A specialist in the ancient South Indian equivalent of ayurveda, Kalidas Gurukal promises full recovery from many ailments, including paralysis, musculo-skeletal, cervical and disc problems
The mother of all medical systemsBy Clifford Sawhney
Siddha medicine is the oldest medical system in the world. Siddha is a Tamil word derived from siddhi-one who has attained perfection in life or heavenly bliss. Practitioners of this system were called siddhars. Wise men who meditated, wrote poems and had healing powers, siddhars were originally devotees of Lord Shiva. In ancient India, 18 important siddhars developed the system, which is why it's called Siddha medicine.
The Siddha system is based on the principle that the macrocosm (the universe) and the microcosm (man) are similar. Man is made up of five fundamental elements: earth (solid matter), water (liquid matter), fire (energy), air (gaseous matter) and ethereal space between the other four elements.
Reflecting this theory of cosmic oneness, the five senses of man are said to correspond with the five elements. Ether (akasam) is responsible for hearing; fire (theyu) for sight; air (vayu) for smell; water (appu) for taste; and earth (prithvi) for the sense of touch.
Traditionally, Siddha has used oral treatment (including powders and herbal juices) and massage with medicated oils to cure ailments. Two ancient practices no longer in vogue are bloodletting and the use of heavy metals in medical concoctions. Recognizing the inherent toxicity of some metals, the Siddha texts insisted on purifying such ingredients before use in medications.
Siddha medicine was in vogue in South India much before the Aryan period, but gradually fell into disuse. Written on leaves, most Siddha works were either destroyed or lost over time due to ignorance and lack of proper care.
With the advent of the East India Company, Indian chemical factories were closed down, ostensibly because the preparations were crude and dangerous. The real agenda, however, was to promote western medicine.
The passing of the Poisons Act was the most lethal blow since the Siddha system dealt with medicines prepared from metals and metallic poisons.
The system is slowly regaining some of its lost glory with certain medications said to be effective in controlling AIDS.
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|