1. What is Siddha Medicine?
Siddha medicine is one of the oldest traditional systems of medicine practiced in southern part of India mostly in Tamil nadu and Kerala. Siddha means “perfection”. It has holistic approach and covers physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being of an individual.
2. Who founded Siddha Medical system?
Though the origin of this system is considered to be divine, Siddhar Agasthyar is considered as the founding father of this medical system. There are 18 prominent siddhars who are the main contributors to this system of medicine.
3. What is the basis of Siddha Medical system?
The siddha system of medicine is based on the principles of Panchabootham (Five basic elements), 96 Thathuvas, (Factors), Mukkuttram (3 humours) and Arusuvai (6 tastes).
4. What is the Siddha view on structure and functions of human body?
According to siddha philosophy human body is made up of 96 Thathuvams (principles) and conditioned by uyir thathukkal (3 humours) and 7 udal thathukkal (physical constituents). These include physical, physiological, psychological and intellectual aspects of every human being. Along with this there are 72000 blood vessels, 13000 nerves and ten main arteries in the body.
5. What are the sources used in Siddha medicines?
Siddha medicines use Mooligai (herbs), Thathu (minerals) and Jeeva (animal products) as their sources.
6. How is diagnosis done in Siddha?
Diagnosis of disease is made on the basis of Envagaithervu (Eight parameters), of which nadi (pulse reading) is given special importance. It helps to find out the imbalanced or predominating kuttram (humor). The clinical features and constitution of the patient are also considered. Recently some modern tools of investigations such as X- rays and Blood tests are also used before treating a patient.
7. What are the modes of Siddha treatment?
Modes of siddha treatment include 32 types of internal medicines and 32 types of external applications. Herbal drugs are given in the forms like choornam (powder), Leghiyam, Mathirai (tablets),thylam (oil) and mineral preparations in the form of parpam (white calcinated powder), chendooram (red in color).
External methods like Thokkanam (massage) and surgical methods like attai vidal (leech therapy) and karanool (medicated thread) therapy are also used for treating piles and fistula.
8. Can Siddha system treat all diseases?
Generally Siddha treatment is very effective for arthritis, joint diseases, skin diseases, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), renal stones, liver problems, neurological disorders and hemiplegic conditions. Siddha system also offers an effective treatment for minor ailments including cold, cough and fever. Siddha medicine has been effectively complemented with allopathic medicine in the treatment of deadly viral diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya. However a Siddha specialist needs to be consulted before starting the treatment.
9. Are there any diet restrictions while taking Siddha medicines?
Depending upon the medicine there are some diet restrictions. For instance, food with sour taste, sea food and non vegetarian should be avoided while taking metallic and arsenic derived preparations.
10. What is anupanam?
Anupanam is the medium or vehicle in which a drug is given. A drug should be administered along with suitable anupanam (medium) which enhances the efficacy of the drug. Examples for anupanams are milk, honey, ghee, water, palm jiggery and herbal juice. A single drug has varied effects with different anupanams. For example Thamira parpam is administered with water for treating kaba diseases; similarly ghee is used as a medium for treating pitha diseases.
11. How is Siddha system of medicine different from Ayurveda?
Few important differences to mention are:
12. What is the regulatory mechanism for practicing Siddha medicine?
Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) is the regulatory body constituted under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 responsible for maintaining Central Register of Siddha practitioners and to deal with other matters. It is also responsible for framing various regulations including the curricula and syllabi in Indian Systems of Medicine including Siddha at Under-graduate and Post-graduate level.
13. What is the meaning of Varmam in Siddha?
'Varmam' is the branch of Siddha medicine which involves a special kind of therapy based on vital points called varma points present in the body which are junctions of prana vayu (vital energy). This healing application called ‘Varma Vaidhiya’ is used to treat patients suffering from injuries, paralysis, nervous disorder, spondylitis and other Joint disorders.
14. Who is eligible to practice Siddha medicine?
Siddha practitioners who are registered with the State Council or Central Council are only eligible to practice siddha medicine.
15. Is there any regulation for manufacturing Siddha medicines?
The manufacture and sale of Siddha drugs is regulated under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 by the Govt. of India. Also Pharmacoepial Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) is a standard setting cum drugs testing laboratory at National level for Indian Medicines which includes drugs of Siddha system. http://www.plimism.nic.in/Legal_Status.pdf
16. What are the job opportunities available for Siddha graduates?
Apart from the self-established clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes, Siddha graduates can get jobs at State and Central government organizations. Private organizations, Pharmaceutical industries, Panchayat Union clinics, Municipality dispensaries, Corporation hospitals, Private colleges and private hospitals are also offering jobs.
17. Are medicines containing minerals safe?
Medicines containing minerals and metals are time tested and proven ones. They are prepared only after specific purification as per Pharmacopoeial Standards hence, safe.
18. Are there any side effects of siddha medicines?
Medicines prepared according to proper procedure mentioned in the literatures do not produce any adverse reaction.
19. Do Siddha medicines act slowly?
Not always. It depends upon the disease, duration and the body constitution of the patient. Since the treatment is not symptomatic but has a holistic approach, the outcome is permanent in nature rather than providing quick temporary relief.
20. Is there any surgical treatment in Siddha?
Siddhars used different surgical methods like aruvai (Excision), Keeral (Incision), Kuruthivangal (Blood letting), Attai vidal (Leech therapy), Karanool Chikicahai (Medicated thread) Chutikai (Cauterization using metal instruments like gold, silver and copper for removing boils, warts, and tumours) which are even practiced today.
21. What is mukkutram?
Vatham, Pitham and Kabam are known as Mukuttram. These three humours regulate the 96 basic principles which form the basic constitution of a human being according to Siddha system. Any imbalance in mukkutram causes disease.
22. What are the special treatments in siddha medicine?
Varmam (stimulation of vital points), Thokkanam(special massage therapy) and kayakarpam (rejuvenation) are some of the special kinds of treatment in Siddha.
23. Are there any institutions which offer siddha course?
Presently there are about 9 institutions offering undergraduate and post graduate courses in siddha situated in Chennai (4), Coimbatore (1), Salem (1), Tirunelveli (1), Munchirai (1) in the state of Tamil Nadu and Triavandrum (1) in Kerala state.
24. Is there any apex body for research in Siddha medicine?
The Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS), an autonomous body under Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India is the apex body for research in Siddha system of medicine. www.siddhacouncil.com
25. What is National Institute of Siddha (NIS)?
National Institute of Siddha is an autonomous, premier Institute for Siddha System of Medicine situated at Chennai, functioning under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. It offers postgraduate courses in siddha system of medicine. www.nischennai.org