Salient Features of Siddha Medicine
One of the salient features of Siddha Medicine is that it has thousands of medicines for almost all ailments known to man. The system which was originated from the Eighteen Siddhars was propagated and further developed through hundreds of their disciples many centuries ago. Every Siddhars documented hundreds of formulations that include herbal, herbo-mineral, metal and animal products. The literature containing the knowledge of Siddha system was transmitted to the present generation through manuscripts written in palm leaves. These time-tested drugs are found to be highly efficacious in the treatment of specified disease. In Siddha, proper processing of the drugs enhances the efficacy and safeness of the drugs. Hundreds of formulas are available in Siddha to control even dreadful diseases.
Totally 64 varieties of medicines are available in Siddha which include 32 varieties of internal medicine and 32 varieties of external medicine. It is very clear that no other medical system in the world has this many varieties of drugs. Because of the long shelf life, these medicines could be preserved for several years. For example: Chenduram variety for 75 years, Parpam, Kattu, Kalangu, Urukku varieties for 100 years, Chunnam for 500 years and no expiry for Karpam, Sathu, Gurukuligai varieties. Dosage of Siddha medicines is also very minimal and less expensive.
Dr. K. Jagannathan, BSMS, MD(Siddha), Ph. D.
MEDICINAL USES OF MARINE PRODUCTS
Sea is one of the biggest sources of not only food materials but also various health care substances. Siddha practitioners are utilizing such materials in their practice in different forms for different ailments effectively. Siddhars, the founders of Siddha medical system, prepared a wide range of products from marine products and documented their preparation methods and utility. We have mentioned here a few of such effective preparations.
1. Calcined Sangu (Conch Shell) is considered an effective medicine for Peptic Ulcer. Favorable results are observed within 6-8 weeks of therapy.
2. Pavazham (Corals) is a definitive solution for bronchial asthma and bronchitis in children. For this reason, bhasmam of Pavazham is being given with honey for specific period.
3. Muthu Bhasmam (Pearl Powder) is a constructive drug for eye disorders especially in dull vision due to nutritional deficiency.
4. Nandukkal (Fossil stone of Crab), as per Siddha tradition, is an ideal drug for promoting urine excretion in case of edema and urinary stones to dissolve them.
5. Amaiodu (Turtle shell) preparations are highly advantageous in digestive disorders found in children.
6. Nathai (Snails) is being utilized to find solution for bleeding as well as first degree piles.
7. Respiratory ailments could be managed with Muthuchippi (Pearl Oyster shells) preparations.
8. Drug prepared with Kilinjil (Common Oyster Shells) is a wonderful remedy for fissure foot.
9. We are all aware that fish oil is the richest source of vitamin –A, and usually prescribed for eye and skin disorders.
Here, we are not specifying the name of medicines, vehicle (adjuvant), dose and duration of medication because patients should take these medicines only under the guidance of a Siddha doctor.
SOME SIMPLE REMEDIES
1. Paste of Thottalsinungi (Mimosa pudica) leaves, will be beneficial for mild diabetics when it is given internally.
2. Paste prepared from Vandukolli (Ring worm shrub) leaves and lemon juice is an excellent external application for fungal disorders.
3. Karkkam of Vilwam (Aegle marmelos) leaves is an effective remedy for IBS and should be taken with fresh buttermilk.
4. Venthayam (Fenugreek) soaked in water and taken with curds is a useful medicine for chronic diarrhea and mucous dysentery.
5. Amukkura (Withania somnifera) powder with sugar candy and milk twice a day will correct nervous debility.
6. A piece of Athimathuram (Indian liquorice) can be chewed for dryness of mouth, throat and dry cough.
7. Decoction obtained from 10 gram of Asoka bark powder twice a day will correct the problems of menstrual irregularities.
8. Gargling of coconut milk twice a day will be useful for mouth ulcers.
9. Thuthi (Abutilon indicum) leaves kalkkam is a wonderful remedy for bleeding as well as first degree piles.
10. Decoction of Khas- Khas seeds will solve insomnia problem.
NB: Quantity of raw materials to be taken for each preparation mentioned above is not mentioned. It has to be discussed with a Siddha physician.
