Unani and modern aspects of psoriasis (Da’u-us-Sadaf) treatment: a review


  • Abdul Nasir Department of Eye and ENT, School of Unani Medical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
  • Gazala Fatma Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, School of Unani Medical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
  • Waris Ali Department of Unani Pharmacy, Iram Unani Medical College, Lucknow
  • M. Aftab Ahmad Department of Unani Pharmacy, School of Unani Medical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi




Psoriasis, Da’u-us-Sadaf, Taqashur-e-Jild, Qashaf-e-Jild


Psoriasis (Da’u-us-Sadaf) is a common, disfiguring, inflammatory, and chronic autoimmune skin disorder with a worldwide distribution, highest incidence is in Europeans, and the lowest in Asians from the East. The prevalence of psoriasis in adults varies from 0.44 to 2.8%, in India. The word psoriasis is derived from Greek word ‘psora’ meaning ‘itch’ ‘iasis’ meaning ‘action, condition’. Da’u-us-Sadaf is derived from Arabic words ‘daun’ means ‘disease’ and ‘Sadaf’ means ‘oyster shell’. Psoriasis or Da’u-us-Sadaf are not mentioned in any classic literature since ancient times. It was considered in the context of Taqashur-e-Jild and Qashaf-e-Jild by famous Unani physicians; Razi, Majoosi, Ahmad Bin Mohd Tabari, Ibn-e-Zohr, Akbar Arzani, Azam Khan, because of dryness of the skin and scale formation, which clinically resembles very much with psoriasis (Da’u-us-Sadaf). According to Ali Ibn-e-Abbas Al-Majoosi has described that Tabiyat expels the Khilt-e-Ghaleez from internal organs towards skin resulting in the dryness and itching of the skin, but in this condition skin is unable to remove Khilt-e-Ghaleez leading to accumulation of sauda in skin and produce Taqashur-e-Jild. Unani scholars has emphasized the Usool-e-Ilaj (principle of treatment) such as evacuations of black bile (Istifragh or Tanqiyahe Sauda), use of blood purifier (Tasfeeh-e-Dam), Munzijate Sauda (Melancholic concoctives), Mushilate Sauda (Melancholic purgatives), Tabreed Badan (genesis of ratoobat or fluids in the body), try to restore normal temperament (Tadeele Mizaj), topical application of jali (detergent), murakhi (emollient), murattib and mohallil (anti-inflammatory) advia. In this review we have tried to discuss about Unani and modern aspects of psoriasis (Da’u-us-Sadaf).

Author Biography

Abdul Nasir, Department of Eye and ENT, School of Unani Medical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

Assistant Professor, Department of Ain, Uzn Anaf wa Halaq (Eye & ENT), Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India


Pariser DM, Bagel J, Gelfand JM, Korman NJ, Ritchlin CT, Strober BE, et al. National Psoriasis Foundation Clinical Consensus on Disease Severity. Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:239-24.

Khanna N. Illustrated Synopsis of Dematology, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Published by Elsevier, 2nd Edition; 2008:37-48.

Dogra S, Mahajan R. Psoriasis: Epidemiology, clinical features, co-morbidities, and clinical scoring. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7:471-80.

Dogra S, Yadav S. Psoriasis in India: Prevalence and pattern. Ind J Der Ven Lep. 2010;76(6):595-601.

Boon A. Nicholas et al. Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine. 20th ed; Churchill, Livingstone; 2006:1287-1292.

The History of Psoriasis. Available at http://www.healthspas.co.za/spa/articles/Psoriasis.php.

Glickman FS. Lepra, psora, psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol.1986;14:863-6.

Braunwald. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th McGraw Hill Medical Publishing Division, New York, London, New Delhi. 2008;1:315-16.

Thomas L, Venes R. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 9th ed. Delhi: Jaypee Brothers; 2002:1782.

Smoller BR. Horn Dermatiology in Systemic Disease. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001:25-28.

Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Delhi: Saunders Imprint of Elsevier; 2004:2461-2462.

Virendra NS. Text Book of Clinical Dermatology. 4th ed. Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers; 2006:126-135.

Nestle FO, Kaplan DH, Barker J. Psoriasis. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(5):496-509.

Nickoloff BJ, Smith WT, Bonish B, Porcelli SA. Response of murine and normal human skin to injection of allogeneic blood derived psoriatic immunocytes: detection of T-cells expressing receptors typically present on natural killer cells, including CD 94, CD 158 and CD 161. Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(5):546-52.

Razi ABMBZ. Kitab-AL-Hawi Fil-Tibb. 1st ed., Hyderabad; Dairatul Moarif; 1970.

Majoosi ABA. Kamil-us-Sanaah. Urdu Translation by Kantoori HG. Lucknow; Matba Munshi Naval Kishor: Year Not Mentioned.

Tabari, Ahmad Bin Mohammad: Al-Moalejat-ul-Buqratiya, Urdu translation, Vol. 1st part I-5, 183-85. 2, Part 6-8, CCRUM, New Delhi. 1997;151-185.

Ibne Zohr AMAM. Kitab-ut-Taiseer Fil Madavat-e-Wa-al-Tadbeer. 1st ed, New Delhi; Urdu Translation by CCRUM; 1986.

Arzani HA. Tibb-e-Akbar Urdu. Lucknow; Munshi Naval Kishor; 1883.

