Concept of Unani Jali (detergents/cleansers) drugs and its scientific validation: scope for new opportunities in dermatological pharmacotherapeutics

Drug Metab Pers Ther. 2022 Aug 24;38(1):31-43. doi: 10.1515/dmpt-2022-0121. eCollection 2023 Mar 1.


Objectives: The use of detergent-action drugs in traditional Unani therapeutic intervention has been a long-standing Unani medicinal practice. The key aim of the article is to provide thorough information on the novel, unexplored idea of Unani Jali (detergent/cleansers) drugs for the treatment of skin ailments, as well as to identify medicinal plants that have detergent action and correlate these findings with scientific studies that may support evidence for the drug's detergent effect.

Content: The ethnobotanical classical literature of Unani medicine was investigated in order to have a comprehensive insight of Unani detergents/cleansers. Scientific studies were carried from databases including PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and google Scholar, among others. More than fifty exclusive plant, mineral, and animal-based detergents are found specifically for skin disorders in Unani therapy. These drugs basically evacuate impurities from the body's excretory system and and have been found to have keratolytic and debris-peeling effects, as well as the ability to maintain skin tone consistency. Unani Jali drugs have also been found to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic, and tonic properties, suggesting its usefulness holistically.

Summary and outlook: Based on phyto constituents, prospective therapeutic response, and scientific data, this review proposes that Unani Jali drugs could be a safe and promising therapeutic option for dermatological illnesses such as vitiligo, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and skin sensitivity.

Keywords: Jali; Unani; dermatology; skin; traditional.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Detergents*
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Detergents
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents