What Is Meant By Siddha Medicine

Siddha medicine

Siddha medicine is a traditional medicine originating in Tamil Nadu, India and practiced over centuries. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy of the Government of India regulates training in Siddha medicine and other traditional practices grouped collectively as AYUSH.Practitioners are called siddhars (vaithiyars in Tamil), and may have formal training with advanced degrees, such as BSMS (Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and Surgery), MD (Medical Doctor, Siddha) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)The Central Council of Indian Medicine, a statutory body established in 1971 under AYUSH, monitors education in areas of rural Indian medicine, including Siddha medicine.[4]

In rural India, siddhars have learned methods traditionally through master-disciple relationships to become local “healers”. Siddhars are among an estimated 400,000 traditional healers practicing medicine in India, comprising some 57% of rural medical care.Siddha practitioners believe that five basic elements– earth, water, fire, air, sky – are in food, “hum ours” of the human body, and herbal, animal or inorganic chemical compounds, such as sulfur and mercury, used as therapies for treating diseases.

The Indian Medical Association regards Siddha medicine degrees as “fake” and Siddha therapies as quackery, posing a danger to national health due to absence of training in science-based medicine.Identifying fake medical practitioners without qualifications, the Supreme Court of India stated in 2018 that “unqualified, untrained quacks are posing a great risk to the entire society and playing with the lives of people without having the requisite training and education in the science from approved institutions

The philosophy of Siddha medicine

Practitioners of Siddha medicine are known as siddhars (or siddhas). According to Tamil tradition, there initially were 18 siddhars; these individuals often are portrayed as having received their knowledge of the Siddha system indirectly from the deity Shiva. Siddhars held that the object of their study was to preserve and prolong life. To do so, they believed, required humans to live according to the laws of nature. They led simple lives themselves and were unconcerned with caste, creed, colour, or nationality. They contributed not only to a system of medicine but also to the knowledge of eternity, alchemy, and Yogic living. Some believe that the siddhars travel-led widely to other countries to propagate their system of medicine and enrich the sciences.

If a person gets tired easily or tends to catch cough, cold and other ailments quickly or experience insomnia (difficult to sleep) it means the immunity is dropping. Siddha herbs not only gives a effective cure but it provides way to prevent the occurrences of ailments by improving immunity. Some of such herbs are discussed below that helps to build and maintain the natural immune mechanism of the body thus preserving the vitality and health. Top 5 Siddha herbs to boos immunity are :

  1. Gooseberry/Amla/ Nellikkai : One of the richest source of Vitamin C. Also contains Iron, Calcium, Carbohydrates, Sugar, Phosphorus, Water. It is a Thrithoda samani- helps to balance the three hum-ours – Vat ha, Pitha and Kapha. It rejuvenates the body and improves immunity. Dried powder powder, fresh fruits, juice, salads or leg-yams prepared from this fruits can be included in daily diet. It is the best medicine during convalescent period. Really safe and healthy for kids too. It prevents mental and physical fatigue and acts as a tonic for the complete body. It is helpful in regulating sugar and Cholesterol levels respectively. Improves circulation, enhances digestion and relieves constipation.
  2. Ginger : Decreases Vat-ham and Kamehameha in body. Fights infection by improving immunity. Dried ginger powder / fresh ginger can be administered daily as juice or mixed with hot water/honey or juices. Can be taken as ginger tea. It gives relief from respiratory problems, digestive disorders, reduces inflammations, reduces chest congestion, opens sinuses. Excellent medicine for body pains, gastro intestinal problems, respiratory infections.
  3. Turmeric : Best medicine for all Vat ha, Pitha and Kapha ailments.Common cold, skin problems, joint pains, Liver ailments etc can be well managed through turmeric. 1g powdered turmeric can be taken with hot milk or warm water daily. Also used as an external application with oil or as paste, Anti cancer and Anti microbial and Immune modulator. Daily doses of little turmeric as told above helps to maintain a sound immune system and keeps illness at bay.
  4. Tulsi : (Krishna Tulsi/ Holy basil): Anti- bacterial, Anti- Viral, Anti fungal, Anti- Asthmatic , Anti stress and many more countless amazing action this miraculous herb possesses. Fresh leaf juice ( 1/2 teaspoon) can be taken daily with honey or fresh leaves 2-4 can be cleaned and chewed. It helps to manage respiratory ailments especially due to cold climate, aids digestion, prevents the body from infections, enhances immunity for a strong defense system of the body.
  5. Aswagendha/ Ammukura/ Withania somnifera : Improves immunity, Rejuvenation, Restores energy. Root powder with milk or honey can be taken daily. Anti-ageing, Anti- Cancer, Cardio-protective, Sleep enhancing etc are some of its important effects. Also used in Arthritis and Nero-degenerative problems.

