Dietotherapy (Ilaj-bil- Ghiza) involves recommending a specific diet, which is the simplest and most natural course of treatment by a hakim. For example, in fever, Unani medicine stresses a nutrient-rich, low-roughage diet that might include dalia (porridge) and kheer (a milk broth), as such types of diets are found to be very effective.
Before the initiation of treatment through drugs, Unani physicians as per their belief, advice restriction or alteration in daily diet, as this pattern should be adjusted according to disease. Sometimes they wait for few days, because some diseases can be cured even by diet so advised, and even during the drug therapy, specific diets are advised according to disease.
In Unani treatment modalities, food we consume plays a key role. Unani System of Medicine lays great stress on treating certain ailments by administration of specific diets or by regulating the quality and quantity of food.
In addition to nutritional properties, various foods have pharmacological actions too. For example, many foods are laxative in nature, some may be diuretic and others may have diaphoretic properties.
Weakness of certain organs, is corrected by administering the same organ of an animal by way of food; for instance, disorders and weakness of liver are treated by including goat liver in patient’s diet. Likewise, hearts, kidneys and brains of animals are recommended in the respective organ’s treatment of an individual.
There are several published books, which deals with the subject of diet in relation to specific diseases. Some of these are: