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What is Siddha?
‘Siddha’ system has been in existence during the past
5000 years. This is a gift to mankind from the ancient Siddhars [Sages / Hermits]. The word ‘Siddha’ is derived from ‘Siddhi’
connoting an object of perfection. It is said that there were
18 Siddhars who were practicing siddha. The Chief among them being Agasthya known to have lived in the pre-Vedic period. The
principles of Siddha, eternal and older than Greek thoughtsis still being practiced in South and South East Asia.
Both Siddha and Ayurveda, the ancient systems of herbal medicine, believe that the human body is miniature of the cosmos.
The primary objective of both Ayurveda and Siddha is to maintain the good health of a person by preventive and promotional methods.
Good health is a state of complete physical as well as mental wellbeing.
This is basically an eco-system specific and based on local needs, depending on the available resources such as flora, fauna and
minerals, the flora forming the bulk of the remedies. Siddha flows through two distinct but symbiotically nourishing streams, an oral
stream and a codified one [manuscripts, written down the ages by the siddhars].
There are extensive references about the Siddha medical practice available in the ancient Tamil Literature. The historians of
medical systems mention that the Tamil siddha medicine was in vogue ever since the monocot plants and herbs evolved on this planet. The
usage of metals and minerals in their ‘Non-Toxic’ forms in siddha system is also ancient. According to T.V.Sambasivampillai, who compiled
the monumental work on Siddha Medical Dictionary, the origin of the system dates back to 4000BC.
At the initial stage of the diseases, drugs made from herbs alone had been used. Depending on the severity of the illness, metal
and mineral drugs were added.Removal of toxicity before the use of the drugs is vital. An adjuvant is essential for making the medicament
more palatable and to serve as a catalyst to improve the potency of the drug. Siddha medicines offer remedies used in various disciplines,
such as Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Neurology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Haematology, Gynaecology, Traumatology and Rejuvenated
Therapy. According to Siddha, the simplest way for a healthy living is to follow the “Laws of Nature’. This is emphasized by the
Siddhars who lived long ago. Traditional healers have contributed enormously by keeping the system alive. They contributed substantially in
preserving this precious knowledge, handed down from generation to generation within the families for centuries. Ironically, the original
secrecy involved in it has proved to be one of the drawback in continuing this tradition.It is beyond doubt that the revival indigenous
medical system like Siddha, and of other local medical traditions, which offer holistic health care is one of the answers to the search for
cost effective and reliable health care system. China’s successful implementation of traditional health care system is of this strategy.