The Siddha medicine system is an ancient healing method which is quite prevalent in South India. It's one of the oldest systems of medicine globally that treats the body, the mind, and the soul. This healing system was also born in India, and, in mythological writings, its roots are found to be associated with the ancient Tamil civilization. Its name originated from the Tamil word ‘Siddhi’, which means ‘proficiency’ or ‘param’.

What Is The Siddha System Of Medicine?

According to some prevalent beliefs, the Siddha system of medicine is considered initially divine. Sage Agastya is regarded as the father of the Siddha medicine system and wrote many books related to it. Like Ayurveda, Vata, pitta and Kapha doshas have been considered in the Siddha system of medicine. According to this system of medicine, there is a subtle form of the human universe, which is made up of 5 essential elements. These elements are fire, earth, air, space and water.

Principles Of Siddha System Of Medicine

In the Siddha system of medicine, human beings are seen as a minor form of the universe, which means that man is a subtle universe in himself. But, at the same time, the universe is seen as a big world. In the Siddha system of medicine, it is believed that the entire universe, including human beings, is made up of five fundamental elements. These five elements are called "Panchabhuta", known as Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. The Panchakaranam theory of Siddha medical science also shows how these five elements were formed and how every object and organism of the world was formed from them. According to this theory, a proper balance of body, brain, and prana is necessary, and when this balance is disturbed, the person falls ill. In the same way, when a person falls sick, the focus is on re-creating the physical balance in the Siddha system of medicine and the disease is treated with the help of this technique. Therefore, the basic concept of this holistic medical science is that there are 96 types of principles, and it is from their mixture that the human body is formed. The 96 principles cover the physical, mental, psychological, and intellectual aspects of each human being.


Siddha system of medicine is an older treatment system than Ayurveda. It is a little difficult to trace the beginning of this ancient system of medicine. The credit for its origin is not given to a person but God Himself. According to some legends, Lord Shiva himself gave the knowledge of Siddha medicine to Goddess Parvati, who gave this knowledge to Nandi. By Nandi, it was further assigned to 18 Siddhars. From the original texts written by the Siddhars, this ancient knowledge reached society and thus, the Siddha system of medicine originated. Sage Agastya is considered the most prominent of these 18 Siddhars, and his classic books are also currently used in the Siddha system of medicine. Moreover, many of the ancient healing techniques of this medical system are still used today, which shows their effectiveness.


Siddha's medical practice examines different conditions in detail to diagnose diseases. During this time, health status, physical structure, mental structure, age, gender, ancestry, diet, hunger, habits, personality, environment, weather and place of residence are usually considered. Finding out the cause of the disease and its grounds and then determining the appropriate treatment for the patient is a significant part of the diagnosis of proven medical practice. The causes of the disease are investigated thoroughly by closely examining the pulse, urine, eye, voice, the colour of the body and tongue, and the digestive system's condition. For example, the disease and its cause are found only by checking the colour, smell, density and quantity of urine. By examining all these factors together, the chances of a mistake in the prognosis are significantly reduced. In Siddha medicine, the pulse method is also used to diagnose disease. This is called the pulse reading method. With the help of the pulse method, the movement that occurs inside the body is detected, which helps confirm health problems. The pulse method can be performed in 10 different parts of the body. The pulse method is usually performed in the right hand in men and the left hand in women. The pulse is usually checked with the index finger, middle, and Anamika fingers. The help of which three Vata, pitta and phlegm are examined simultaneously in the patient. As per the Siddha system of medicine, there are 4448 diseases, health diseases, and 64 types of drugs. In addition, there are 32 types of internal and 32 types of external medicines. According to the results from the diagnosis, a mixture of one or more of these medicines is given to the patient.


The treatment in Siddha medicine aims to maintain three attitudes and seven physiological components (udal thatthukkal) elements. Therefore, to keep a balanced attitude in a diseased situation, it is necessary to take proper medicines and follow the rules of nutritional and daily diets. Thus, the proven treatment system eliminates the root causes of the disease instead of resolving the symptoms uniquely so that the disease can be treated from the root. For example, to treat fever, the patient is given medicines to boost the immune system before taking the medication to lower the temperature. Siddha doctors also start the treatment to prevent secondary infection before treating the condition. One example is the treatment of fever. This is done because, if there is a fever, the risk of getting an infection increases, and, in the proven medical practice, prevention is given more importance than treatment. The Siddha system of medicine classifies medicines into three different categories known as Muligai or Thaavaram, Thattu and Jeeva Vaaguppu. In Mulligan or Thavaram, herbal medicines are used. In Thattu, medications derived from metal and minerals are used, and, in Jeeva Vaguppu, animal products are included. In Siddha medicine, diseases are treated systemically, in which herbal medicines are first used, which are taken as a liquid, powdered, coated or in Vati (tablet) form. Suppose this does not lead to any improvement in the condition of the disease. In that case, minerals with herbal medicines or medicines derived from animals are mixed with herbal medications as needed and given to the patient. If we talk about the healing process, the Siddha system of medicine is divided into three broad types known as Deva Maruthuvan, Manida Maruthuvan and Asura Maruthuvan.


The most important feature of the Siddha system of medicine is that it focuses more on its prevention than on treating the disease. This is attested by the ‘Pini Anuga Method’ written in the literature of Siddha medical practice, which means the ‘rules of keeping conditions at bay’. The founders of the Siddha system of medicine had written in their books about following some of the basic guidelines of healthy living to keep conditions away, which are followed even today in Siddha. These books usually recommend following certain factors, taking into account certain aspects, to follow specific rules, including usually dietary habits, changes in weather, and information about individuals from nearby objects.

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