Indian Medicine. For postgraduate courses, the total admission capacity is 79 students per year, with eight-core disciplines to pick from. These are Kulliyat (Basic Principles), Hifzan-e-Sehat (Hygiene), Tahafuzi wa Samaji Tibb, Amraz-e-Atfal, Jarrahiyat (Surgery), Ilmul Advia (Pharmacology), Moalijat(Medicine), and Qabala-wa-Amraz-e-Niswan (Gynaecology).

Last updated on June 5th, 2021 at 01:58 pm