You are on page 1of 5

Siddha medicine

Siddha Medicine (Tamil Citta- or Tami-maruttuvam) According to the manikuttan, there were 22 principal
is a system of traditional medicine originating in Tamil siddhars. Of these 22, Agasthya is believed to be the
Nadu in South India.[1][2]
father of siddha medicine. Siddhars were of the conTraditionally, it is taught that the siddhars laid the foun- cept that a healthy soul can only be developed through
a healthy body. So they developed methods and medidation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight cation that are believed to strengthen their physical body
and thereby their souls. Men and women who dedicated
supernatural powers. Agastya is considered the rst siddha and the guru of all siddhars; the siddha system is be- their lives into developing the system were called Sidlieved to have been handed over to him by Murugan, son dhars. They practiced intense yogic practices, including
years of periodic fasting and meditation, and were beof Shiva and Parvati.[3]
lieved to have achieved supernatural powers and gained
The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, the supreme wisdom and overall immortality. Through
Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy of the Government of this spiritually attained supreme knowledge, they wrote
India coordinates and promotes research in the elds of scriptures on all aspects of life, from arts to science and
ayurveda and Siddha medicine.[4] The Central Council truth of life to miracle cure for diseases.[10]
of Indian Medicine (CCIM), a statutory body established
in 1971 under AYUSH, monitors higher education in ar- From the manuscripts, the siddha system of medicine deeas of Indian medicine, including siddha medicine.[5] To veloped into part of Indian medical science. Today there
ght bioprospecting and unethical patents, India set up are recognized siddha medical colleges, run under the
the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library in 2001 as a government universities, where siddha medicine is taught.
repository of 223,000 formulations of various systems of Most of the practicing Siddha medical practitioners are
medicine common in India, such as ayurveda, unani, sid- traditionally trained, usually in families and by gurus
dha medicine and homeopathy.[6][7]
(teachers). When the guru is a martial arts teacher, he
is also known as an ashan. They make a diagnosis after a
patients visit and set about to refer to their manuscripts
for the appropriate remedies, which a true blue physi1 History
cian compounds by himself or herself, from thousands of
herbal and herbo-mineral resources. The methodology of
The Siddha science is a traditional treatment system gen- siddha thought has helped decipher many causes of disorerated from Dravidian culture. The Siddha ourished ders and the formulation of curious remedies which may
in the period of Indus Valley civilization.[8] Palm leaf sometimes have more than 250 ingredients.
manuscripts say that the Siddha system was rst described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati. Parvati explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He
taught all these knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthya. 2 Basics
Agasthya taught 18 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to human beings.[9]
Generally the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are
The word Siddha comes from the word Siddhi which similar to Ayurveda. The only dierence appears to
means an object to be attained perfection or heavenly be that the siddha medicine recognizes predominance
bliss. Siddha focused to Ashtamahasiddhi, the eight of Vaadham, Pitham and Kabam in childhood, adultsupernatural power. Those who attained or achieved hood and old age, respectively, whereas in Ayurveda,
the above said powers are known as Siddhars. There it is totally reversed: Kabam is dominant in childhood,
were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they devel- Vaatham in old age and Pitham in adults.
According to the Siddha medicine, various psychological and physiological functions of the body are attributed
to the combination of seven elements: rst is ooneer
(plasma) responsible for growth, development and nourishment; second is cheneer (blood) responsible for nourishing muscles, imparting colour and improving intellect; the third is oon (muscle) responsible for shape of

oped this system of medicine. Hence, it is called Siddha

medicine. The Siddhars wrote their knowledge in palm
leaf manuscripts, fragments of which were found in parts
of South India. It is believed that some families may possess more fragments but keep them solely for their own
use. There is a huge collection of Siddha manuscripts
kept by traditional Siddha families.[9]

the body; fourth is koluppu/Kozhuppu (fatty tissue) responsible for oil balance and lubricating joints; fth is
elumbu (bone) responsible for body structure and posture
and movement; sixth is elumbu majjai (bone marrow) responsible for formation of blood corpuscles; and the last
is sukkilam (semen) responsible for reproduction. Like
in Ayurveda, in Siddha medicine also, the physiological
components of the human beings are classied as Vaadham (air), Pitham (re) and Kabam(earth and water).

