Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM): Steering a Centuries-old Tradition along Modern Pathways

Part III : Research Areas and Activities of CCRUM
The broad areas of activity of CCRUM include clinical research, drug research, refinement of medicinal plants, and literary research.

Clinical Research
The Council has carried out various Clinical Research Programmes, with an emphasis on preserving the basic Unani principles while co-relating them with modern research strategies and parameters. The research is aimed at developing new drugs as well as validating traditional Unani therapies and drugs by adopting appropriate modern research methodology and technology. The Council has undertaken reverse pharmacology, epidemiological studies and other modern research methods to study the efficacy of Unani medicines. It also invites projects from the researchers of its various institutes based on their interest and expertise with a view to build capacity and increase research involvement. The Council has been working continuously to bring out essential drugs to treat various diseases. It has composed the Unani Essential Drug List (EDL), which contains 288 generic medicines, including 213 multi-ingredient formulations and 75 single drugs.

Drug Standardization
The Council’s work on drug standardization has contributed to ensuring the quality of Unani medicinal products in different parts of the country. It has developed pharma standards for 298 single drugs and 200 compound formulations that have been published in Unani Pharmacopoeia of India.
Refinement and Research on medicinal plants
The Council has a dedicated program for cultivating and surveying medicinal plants and plays a pivotal role in the drug research program of the Indian systems of medicine. Efforts are also being made to enhance the quality of the medicinal plants by preparing clinical trials batches of the plants. Ethno-botanical surveys have been conducted in different remote forest zones of India, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Karnataka. The main objective is to study the distribution, availability and threats of extinction of medicinal plants. Further, the Council works on providing suitable measures for their protection and conservation.

Literary Research
Through its literary research programme, the CCRUM has taken up the onerous task of
translating classical Arabic and Persian books into Urdu and other Indian languages. The
Council has translated and published 56 volumes of 20 classical books. Apart from digitizing
40 important manuscripts, the council has translated important classical books into Urdu,
which have been published by the Council.
Collaborative Projects and Outreach Programs
CCRUM takes the collaborative route to widen its influence for spreading the culture of
research in the Unani fraternity. Its collaborations include leading scientific institutions like
Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi,
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi for
its research projects.

Mobile Healthcare Program under Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub
Plan (TSP)

This program is specifically aimed at providing holistic and effective healthcare to the
Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) population. Apart from providing treatment
for various ailments, the program also promotes awareness about the preventive and curative
aspects of Unani medicinal practices through lectures, group meetings, and health camps. For
a better outreach amongst the SC and ST population, information materials for distribution
and awareness have been developed in local languages. The program was initially conducted
at eight SCSP centre’s and one TSP centre.

Mobile Clinical Research Program
Under the Mobile Clinical Research Program free Unani treatment is provided to the patients
in urban slums, rural and inaccessible areas. The Program is a boon for urban slums and
remote areas, which largely comprise of the weaker sections, often deprived of proper
healthcare facilities. The highly successful program aims significantly reducing the
occurrence of diseases in society by creating awareness regarding health and well
beingamong common people. With a high occurrence of chronic diseases in such areas, the
researchers of the Council organize door-to-door surveys to register cases of different
ailments. The researchers help ailing people with free Unani treatment at their doorsteps and
thus, serve as a significant source of healthcare delivery to the masses. This program runs at
12 centres of the Council. Over 250 villages and urban slums with a total population over 30
lakh have been covered, and over 6 lakh patients have been treated under this program.
National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular
Diseases and Stroke
The Council has been a front-runner in providing new avenues to deal with persistent and
emerging medical and health problems related to communicable and non-communicable
diseases. It launched a pilot project aimed at the integration of Unani Medicine with the
National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases
and Stroke (NPCDCS) at Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. The project was aimed at
prevention and timely diagnosis of lifestyle diseases, reducing drug dependency and
promoting wellness. Through Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM),
Lucknow the project was started at NPCDCS Cell at Lakhimpur Kheri along with 17
Community Health Centres and 54 Primary Health Centres, and has since emerged as an
example of efficacy of Traditional Medicine systems in public health initiatives.

CCRUM Achievements
The Council has done commendable work in providing general medical care to patients in the
Unani tradition, carrying out innovative research and publishing scientific research findings
in various journals. The Council has conducted disease and drug based trials and made some
notable achievements in the treatment of diseases like Vitiligo, Eczema, Psoriasis and
Bronchial Asthma. Apart from these, several clinical studies have also been undertaken on
diseases like Malaria, Infantile Diarrhoea, and Leucorrhoea. The Councils efforts to
standardise the treatment procedures and drugs in Unani System of Medicine to conform to
modern medicine standards is in progress. Thirty-one formulations have been developed for
the treatment of these diseases. Besides clinical validation of Unani drugs, the Council has
validated the efficacy of different forms of regimen therapy in different diseases like the
efficacy of cupping in osteoarthritis, leeching in hypertension and frostbite.

In Conclusion…
Unani System of Medicine has earned its place in healthcare in 21st century India, with its
wide-network of well-developed centres, stellar educational institutions, comprehensive
healthcare facilities and quality drug manufacturing industries. The steadfast governmental
support and the formation of CCRUM were instrumental in reviving the Unani system of
medicine in India. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the Unani medicine
owing to the appeal of its holistic approach. The Unani drugs strengthen the immune system
of the body and offer therapeutic cure without any adverse side effects. The thrust on
modernisation of the Unani system with standardisation of drugs and treatments, clinical
trials and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities have paved the way for global acceptance
for this traditional therapeutic system.

Last updated on March 11th, 2021 at 09:14 am

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