Siddha system of medicine is most ancient and spiritually enriched one. Medicines are formulated and prepared by the Siddhars thousands of years ago after undergoing various research work on flora, fauna and the rich mineral resources of Mother Earth. The medicines are enriched with prayers and power which not only cures the disease but also provides peace to the mind and spirituality to the soul. This divine system of medicine is a treasure of numerous medicines. The medicines which are available today are very few as many of them are still hidden either in the hands of traditional families or uknown to the present Siddha generation. However, the medicines range from simple preparations like juice of a herb to the higher medicines like parpam and chendooram which can be preserved life-long. The methods of preparation and purification of raw drugs are very important aspect. A Siddha physician can be successful only if he understand these techniques. The most interesting fact about Siddha medicines is that all these preparatory methods are explained by the Siddhars in the form of tamil verses or poems. These verses are not very easy to de-code as it needs a good knowledge in ancient Tamil language and also the grace of Siddhars which is very important in order to realise them. This is one of the reasons why Siddha medicines have not been widely established so far. Siddha literature is a rich source of Medicinal and special preparations for treatment of various diseases. Not only that, it emphasizes on Karpa medicines and importance of it on human life. According to Siddha, a physician or Vaidyar determines the condition and nature of the disease with the help of Naadi diagnosis (Pulse) along with parameters like :
- Dehakuri or Temperment of the patient
- Diet habits
- Sleep pattern
- Five sense organ
- Viscera – Lungs, Kidneys, Liver, Stomach, Brain
Siddha Seasonal Preventional Treatment / Monsoon detoxification Therapies
Known as Aadi, month of Tamil and Karkidakam, month of Malayalam this is the time for preventive therapies. Arrival of Monsoon invites various diseases and ailments along. Vatha rogam like arthritis, Fever, Viral infections, Respiratory ailments, vector borne ailments are very common. Human body becomes extremely sensitive to pathogens.
Siddha medicines with external therapies helps to remove toxins from the body and improve immunity. It will make the body immune against seasonal ailments and keep it fit and healthy. Thokkanam (9 physical manipulative techniques including massage), Vedhu (Steam), Nasiyam, Kizhi or formentation (Podikizhi, Elakizhi, Nyavara kizhi), Dhara etc. Internal medicines to induce pugation is given before starting the treament. Internal medicines for immunity and restoring health and beauty are given. Food is very important aspect in Siddha treatment. Medicinal gruel otherwise called Karkidaga kanji is given to the patients as a meal to restore their digestive fire and improve their system functioning. Restricted diet, adequate sleep and rest is observed throughout treatment course. Number of days of treatment varies according to the condition of the patient, age, naadi etc. Usually 7, 14, 21, 28 days treatment is performed.
The best period for Preventive treatments are Sithirai-Vaigasi (April14 – June15) and Aani-Aadi (June15 to Aug 15) as during this period the waste and toxins in the body accumulate in the body and tend to remove by itself automatically. Hence treatment given in this period is effective and fruitful. During other months also if needed treatment can be done with the physician’s guidance. Best days to start treatment is Sunday, Monday. Thursday and Friday are also good.
Such Preventive therapies are :
- Very helpful to remove the accumulated toxins/waste out of the body – Detoxify
- Reduces and Prevents degenerative changes
- Restores Beauty, Strength and Vitality
- Strengthens the Panchendriyams (5 sense organs)
- Reduces stress, promotes mental calmness
- Maintains equilibrium between three humours – (Vatham, Pitham and Kapham)
Rejuvenation Therapy or Kayakalpa Treatment :
Rejuvenation or Kayakalpa in Siddha is based on the Dehakuri or temperment of the patient, Seasonal or Climatic variation, health and age factor of patient and Envagai Thervu or Eight Diagnostic methods (Nadi, Sparsam, Naa, Niram, Mozhi, Vizhi, Malam, Moothiram). Based on these physiological and clinical factors, a Siddha physician decide the type of treatment a patient requires. Kayakalpam in Siddha is based on Pancha Bhootha Panchikarnam. Human body is made of 5 elements and 3 humours (Vatham, Pitham and Kapham). These forces or humours are in a balanced ratio in our body say 1:1/2:1/4 as Vatha: Pitha: Kapha. Sometimes due to some pathological reason or seasonal variation this equilibrium or balanced ratio may change and hence diseases may occur. A Siddha Physician who is well versed in Naadi diagnosis can detect this change and prescribe internal and external medicines accordingly. Kayakalpa or Rejuvenation therapies is one of the salient features of Siddha medicine. It aims at detoxification, nourishing and strenghening the body, improves life span , delays ageing of the body. External therapies and Internal medicines are administered. Special Kayakalpa drugs to normalise the three humours, strengthen the body systems and nourish the seven udal thathus are prescribed. Diet and regimen is always a part of the therapy. Number of days varies from 7-90 days according to the physician’s consultation and patients body condition.
How to select a right treatment center :
People today are misguided by advertisements online and through media which claims of ayurvedic products and packages to cure various diseases, slim tea packs, treatment courses to get slim, beautiful etc etc. Before taking any decision keep in mind the following things. Is the doctors authentic and registered? Secondly know about the medicines they prescribe. Never buy anything by just seeing the ad or any one’s recommendation. If you are going for a treatment course, confirm who is doing the treatment? If trainees are performing treatment, are the trainees qualified? According to the ethics, a physician should himself perform all the treatments on the patient. Today there wont be a single health center where doctors do the treatment procedures. People make millions in the name of fake massage spa’s and herbal treatment centers. In one hour 5-6 people are given massage and other therapies. If people re-think about all these a lot of fake incidences may be prevented. It is not right to say herbs are completely safe. Herbal medicines also gives side effect if not used properly. Similarly wrong and improper methods of external treatments like massage and kizhi can result into irreversible adverse effect in the body. Go for the right place, its your health after all.
Agasthiyar Guru Siddha Marma Chikitsalayam Siddha Hospital
Melvettoor P. O., Varkala,
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India