Khan MA. Akseer-e-Azam. Kanpur; Matba Nizami: 1289 Hijri.

Ibn-e-Rushd, Abul Walid Mohammad: “Kitab-ul-Kulliyat”, Urdu Tarjamah CCRUM New Delhi; 1980:89-90.

Sharah Asbab. Cancer - from the horizons of Unani medicine. Current Drug Therapy. 2019;14(2).

Jeelani, Hakim Ghulam: “Makhzan-e-Hikmat”, Matba SH of set Press, New Delhi; 1996;2:698.

Kabeeruddin, Hakim Mohammad: “Tashreeh-e-Kabeer”, Qarol Bagh, Delhi; 1924;2:563-70.

Toor SH. Kamil-ut-Tashkhees Pub. Bu Idarah Tarjuman-Al-tib Lahore. Year not mentioned; 94-95.

Israili, Mohammad Ayyub: “Tarjamh Urdu Shareh-e-Asbab”, Munshi Naval Kishore, Lucknow. 2018;2:414-15.

Ghaznivi, Khalid: “Amraz-E-Jild Wa Ilaj-e-Nabvi”, Azeem Publisher, New Delhi; 1993:257-260.

Behl PN. Practice of Dermatology. New Delhi; CBS Publishers and Distributors; 2000.

Falco BO. “Dermatology” Springer - Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York; 1991:417-434.

Arnold, Harry L. “Andrew‟s Disease of the Skin Clinical Dermatology”, 8th Ed; WB Saunders Company. 1990;1(13):198-204.

Champion RH. “Text Book of Dermatology”, 6th ed; Black well science Ltd. etc. 1998;2:1598-643.

Fitzpatrick, Freedberg, Irwin M. “Dermatology in general Medicine” 6th Ed. Medical publishing division McGraw Hill. 2003;1:407-20.

Lal S. Clinical pattern of psoriasis in Punjab. India J Dermatol Venereol. 1966;35:5-12.

Fitzpatrick, James E. “Dermatology Secrets” Hanley and Belfus, INC Medical Publisher, Philadelphia. 1996;1(5):39-42.

Valia RG. “Text Book and Atlas of Dermatology”, 2nd Ed; Bhalani Publishing House Mumbai, India. 2001;2:812-34.

McKee HP. “Essential skin pathology”. London: Mosby international Ltd.; 1999:71-72.

Rocha PP. “The inflammatory Response in mild and in Severe Psoriasis”. British J Dermatology. 2004; 150:927.

Sainani, Gurumukh S. “API Text Book Of Medicine”, 6th Ed; Association of Physicians of India, Mumbai; 1999:1198-1199.

Khan MS. Da-us-Sadaf (Psoriasis), 1st ed., New Delhi; Idara Kitab-us-Shifa; 2011.

Anonymous. Unani Treatment for Some Common Skin Disorders. New Delhi; CCRUM. Department of AYUSH; 2007.

Alam M, Joy S, Kalaimani S, Veluchamy G. Contribution to the process and product standardization of 777 oil used in psoriasis. J Research in Ayurveda and Sidha. 1994;15(1-2):75-9.

Sharma S, Rai NP. The clinical profile of hepatoprotective drug in the management of Kitibh (Psoriasis vulgaris), Proceeding of International Congress on Ayurveda, Chennai; 2000:13.

Upadhayay R. Calotropis procera (Ait) R.br. an important ethnomedicinal plant, National Symposium on Emerging trends in Indian Medicinal Plants. Lucknow; 2003:7.

Volger BK, Ernst E. Aloe vera:a systemic review of its clinical effectiveness. Br J Gen Pract. 1999;49(447):823-8.

Atique A, Iqbal M. Traditional single drug administration for the psychosomatic dermal disease. Hamdard Medicus. 1992;35(2):76-81.

Tse WP, Cheng CH, Che CT, Zhao M, Lin ZX. Induction of apoptosis underlies the Radix Rubiae mediated anti proliferative action on human epidermal keratinocytes: Implications for psoriasis treatment. Int J Mol Med. 2007;20(5):663-72.

Kabiruddin HM. Bayaz-e-Kabeer. Vol. 2, Haiderabad Deccan; Hikmat Book Depo: YNM.

Khan MS, Lari QH, Khan MA. (Physico-chemical and Pharmacological Prospective of Roghan-e-Narjeel (Coconut Oil). Int J Phar Sci Res. 2016;7(3): 1286-91.

Sina I. Al Qanoon fit Tib Vol-2, 4 (Arabic). New Delhi: Institute of History of Medicine and Medical Research; 1408 Hijri. p. 409-10,405-416.

Alam MT, Hasan I, Parvenu A, Nazamuddin M, Parveen S. Leach therapy (Taleeq): indication, contraindications and standard operative procedures (sop). J Biological Scientific Opinion. 2013;1(4):358-61.

Qarshi HM, Hasan, Jamiul Hikmat. Vol-2. New Delhi: Idara Kitabushshifa; 2011:1005.

Sultana A, Ahmad A, Begum M. Ilaj bil-Tadbeer, A Non-Medical Therapy in Unani System of Medicine, A Review. J Complementary Alternative Med. 2015;1(1):1-6.

Hamdani SKDH. Usool-e-Tib. Aligarh; Litho Color Printer; 1980.






Review Articles