Siddha Medicine is one of the oldest medical system in the world which is believed to be originated more than 10,000 years ago. Siddha system is the science which takes human and nature as part of closed system.
Palm leaf manuscripts says that the Siddha system was first described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvathy. Parvathy explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He taught all these knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthiyar. Agasthiyar taught 17 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to the human beings.
The word Siddha came from the word siddhi, which means perfection of heavenly bliss. The persons who attained this were called Siddhars. They wrote literature’s in Classical Tamil language for all branches of science and it is mainly practiced on south part of India.
The Siddha Medicine is the oldest traditional treatment system from the Dravidian culture. the Dravidian was the first inhabitant of India of whom the Tamilians were the most prominent. The Tamilians were not only the earliest civilized but also those who may more considerable progress in civilization than any other early people.
Basics of Siddha Medicine
The basis of Siddha science is understanding that ‘earth’, ‘air’, ‘water’, ‘fire’ and ‘ether’ correspond to five senses of human body are fundamentals to all living things. All created or evolved matters in the world whether it is animal or vegetable or mineral, they all fall under these categories. The human anatomy and physiology, causative factors of diseases, materials for the treatment & cure of the disease, also fall in the five elemental categories. These give rise to three doshas or humors.
According to siddha medicine, there are seven elements viz.
1. SARAM (PLASMA)
2. CHENEER (BLOOD)
3. OOUN (MUSCLE)
4. KOZHUPPU (FAT)
5. ELUMBU (BONE)
6. MOOLAI (NERVE)
7. INTHIRIYAM (SEMEN)
Those are responsible for physical, physiological and psychological functions of the human body. These seven elements are activated by three components or humors or doshas viz.
1. VATHA (AIR)
2. PITHA (FIRE or HEAT or ENERGY)
3. KAPHA (WATER)
It is believed that these three components or humors or doshas are normally available in a particular ratio in our body. When the equilibrium of these three doshas is disturbed in our body, various disorders or diseases are caused. The major factors that affect or disturb the equilibrium state of these three humors (tridhoshas) in our body are diet, physical activities, environmental factors and stress.
Diagnosis and Medicine in Siddha Medicine
Siddha medicine classifies disease & disorders into 4448 types. Each of these is believed to have 64 commonly prescribed types of remedies. In total there are more than 3, 50,000 herbal formulas used in Siddha system in which 4,000 plants are used commonly and another 2000 herbs are used in rare situation.
The diagnosis of various diseases in siddha medicine is based on Pulse reading, examining the body by touch, voice, color, eyes, tongue, stool and urine and its oil drop pattern analysis by exposing it in sun light are the major basic diagnoses in identifying the diseases and disorders.
Siddha system of medicine instructs the patients to follow pathiyam i.e. “to take” and “not to take” food during the medication. The treatment of siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the three humors at equilibrium state in the body thereby keeping the seven elements in normal condition to have a healthy body and mind.
Use of metals and minerals is predominant in siddha medicine when compared to other Indian systems of medicine (ISM). Siddhars dealt with 11 metals, 64 pashanam (mercurial & non-mercurial), 120 uprasams (salts and other minerals) and animal products in preparing medicines, 32 types of internal medicines and 32 external medicines. Usually the medicines have a long life and their potency is not lost. The specialty of Siddhars is metallic preparation, which becomes alkaline, waxy preparation and preparations, which are impervious in water and flame. Siddhars also developed the knowledge of bringing inorganic substances into atomic and ionic form that can be easily absorbed by the body when grounded with herbal juices and put in fire with a calculated number of cow dung.