Tibb in SA

Unani Tibb is an ancient healthcare system with a primary focus on holistic and preventative medicine.

Unani Tibb is an ancient healthcare system with a primary focus on holistic and preventative medicine. Its philosophy has origins ranging from Persian to Greco – Arab medicine and has successfully dominated in practice over centuries across the world. Undoubtedly the work of prominent philosophers also known as the fathers of modern day medicine, namely, Hippocrates, Galen and Ibn Sina, have jointly laid down the foundation of science, medicine and the art of care. The infamous book on the canon of medicine bears testament to their significant work.

Unani Tibb supports the notion of patient centred care through a unique system called temperament analysis. An individual’s temperament gives insight on general health status and predisposition to Illness and disease. Hence temperament analysis is included as a diagnostic measurement but also serves as a guide to health maintenance and disease prevention.

Why is temperament analysis so important? Maintaining the health of your temperament ensures the strength of Physis, which is known as the body’s inherent ability to maintain health and homeostasis. Physis acts to preserve the health and optimal functioning of all the vital physiological systems inside the body including the immune system.

Unani Tibb also focuses on treating individuals holistically via the 6 lifestyle factors. These factors are uniquely adjusted to support the patient’s temperament as well as rectifying the imbalance.

The University of the Western Cape is currently the only tertiary institution to support the training and education of Unani Tibb students in South Africa. The training spans over a 5 year intense programme. The programme starts with a three year bachelor of science in complementary medicine and health science and then specialising in Unani Tibb for the remaining two years.

Over the years clinical training have taken place in an on campus natural medicine clinic starting from fourth year. The clinic forms part of an interdisciplinary program whereby it shares premises with other fields of natural medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Phytotherapy and Naturopathy.

Is a non-profit company and organisation dedicated to support the training and empowerment of Unani Tibb in South Africa; established by the Bhikha family trust in 1997. Professor Rashid Bhikha majorly contributed to its development in South Africa and contributed to its training of undergraduates at UWC.

Tibb treatment centre in Cape Town has been opened to empower and support the training of Unani Tibb graduates. The clinics provide natural health care Programmes, medication/herbal teas and Cupping therapy to its clients and people from surrounding areas. Its main aim is to bring healthcare to those who are less fortunate while at the same time supporting the growth and training of Unani Tibb students and practitioners.

On a yearly basis, students from the IES Programme via the University of Cape Town visit the clinic and learn about its purpose and role within the community. Students from the University of Stellenbosch on the MBCHB Programme visit the clinic yearly to complete their electives in complementary and alternative medicine in South Africa.

The institute’s clinic is involved in numerous researches related to current health matters on a yearly basis. These papers are published on their website, see link below.