Concept of Mizaj in Unani system of medicine

Mizaj is the quality or power produced in the compound after intermixing of Ustaqissate Arba’ (four elements) with their equal or unequal quantities, which is equally distributed in the whole compound. This is the quality which provides a power to the compound, because of which the compound performs its functions. If this quality or power of the compound is good, normal functions will be produced from it and vice versa.

The Mizaj or power of the compound depends upon the quantities and qualities of Ustaqissate Arba’ that participate in the formation of the compound. When these elements intermix with each other, in the compound, with suitable or appropriate quantities and qualities as per need of the compound, as a result a specific Mizaj is formed in the same which is suitable for its normal functioning and the other round.

There are nine types of Mizaj, one is Mo’tadil and eight are Ghair Mo’tadil (Tibbi Mo’tadil); four Mufrad and four Murakkab. For example, if the dominant element (part) in the compound is Nar (fire), the compound would be considered as of Har Mizaj (hot temperament). Similarly, if the dominant element or part of the compound is Maa (water), the compound would be considered as of Barid Mizaj (clod temperament).

Likewise Ratab and Yabis Mizaj are obtained from dominance of Hawa (air) and Arz (soil) respectively. Similarly, if two elements out of four Ustaqissat (fire, air, water and soil) become dominant, the compound would be called by their qualities. For example, if fire and air both are dominant together in the compound, it would be considered as Har Ratab. Like wise, there are four types of Murakkab Mizaj as Har Ratab, Har Yabis, Barid Ratab and Barid Yabis. Because of intermixing of elements in different proportion in the different compounds, numbers of Mizaj may exceed the and can reach beyond the limit of counting. That’s why each individual has its specific Mizaj. Human being is also considered as a Murakkab (compound) and gets its Mizaj (temperament) in uterus in the form of Nutfa (zygote) after intermixing of Maddae Manviyah with each other.

These Maddae Manviyah are also made from Ustaqissate Arba’ i.e. Juze Nari, Juze Hawaee, Juze Maee and Juze Arzi. If these Ajzae Manviyah are intermixed with proper quantities and qualities, an appropriate compound (foetus) is formed having Mizaje Asli as Mizaje Mo’tadil as a result the structures of growing foetus will be proportionate anatomically and functions will be normal and the foetus or a child will carry a good health and good character, and when these Ajzae Manviyah do not intermix with each other in proper quantity, as a result Mizaje Asli will not be Mo’tadil and the Sakht (structure) and the Afa’al of the body will be abnormal, because of which so many kinds of congenital deformities may be developed in baby in place of health i.e., if the Maddae Manviyah (semen) is less or more in quantity, foetus will not be developed properly. If Maddae Manviyah is less in quantity, any organ may be smaller in size as “Microcephally”. Similarly, if the quantity of Maaddae Manviah is more, any organ of the body may enlarge as “Macrocephally” . disturbances There are so many kinds of congenital diseases that develop in foetus due to in the genetic material (chromosomes and genes) like, Down’s syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, PKU (phenylketonurea), Tay-sachs disease, galactocemia etc.

Till now, over 2300 hereditary diseases have been identified. If a person is born with such Mizaje Asli that has deviated towards Sue Mizaj but is not out of the range of Mizaje Mo’tadil Shakhsi, he will be more prone to develop such diseases having same Mizaj as of foetus. That’s why, a close relationship between temperament and disease of the patient is observed. People of one type of temperament may be prone to develop a particular group of diseases in different stages of life and under different climatic conditions.

For example, a person of cold temperament is generally prone to obesity and of hot temperament is prone to acute fever, heat stroke, dehydration, hypertension etc. There are some factors, having their specific temperament, responsible for influencing the temperament of an individual and causing diseases like age, air, place (residence of an individual), season, diet and occupation. If persons having Mizaj Har adopt Har Tadabeer, they may develop diseases like Hummae Yaum, acute fever, heat stroke, dehydration, hypertention, diabetes, increased thirst, insomnia, weak digestion, soft and delicate constitution of body. Similarly, if a person having Mizaj Barid and gets Barid Tadabeer, he will be more susceptible to develop diseases like Hummae Balghamiah, decreased metabolism, obesity, Suddah (obstruction) which may cause so many diseases in the body for example, if Suddah (obstruction) occurs in the brain vessels, it may causes Falij (paralysis).

