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Understanding Humma-e-Wabai (epidemic fever) and Amraz-e-Wabai (epidemic disease) in the light of Unani medicine

  • Md Anzar Alam EMAIL logo , Mohd Aleemuddin Quamri , Umme Ayman , Ghulamuddin Sofi and Bangalore Nagaraj Renuka


The pathogenesis and clinical characteristics of Humma-e-Wabai were described several years ago in the Unani System of Medicine close to the clinical manifestation associated with epidemic or pandemic situations. In the Unani System of Medicine, Humma-e-Wabai described under the legend of epidemic disease (Amraz-e-Wabai). Amraz-e-Wabai is an umbrella term which is applied for all types of epidemic or pandemic situation. Renowned Unani Scientists like; Zakariya Rhazi (865–925 AD), Ali Ibn Abbas Majusi (930–994 AD), Ibn Sina (980–1037 AD), Ismail Jorjani (1,042–1,137 AD), Ibn Rushd etc., explained that Humma-e-Waba is an extremely rigorous, lethal fever, that is caused due to morbid air (fasid hawa) and it frequently spreads among the larger population in the society. There are four etiological factors responsible for Amraz-e-Wabai viz; change in the quality of air, water, earth, and celestial bodies, which was described by Ibn Sina in Canon of Medicine. He also advised that movements should be limited during epidemic situations. Shelters should be fumigated with loban (Styrax benzoin W. G. Craib ex Hartwich.), Kafoor (Cinnamomum camphora L.), Oodkham (Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.), Hing (Ferula foetida L.), myrtle (Myrtus communis L.), and sandalwood (Santalum album L.), etc. The use of vinegar (sirka) and rose water (arque gulab) has been advocated to prevent the infection by spray. Avoid consumption of flesh, oil, milk, sweets, alcohol. Food prepared with vinegar. Specific antidotes (e.g. Tiryaq-e-Wabai, Tiryaq-e-Farooque), should be used as prophylaxis. This review attempts to explain the concept, prevention, and management of epidemic or pandemic situations.

Corresponding author: Md Anzar Alam, MD, PhD, Department of Moalajat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, 560091 Bangalore, India, Phone: +91-9902146030, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: There is no financial support in this study.

  2. Author contributions: Study concept: Md Anzar Alam; drafting: Mohd Aleemuddin Quamri and Umme Ayman; critical revision for imperative rational content; Ghulamuddin Sofi and Renuka B.N.

  3. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Received: 2020-05-06
Accepted: 2020-07-03
Published Online: 2021-01-29

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