The five elements

According to the Siddha system, there are five elements that exist in nature: earth, water, fire, air, and ether, all of which form the original basis of all corporeal things. It is believed that there is an intimate connection between the macrocosm of the external world and the microcosm of the corporeal being. In the human body the element of earth is present in the bone, flesh, nerves, skin, and hair; the element of water is present in bile, blood, semen, glandular secretions, and sweat; the element of fire is present in hunger, thirst, sleep, beauty, and indolence; the element of air is present in contraction, expansion, and motion; and the element of ether is present in the interstices of the stomach, heart, neck, and head.

Humoral pathology

Three of the elements—air, fire, and water—are emphasized in Siddha medicine because they are believed to form the three fundamental components that make up the human constitution. These three components—vata, pitta, and kapha (representing air, fire, and water, respectively)—are known as hum-ours, and their inharmonious interaction produces various pathological states.

According to the theories of hum oral pathology, all diseases are caused by the discordant mixture of vata, pitta, and kapha. Their proportions in the body govern a person’s physical and mental disposition. The elements form the connecting link between the microcosm (the human) and the macrocosm (the world). Thus, the external air corresponds to the internal vata, the external heat corresponds to the internal pitta, and the external water corresponds to the internal kapha. Under normal circumstances, according to Siddha theory, vata occupies regions related to the pelvis and the rectum, pitta occupies regions related to the stomach and the viscera, and kapha occupies regions related to breath, the throat, and the head.

Siddhars believed vata to be self-originated and identical to divine energy. Imbalance of vata could be the root cause of all disease. Pitta was believed to represent all the characteristics of fire, such as burning, boiling, heating, and similar sensations. It was the name given to the heat contained in the liquid bile, which causes the expulsion of waste matter in the form of urine and feces, and it was believed to give sight to the eyes, beauty to the skin, and cheerfulness to the mind. Kapha was believed to supply moisture to the body and to give stability, adding to the strength of the body by increasing the firmness of the limbs and thereby keeping them in harmony with one another. It was also thought to aid in digestion and sensation, such as by imparting taste to the tongue.

The presence and proportion of these hum-ours within the system is indicated by the pulse, which is vital to correct diagnosis.


Prana (Sanskrit prāṇā) refers to “breath.” In Siddha medicine, breathing is considered to be the most important of all functions, providing vitality and freedom from disease. Controlled breathing is the method of charging oneself with vitality and personal magnetism; in Yogic terms this is known as pranayama.


Varma is an area of practice in Siddha medicine that is concerned with varmam. The var-mam are points of intersection of bone, muscle, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. The ancient siddhars believed that disease emerged when these points were adversely affected by an external force. A manipulative technique used in Siddha medicine to restore health at the var-mam is known as ilakku murai. There are believed to be 108 var-mam, according to Siddha tradition.

Herbal and mineral treatment

The siddhars did extensive research on plants and devised methods by which plants could be harnessed medicinally. They also described the poisonous nature of some plants and the antidotes for them and classified plants based on the way they affected the body.

Unlike Ayurveda, which is another traditional system of Indian medicine, but which gives topmost priority to herbal treatment, Siddha medicine gives importance to the conjunctive use of plants and minerals. For simple ailments, the Siddha practitioner advises the initial use of herbs. If this does not prove effective, the judicious use of plants, minerals, and animal products is advised.

According to Siddha theory, preparations made of mercury alone were believed to invest the body with immunity from decay, enabling it to conquer disease. Mercury and sulfur were considered to be supreme curatives. Those minerals, however, are extremely toxic to the human body.

Siddha medicine has been used for the management of chronic diseases and degenerative conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune conditions, collagen disorders, and conditions of the central nervous system. Its effectiveness in those situations has varied.

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