World Siddha Day


4. Kan (eyes): muddy conjunctiva, yellowish or red in
pitham, pale in kabam.
5. Thodal (touch): dry in Vaatham, warm in pitham,
chill in kapha, sweating in dierent parts of the
6. Malam (stool): black stools indicate Vaatham, yellow pitham, pale in kabam, dark red in ulcer and
shiny in terminal illness.

7. Neer (urine): early morning urine is examined;

straw color indicates indigestion, reddish-yellow
After former Chief Minister Karunanidhis announcecolor in excessive heat, rose in blood pressure, safment of Tamil New Years Day as World Siddha Day, the
fron color in jaundice, and looks like meat washed
rst World Siddha Day was celebrated on 14 April 2009,
water in renal disease.
addressed by his Excellency Shri Surjit Singh Barnala,
Governor of Tamil Nadu.[11] The second World Siddha
8. Naadi (pulse): the conrmatory method recorded on
Day was celebrated in a grand manner on 14 April 2010,
the radial art.
at Image Auditorium, Adyar, Chennai; more than 2000
students, post graduates, practitioners and traditional
vaidyas participated in the celebration.[12] In connection
with the celebrations, a website was launched.[13] The 6 Drugs
third World Siddha day was celebrated at Trivandrum,
Kerala, where Siddha doctors met on 14 and 15 April The drugs used by the Siddhars could be classied into
three groups: thavaram (herbal product), thadhu (inorganic substances) and jangamam (animal products).[14]
The Thadhu drugs are further classied as: uppu (water4 Concept of disease and cause
soluble inorganic substances or drugs that give out vapour
when put into re), pashanam (drugs not dissolved in waIt is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of the ter but emit vapour when red), uparasam (similar to
three humors Vaadham, Pittham and Kabam is dis- pashanam but dier in action), loham (not dissolved in
turbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to aect water but melt when red), rasam (drugs which are soft),
this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, and ghandhagam (drugs which are insoluble in water, like
diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal condi- sulphur).
tions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kabam The drugs used in siddha medicine were classied on the
are 4:2:1, respectively.[14]
basis of ve properties: suvai (taste), gunam (character),
According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and veeryam (potency), pirivu (class) and mahimai (action).
lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing dis- According to their mode of application, the siddha
eases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed medicines could be categorized into two classes:
as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of
dos and don'ts.
Internal medicine was used through the oral route
and further classied into 32 categories based on
their form, methods of preparation, shelf-life, etc.


In diagnosis, examination of eight items is required which

is commonly known as enn vakaith thervu. These are:
1. Na (tongue): black in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, white in kabam, ulcerated in anaemia.
2. Varnam (colour): dark in Vaatham, yellow or red in
pitham, pale in kabam.

External medicine includes certain forms of drugs

and also certain applications (such as nasal, eye and
ear drops), and also certain procedures (such as
leech application). It also classied into 32 categories.

7 Treatment

3. Kural (voice): normal in Vaatham, high-pitched The treatment in siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the
in pitham, low-pitched in kabam, slurred in three humors in equilibrium and maintenance of seven

elements. So proper diet, medicine and a disciplined regimen of life are advised for a healthy living and to restore equilibrium of humors in diseased condition. Saint
Thiruvalluvar explains four requisites of successful treatment. These are the patient, the attendant, physician and
medicine. When the physician is well-qualied and the
other agents possess the necessary qualities, even severe
diseases can be cured easily, according to these concepts.

those masters who were able to do this are almost extinct.

The treatment should be commenced as early as possible

after assessing the course and cause of the disease. Treatment is classied into three categories: devamaruthuvum (Divine method); manuda maruthuvum (rational
method); and asura maruthuvum (surgical method). In
Divine method, medicines like parpam, Chendooram,
guru, kuligai made of mercury, sulfur and pashanams are
used. In the rational method, medicines made of herbs
like churanam, kudineer, or vadagam are used. In surgical method, incision, excision, heat application, blood
letting, or leech application are used.

9 Siddha today

According to therapies the treatments of siddha

medicines could be further categorized into following
categories such as purgative therapy, emetic therapy,
fasting therapy, steam therapy, oleation therapy, physical
therapy, solar therapy, blood-letting therapy, yoga
therapy, etc.


Varmam are vital points in the body that act as energy

transformers or batteries. They form centres for boosting
the vital life-force Uyir Sakthi ow through the intricate
nadi system of the body. Nature, by its design, has protected these vital centres by placing them deep inside the
body or by covering them with tissues inaccessible to normal attempts of breach.

