Siddha Medicine Treatments in India
An ancient system of medicine prevalent in South India. The word Siddha comes from the Tamil word for perfection. In Siddha medicine, the individual is a microcosm of the universe. The human body consists of the five primordial elements – earth, water, fire, air and space, the three humours-vatha, pitta and kapha and seven physical constituents. Food is the basic building material of the human body and gets processed into humors, tissues and wastes. The equilibrium of humours is considered as health and its disturbance or imbalance leads to a diseased state. There is equal emphasis on the body, mind and spirit and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual. Treatment is aimed at restoring balance to the mind-body system. Diet, lifestyle, yoga and meditation play a major role not only in maintaining health but also in curing diseases.
Siddha system of medicine is one of the oldest systems of medicine practiced in South India especially in Tamil Nadu. It is a traditional system of medicine which is gradually evolved along with the Dravidians’ culture and hence this system is known as Dravidian system of medicine. The exponents of Siddha system of medicine are called Siddhars. They are the super human beings with high culture and intellectual abilities. They had tremendous powers by the way of Meditation, Yoga practice and rejuvenation. They were the spiritual scientists who explored and explained the reality of nature and its relationship with man by their Siddhic powers (supernatural powers) and experimental findings. Eighteen Siddhars seem to have contributed much to the development of this medical system. They have left their imprints not only in medicine but also in Yoga, Alchemy and Philosophy. There are 6 dispensaries and 1 hospital for siddha in ISM.
Concepts of Siddha
The aim of siddha medicine is to make the body perfect, imperishable and to promote longevity. For the healthy life, Siddhars have mentioned daily and seasonal regimen including dietary habits and also insisted some code of ethics. This is the first system to emphasis health as the perfect state of physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual component of human beings. Also Siddhars lead a simple way of life according to the laws of nature and beyond the narrow divisions of caste, creed, religion, colour and nation.
This system is mainly based on ‘Andapinda Thathuvam’ that means the relationship between the universe and human body. These two are interlinked through the five basic principles which are known as ‘Panchaboothas’. The structural aspect of the human body is said to be ‘Udal Thathus’ (i.e. the physical component of the human body) and the functional units of the human body is said to be ‘Uyir Thathus’ (the physiological units i.e., Vatham, Pitham, and Kapham). Functional co-operation of these two are essential for the maintenance of health.
According to the Siddhar ‘Yugi muni’, the diseases are widely classified into 4448. This classification is based on the following entities.
1. Clinical signs and symptoms
2. Derangement of the three physiological units i.e., Vatha, Pitha and Kapha
3. Causative factor of a particular disease.
4. Injury to the body vital points (Varma points)
5. Psychological causes.
6. Involvement of the affected parts of the body
7. Worm’s infestation and other infective organisms
8. Genetical inheritance which are sometimes known as ‘Karma Dhosas’
Materia medica: (Materials used for the medicinal preparation)
It is very vast in Siddha when compared with other indigenous system of medicine. In siddha system, thousands of raw drugs are used. These drugs are categorized into three groups, namely herbal products, metal, mineral products and animal products. Before preparing medicines, siddha physicians laid a great emphasis in purification of raw drugs. More than 80% of the siddha medicines are formulated by herbal products. But in certain life threatening diseases and in many chronic diseases the herbal medicines alone is not much effective. In such conditions, Siddhars enumerated some herbo-metal and herbo-mineral formulations. These types of medicines are prepared by a standard purification and preparatory techniques and the finished product is very minute and it seems to be size of nano microns or even less. So, it can be easily assimilated in our system and never produces any toxicity. Also, these type of medicines are prescribed in a very minimal dose (varies from 20mg to 200 mg) with suitable adjuvant for specific period along with some dietary restriction for the better result.
Treatments in siddha are widely classified in to 64 types i.e. 32 types of internal medications and 32 external treatments which include kizhi, fomentation, steam etc. Some preventive measurements are also clearly mentioned in siddha system. Among theses diet plays major role. One should take proper diet in proper time with proper quantity, need not worry about diseases. Therayar, a Siddha exponent insists some preventive methods to be followed on a day-to-day basis as well as seasonal basis which are highly useful for preventing many of the life style diseases.
Varma science and Thokkanam Therapy
Varma points are the subtle vital points which are present in the various parts of our body. They are classified in to 108 varma points. When these points are injured due to trauma or accident, results in serious neuro-muscular, musculoskeletal and even manifested as some systemic diseases. Such problems are properly treated in siddha medicine with various herbs, pressure methods and massage techniques. These type of massage and various physical manipulating techniques are called ‘Thokkanam” and by this way chronic Rheumatological, traumatological, and neurological problems are successfully treated in siddha system.
Thus, Siddha science is a peculiar science that always insists a healthy life style and cures many chronic ailments without producing any side effects.
Salient Features of Siddha
· Simple and safe medicines
· Very effective for chronic ailments
· Not only for correct the diseases but it also maintains the perfect state of the body
· Medicines are palatable
· Treatment available for all age groups
· Specific treatment for old age (Geriatrics) problems
· Enhance the immunity of growing children
· Thokkanam Therapy (Siddha physiotherapy) and Varma therapy are highly effective for neurological, musculo-skeletal problems and promotes physical and mental fitness.