Unani Medicine for Post-COVID Recovery

Post-COVID Recovery

Post-COVID Recovery: The after-effects of COVID-19, often referred to as long COVID, can linger for weeks or even months. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and lingering cough are just some of the symptoms that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. While modern medicine continues to research and develop treatment options, traditional systems of medicine like Unani offer a complementary approach to recovery.

Unani, a holistic medical system with roots in ancient Greece, emphasizes restoring balance within the body. It focuses on maintaining good health through proper diet, lifestyle practices, and herbal remedies. Let’s delve deeper into how Unani principles can be applied to support post-COVID recovery.

What is the Unani Medicine for Post-COVID Recovery?

Unani theory revolves around the concept of four humors: blood (דם dam), phlegm (بلغم balgham), yellow bile (صفراء safra), and black bile (معدة سوداء المعدة sauda). An imbalance in these humors is believed to lead to disease.

According to Unani practitioners, COVID-19 infection can disrupt the body’s humoral balance, often causing a predominance of dryness (یبوست yubooset) and heat (حرارت hararat). This imbalance can manifest as various long COVID symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath ,cough, and body aches.

Unani Strategies for Post-COVID Recovery

Unani offers a multi-pronged approach to address the after-effects of COVID-19, focusing on:

Dietary modifications:

A personalized diet plan is created based on the individual’s specific needs and the prevailing humoral imbalance. The diet may emphasize easily digestible foods rich in fluids and nutrients to combat dryness. Foods with cooling properties, like fruits and vegetables, might be recommended to counter heat.

Herbal remedies:

Unani medicine utilizes a vast repertoire of herbal formulations. Certain herbs are believed to possess specific properties that can address long COVID symptoms. For instance, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) may be used for its adaptogenic and immune-modulating effects to combat fatigue.

Lifestyle practices:

Unani emphasizes the importance of adequate sleep, stress management, and regulated physical activity in promoting healing. Practices like yoga and breathing exercises may be recommended to improve lung function and overall well-being.

Regimen and detoxification:

Unani focuses on strengthening the body’s natural defense mechanisms through blood purification (تصفيه الدم tasfiya al-dam) methods. These may involve herbal concoctions or dietary modifications aimed at eliminating toxins and promoting overall health.

Unani principles and therapies can aid in the recovery process:

Restoration of Vital Balance:

According to Unani philosophy, illnesses occur when there is an imbalance in the body’s humors. COVID-19 can disrupt this balance, leading to a variety of symptoms ranging from fatigue and respiratory distress to cognitive impairment. Unani practitioners focus on restoring this balance through personalized treatment plans that may include herbal remedies, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes.

Herbal Remedies:

Central to Unani medicine are herbal remedies derived from plants, minerals, and animal products. These remedies are carefully selected based on their therapeutic properties and their ability to restore the body’s natural equilibrium. In the context of post-COVID recovery, herbs such as tulsi (holy basil), ginger, turmeric, and licorice may be prescribed to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve respiratory function.

Regulation of Diet and Lifestyle:

Unani physicians emphasize the importance of diet and lifestyle in maintaining health and preventing disease. In the context of post-COVID recovery, dietary modifications may be recommended to support immune function and aid in the healing process. This may include consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, while avoiding processed foods, sugary beverages, and excessive intake of red meat.

Detoxification Therapies:

Unani medicine advocates for the removal of toxins from the body through various detoxification therapies, such as cupping (Hijama), purgation (Ishaal), and bloodletting (Fasd). These therapies are believed to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms and promote the elimination of waste products accumulated during illness. In the context of post-COVID recovery, detoxification therapies may help alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, and muscle weakness.

Stress Management and Mental Health Support:

The psychological impact of COVID-19 cannot be overlooked, as many individuals experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of the pandemic. Unani medicine recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body and offers holistic approaches to stress management and mental health support. This may include counseling, mindfulness practices, and herbal remedies known for their calming and mood-stabilizing effects, such as ashwagandha and brahmi.

Physical Rehabilitation:

For individuals experiencing lingering physical symptoms such as muscle weakness, joint pain, and shortness of breath, Unani medicine offers physical rehabilitation techniques such as massage (Dalk), exercise (Riyazat), and hydrotherapy (Ilaj bil Ma-ul-Heat). These therapies aim to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, and enhance respiratory function, facilitating a faster recovery and return to normal activities.

Individualized Treatment Approach:

One of the hallmarks of Unani medicine is its personalized approach to treatment, where each individual is assessed based on their unique constitution (Mizaj) and presenting symptoms. This individualized approach allows Unani practitioners to tailor treatment plans to address the specific needs and concerns of each patient, optimizing outcomes and promoting overall well-being.


Unani medicine offers a time-tested approach to promoting overall well-being. By focusing on restoring balance within the body and addressing the root cause of long COVID symptoms, Unani can be a valuable addition to a holistic post-COVID recovery plan.

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