A varmam therapist needs to have a deep knowledge

about the bodys nerves and physical structure to do an
eective treatment. There are only a few therapists existing in this world, and the modern siddha world is trying
to preserve this art of healing.

Siddha has lost its popularity after modern medicine

was introduced, as a scientic medical system, even
in Tamil Nadu. Still, there are a few ardent followers of the system who prefer Siddha for only a few
diseases like jaundice. After some modern doctors,
such as Dr. Ramalingam, IMPCOPS, president, Chennai, C.N. Deivanayagam, tried to popularize the Siddha
system,[16] a few modern doctors have started suggesting Siddha. In 2012, VA Shiva Ayyadurai, a Tamilian
and MIT systems scientist, launched an educational program for medical doctors through the Chopra Center with
Deepak Chopra which integrates concepts from traditional systems medicine such as Siddha, Ayurveda, and
traditional Chinese medicine, with systems science and
systems biology.[17]
The Tamil Nadu state runs a 5.5-year course in Siddha medicine (BSMS: Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and
Surgery). The Indian Government also gives its focus on Siddha, by starting up medical colleges and research centers like National Institute of Siddha[18] and
Central Council for Research in Siddha.[19] There has
been renewed interest in Siddha, as many started feeling modern medicine is not complete and changing
its stands/theories frequently.[20] The health minister of
Tamil Nadu in 2007 claimed that Siddha medicine is effective for chikungunya.[21]

Varmam is a holistic therapy on its own and tackles the Commercially, Siddha medicine is practiced by
body, mind and spirit. A varmam expert understands the
underlying links between the body, vital life-force and the
Siddha family doctors (traditional practitioners), ofmind. If one looks at the long list of things which varmam
ten referred in Tamil as vaithiyars, have transferred
can do, one will be totally mesmerised by the deep science
knowledge to their children, and
and the indisputable healing it brings about. The human
Medically certied Siddha doctors who have studied
body can get into lot of accidents, minor and major, in its
in government Siddha medical colleges.
lifetime. Very rarely people are lucky enough to escape
accidents in life.
Varmams have been classied based on the type of pressure needed to injure: (a) Paduvarmam (varmam due 10 Educational institutions
to injury), (b) Thodu varmam (by touch); Thattu varmam (by blows); (c) Thaduvu varmam (by massage); (d) Government of Tamil Nadu runs two Siddha medical colNakku varmam (by licking i.e. tongue massage); and (e) leges:
Nokku (by staring). The widely used and recognised ones
are the 12 Paduvarmams and 96 Thoduvarmams; there is
less consistency with the other categories simply because
Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district
of the way of application or the deeper knowledge needed
Government Siddha Medical College, Anna Hospito apply them. In these categories, the Nokku varmam is
tal Campus, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600106
the most awe-generating and is rarely seen practiced, as


Government of India runs a Siddha medical college:

National Institute of Siddha, Grand Southern Trunk
Road, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai - 600047


[3] Siddha. Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, Govt. of India.
[4] About us. CCRAS.
[5] CCIM

Colleges available in Kerala:


[6] Traditional Knowledge Digital Library website.



Private Siddha colleges (approved by Dept. of AYUSH,

Govt. of India and aliated to TN Dr. MGR Medical
University, Chennai):
Velumailu Siddha Medical College and Hospital,
No. 48, G.W.T. Road, Opp. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur - 602 105
Sri Sai Ram Siddha Medical College & Research
Centre, Sai Leo Nagar, Poonthandalam, West Tambaram, Chennai - 600 044
R.V.S. Siddha Medical College & Hospital, Kumaran Kottam, Kannampalayam, Coimbatore 641042
A.T.S.V.S. Siddha Medical College, Munchirai,
Pudukkadai Post, Kanyakumari - 629171
Sivaraj Siddha Medical College, Siddhar Kovil
Road, Thumbathulipatty, Salem - 636307

[7] Know Instances of Patenting on the UES of Medicinal Plants in India. PIB, Ministry of Environment and
Forests. May 6, 2010.
[8] Anupam Kapil (2001). Numerology Made Easy. Penguin
Books India. p. 221.
[9] Siddha - Origin. CCRAS, Department of AYUSH, Indian Government. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
[10] Ayurveda & Siddha (PDF). Department of Scientic
& Industrial Research, Indian Government. Retrieved 10
November 2011.
[11] World Siddha Day. The Hindu (Erode, India). 16 April
[12] Siddha Day to be observed on 14 April. News Today
(Chennai, India). 24 March 2010.
[14] Master Murugan, Chillayah (20 October 2012). Siddha
Therapy, Natural Remedies and Self-Treatment. Varma
Kalai. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
[15] Herbs used in Siddha medicine for arthritis - A review
(PDF). Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. October
2007. Retrieved 10 November 2011.