If it occurs in the vessels of the heart, it may cause angina and MI (myocardial infarction). If obstruction occurs in the arteries supplying genital organs infertility may be developed. If Suddah occurs in deep vein of the body, it may cause deep vein thrombosis. Sue Mizaj Barid is the most common cause of Aa’sabi Amraz (Nervine diseases) like Isterkha, Ra`sha, Ikhtilaj, Khadar, Falij, Laqwah etc. There are some other diseases which may develop because of Sue Mizaj Barid as cough and common cold, Buhtus Saut (hoarseness of voice), Asthma, Ascites etc. The persons having Mizaj Ratab if adopt Ratab Tadabeer, they may acquire some diseases as Hummae Balghamiah, infections (frequently), laziness, Buhtus Saut (hoarseness of voice), increased sleep, heart pain, Zo’fe Hazm (dyspepsia), general weakness, prolonged fever, diarrhoea, piles, dysmenorrhoea, ulcers, fistulae, epilepsy, stomatitis. Similarly, the persons having Sue Mizaj Yabis when adopt Yabis Tadabeer they may be susceptible to produce diseases of Sue Mizaj Yabis i.e. Hummae Ruba’, Laghri (leanness)3, asthma, anosmia, body ache, Zo`fe Aa’za and male infertility.

Everything (animate or inanimate), which is present in this world has its own specific Mizaj. Like this, each and every individual has specific kinds of Mizaj but these are suitable for them. Not only the human being having its specific temperament but also a species, race and organs of the body are furnished distinct temperament that are Mo’tadil (suitable) for them. For example, Africans and Indians having their specific Mizaj which differs from each other, but are suitable for their body functions i.e. if African temperament is replaced by Indian temperament, it will be harmful for them and they will feel discomfort and cannot adjust themselves with that.

Same like this, if an organ having Mizaje Asli as Mizaje Har acquired Mizaje Barid, it will lose its harmony; as a result abnormal functions will be manifested from it. There are some factors responsible for change in temperaments of human being like age, place or residence, weather, diets, tadabeer (regimens), occupation and habit etc. Out of all these factors, everyone has its specific Mizaj. Therefore, for maintaining health of an individual and avoidance of disease, it is necessary to be acquainted with these factors and their temperament. Following assessment of Mizaj of human being and the factors responsible for changing the Mizaj, we can predict about the health status of an individual as well as of a community in a region or a country for example a person having Mizaje Barid and adopts cold Tadabeer like cold diet, stays in cold place and cold weather, surely he will fall ill. And when he reaches Sinne Kuhoolat and Sinne Shaikhookhat, he will not pass his life as better as that of the persons having Sue Mizaj Har, and he would fall ill frequently and vice versa. Similarly, if a person having Sue Mizaj Ratab and use Ratab Tadabeer, he will frequently feel discomfort in comparison of the person having Sue Mizaj Yabis.

In this way, we may aware about the health status of a community and an epidemiology of diseases in a region or a country as a whole, following determination of Mizaj of the region, because every region or country influences the Mizaj of its inhabitants, due to which they become susceptible to develop some specific diseases i.e. inhabitants of Masakine Harrah (hot places) usually suffer from digestive problems and more loss of Rutoobate Badan (body fluids) because of which they shortly become cold. Similarly, inhabitants of Masakine Rataba (wet places) usually tend to be obese and more susceptible to devolop chronic fever, Ishal (diarrhoea), piles, menorrhagia, infections and epilepsy etc.

As far as seasons are concerned, each season has its specific Mizaj and causes some specific diseases in the persons having same Mizaj as that of the season. For example, in winter season, persons with Balghami Mizaj develop more Balghami Amraz like, Zukam (common cold), pleurisy, Buhtus Saut, backache nervine disease etc. than that of the persons having Mizaj Har. Unani medicine is distinct in its concept of disease and health. Both disease and health are described in the context of Mizaj and Sakht (structure) hormoney, when both Mizaj and Sakht are in hormoney with the environmental demands then the state is called health. Mizaj imparts a shape, the most suitable for performing the Mizaji functions in a given environment.

Sakht and its inherent capacities mediate the concordance between the Mizaji functions and environmental demand to establish a state of optimum adjustment and survival. Regarding disease causation, Unani physicians recognised a relationship between Mizaj, Sakht and environment, and thus relieved the medicine from the sling of demon dominance, demon entry, and influence of evil spirit and influence of evil eyes. In Unani System of Medicine diagnosis and treatment are based on Mizaj of the patients and the drugs are given to the patient. Therefore, for maintaining health and treatment of disease it is mandatory to determine the Mizaj of patients and disease. Like finger prints which are used to identify a person, similarly by determination of Mizaj, we can find out Halate Badan (health and disease condition of the body).

If we are aware about the temperament of an individual and the factors mentioned above, we can maintain the health and can treat the disease, by giving some instructions/ knowledge and drugs as per their temperaments. By doing this, we can improve health status and life expectancy of human beings at individual, community and country levels.