Siddha medicine

Siddha medicine (Tamil: சித்த மருத்துவம், citta maruttuvam ?) is a system of traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamilakam(Tamil Nadu) in South India and Sri Lanka.

Traditionally, it is taught that the siddhars laid the foundation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Nandhisar is considered the first siddha and the guru of all siddhars; the siddha system is believed to have been handed over to him by Shiva

History

The Siddha science is a traditional treatment system generated from Tamil culture. Palm leaf manuscripts say that the Siddha system was first described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati. Parvati explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He taught all this knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthya. Agasthya taught 18 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to human beings.

Siddha is focused on "Ashtamahasiddhi," the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved these powers are known as Siddhars. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed 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.

Siddha is focused on "Ashtamahasiddhi," the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved these powers are known as Siddhars. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed 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.

According to the manikandan, there were 22 principal siddhars. Of these 22, Agasthya is believed to be the father of siddha medicine. Siddhars believed that a healthy soul can only be developed through a healthy body. So they developed methods and medication that are believed to strengthen their physical body and thereby their souls. Men and women who dedicated their lives into developing the system were called Siddhars. They practised intense yogic practices, including years of periodic fasting and meditation, and were believed to have achieved supernatural powers and gained the supreme wisdom and overall immortality. Through this spiritually attained supreme knowledge, they wrote scriptures on all aspects of life, from arts to science and truth of life to miracle cure for diseases.

From the manuscripts, the siddha system of medicine developed into part of Indian medical science. Today there are recognized siddha medical colleges, run under the government universities, where siddha medicine is taught

Most Siddha medical practitioners are traditionally trained, usually in families and by gurus (teachers). When the guru is a martial arts teacher, he is also known as an ashan. They make a diagnosis after a patient's visit and set about to refer to their manuscripts for the appropriate remedies, which a true blue physician compounds by himself or herself, from thousands of herbal and herbo-mineral resources. The methodology of siddha thought has formulated curious remedies which may sometimes have more than 250 ingredients.

Diseases Cured

When the normal equilibrium of the three humors — Vaadham, Pittham and Kapam — is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to affect this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kapam are 4:2:1, respectively.

According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a rule based system with a list of "do's and don'ts"