BLOOD PURIFIERS IN SIDDHA
Blood purifiers in Siddha are frequently used in skin and allergic disorders. Blood purifiers are generally having anti-dote property which is essential to nullify /neutralize or remove toxins/ allergens from the body. Many simple preparations are often used by the Siddha practitioners. Names of few medicines are mentioned here for general information.
1. Nanari (Hemidesmus indicus) root decoction
2. Avuri elai karkkam (Indigofera tinctoria)
3. Arugan pul (Cyanodon dactylon) decoction
4. Milagu (Piper nigrum) Decoction
5. Nanjaruppan (Tilospora asthmatica)
6. Parangipattai (Smilax chinensis) choornam
MONTHLY ONE HERB- INTRODUCTION
SEENTHIL- Tinospora cordifolia
Tamil – Seenthil
Malayalam – Amirt
It is a climber and tastes bitter. The leaves, stem and roots of this creeper are used in Siddha medicines. In Siddha, it is mainly used for fever and inflammation. In diabetics or polyneuritis cases, decoction is recommended to normalize blood sugar level and to promote microcirculation. Salt obtained from this entire plant will be beneficial for diabetes, skin and bone disorders. Even osteomyelitis could be controlled with this plant. Ghee preparation of this stem is a very popular drug for sinusitis. In addition to it, it is a kayakalpa drug having the capacity to improve immunity.
PATHYAM SERIES (Regimen)
Pathyam for Arthritis:
At present a large number of people are afflicted with rheumatism. It is most commonly seen in plus-forty age group. By following pathyam patient can control the intensity of the pain even without oral medications. Pathyam means regulation of diet and personal habits not mere diet restriction. Patient should avoid following things.
1. Intake of tuberous roots especially potato, pulses and non vegetarian food items.
2. Habits like Smoking, consumption of alcohol and tobacco chewing.
3. Lifting of heavy weights.
4. Aggressive exercises.
5. Exposure to cold/damp weather.
6. Taking bath in cold water.
7. Over-indulgence in sex.
Rheumatic patient should be careful to take only easily digestible food stuffs. Vegetarian diet is advised. Take bath in warm water.
ASK THE DOCTOR
Question : Doctor, I am twenty nine years old. I am suffering from sinus problem for the last four years. Sneezing, nasal block and head ache always troubles me. I cannot concentrate on my routines. Doctor told me that I have allergy. My sister also has the same problem but not much severe. Is there any remedy for this in Siddha?
Ramesh, Alwarpet, Chennai
Answer : Sinusitis generally results from allergy or infection. Plenty of medicines are available in Siddha to control the problem. Gowrichintamani chenduram, Sivanar amirtham, Thalisathy choornam, Thirikadugu choornam, Sangu parpam, Pavala parpam, Arumuga chenduram, Kasthuri karuppu, Muthuchippi parpam, Rasagandhi mezhugu, Seenthil nei, Vallathi nei, Thippili rasayanam, Thoothuvelai legyam are some of the medicines often used for such problems. Siro raksha thylam, Chukku thylam, Peenisa kesari thylam of Santhigiri are useful bath-oil for sinusitis. Hridaya Renjini (Santhigiri) steaming or nochi leaves steaming are also quite useful to get relief from nasal congestion. Exposure to cold, intake of cold food items, sweets, butter milk, curds, grapes, orange, lemon, pumpkin, egg, chicken are not advisable and therefore to be avoided. Perfumes, mosquito repellents, flower, fumes, smoke, dust is troublesome for the patients. It is better to do meditation and prayers daily. For a proper diagnosis and remedy consult a Siddha doctor.
(Answered by Dr. K.Jagannathan, BSMS, MD (Siddha), Ph. D, Santhigiri Siddha Medical College & Hospital)
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Salient Features of Siddha Medicine