Government of Sri Lanka runs three Siddha medical col- [16] Deivanayagam C N (2000). Traditional Medicine: Siddha therapy in HIV Disease a South Indian Experileges oering BSMS degrees:
Department of Siddha Medicine, University of
Jana, Kaithady, Jana, Sri Lanka
Unit of Siddha Medicine, Trincomalee Campus,
Eastern University, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka


See also

ence. World AIDS Conference, Durban. Tambaram

Sanatorium, Chennai, India: Govt. Hospital of Thoracic
Medicine. Retrieved 2010-12-25.

[17] About VA Shiva Ayyadurai. Retrieved 14 February

[18] National Institute of Siddha. Chennai, India: NIS,
Chennai. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
[19] Central Council for Research in Ayurveda & Siddha.
India: CCRAS. Retrieved 2010-12-25.

Yoga and Naturopathy

[20] About sasi,

Sowa Rigpa

[21] Siddha medicine can cure chikungunya: Minister. News

- One India (India). 30 June 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2011.



[1] Recipes for Immortality : Healing, Religion, and Community in South India: Healing, Religion, and Community in
South India, p.93, Wellington Richard S Weiss, Oxford
University Press, 22-Jan-2009
[2] The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage, John Douillard,
p. 3, North Atlantic Books, 2004

13 External links
Research Database on Ayurveda, Siddha, Other
Traditional Medicines and Related Sciences


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


Siddha medicine Source: Contributors: Ronz, Palfrey, Rrjanbiah,

Utcursch, Andycjp, Beland, Sharavanabhava, Mike Rosoft, Discospinster, Cacycle, Ogress, Wiki-uk, Bobrayner, TheRingess, Sudarsun,
Pigman, Lockesdonkey, Crisco 1492, SmackBot, Sticky Parkin, EncMstr, Colonies Chris, Thomaswalter, BullRangifer, Shyamsunder,
Arkrishna, Meco, CmdrObot, Cydebot, Tsenapathy, Wikid77, Iamextinct, MarshBot, Alphachimpbot, Ekabhishek, Kajasudhakarababu,
Skumarlabot, Nexguna, Spencer Jones, Naniwako, Belovedfreak, Nadiatalent, Madhava 1947, Burlywood,, Drsureshherbal, Dr K Suresh, Doc James, Alexbrn, Denisarona, ClueBot, Mild Bill Hiccup, Doseiai2, Auntof6, DragonBot, John Nevard, XLinkBot,
Dthomsen8, RyanCross, Addbot, Verbal, Fryed-peach, Yobot, Gxsuresh, AnomieBOT, AmritasyaPutra, Santhoshselvam, LilHelpa, TinucherianBot II, Srich32977, Mazhaikalam, Omnipaedista, MerlLinkBot, Invisiblechild, FrescoBot, I dream of horses, Feather Jonah,
Dvisha2, Kibi78704, PNSKTY, Glorioussandwich, Kalaimaaney, RNajdek, Avedeus, Onel5969, Kishoresmec, RenamedUser01302013,
Josve05a, Mooligaimani, Jwaala, Keyan20, Helpsome, ClueBot NG, Rajaram Sarangapani, 149AFK, Viveksiddha, Titodutta, BG19bot,
Vickyavw, Sivavedash42, Rnjanaditya, Santosh.sivam, Proraja, Wiseguyarjun, Rageshav, Machaimuni, Nikethamultimedia, Mitchitara, EdwardH, Sivamnky, W.D., Bharu12, Manuspanicker, Hotmuru, ByondHuman, Petemclaren, Viswajithg, Durga Destroyer, Subasharavindan,
Samuel waikiki, Naga321rajaking, Bladesmulti, HARJAWA, Tn-wikieditor,
, Kobuu, Tantrayogachicago, Dr manjula, DrJohnnyuk
and Anonymous: 108



File:Folder_Hexagonal_Icon.svg Source: License: Cc-bysa-3.0 Contributors: ? Original artist: ?

File:Om.svg Source:
of_the_God_as_per_the_Vedas.svg License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Thom_Salix_alba_clean.jpg Source:
jpg License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?


Content license

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0