Review Article of Journal of Herbal Medicine Research
Sirka (Vinegar): From Traditional Use To Scientific Approach
Mohd Nauman Saleem*, Mohammad Idris**
*Research Associate, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, New Delhi
**Head, Departments of Ilm-us-Saidla and Ilm-ul-Advia, A & U Tibbia College, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
Review method: Single-blind; Peer reviewer comments: 1.
Traditional medicine is the summation of knowledge, skills and practices based on theories, beliefs and experiences which are indigenous to different cultures. Sirka (Vinegar) has a long historical background and besides its usage as a common condiment, food ingredient, preservative, flavoring and culinary agent it has also been extensively exploited as a potent medicinal substance. The use of vinegar to fight infections and other acute conditions dates back to Hippocrates who recommended a vinegar preparation named sikanjabeen for cleaning ulcerations and for the treatment of sores. Sikanjabeen was also used in conventional system of medicine by the name of oxymel. According to Unani classical literature, it is obtained after fermentation of various substances such as grapes, sugarcane, dried grapes, figs, jamun, honey, onions, grains etc and prepared by a specific procedure in which the juice of ingredient is taken in a vessel and kept in sunlight, until proper fermentation of that liquid takes place. Various actions and clinical indications have been elaborated in the Unani classical literature and some properties namely Anti-infective, Antihypertensive, Cardio-protective, Antitumor, Antiglycemic, Antioxidant and Antitubercular activities have been revalidated in the light of recent scientific researches. A number of clinical researches have also been performed to explore medicinal properties of Sirka (Vinegar). This review provides significant information on Sirka (Vinegar) as a traditional asset and furthers the scientific validation of pre existing facts.
Keywords: Sirka, Vinegar, Unani System of Medicine.