India has a wide range of ancient traditional medicine. It is well known that the culture of TAMIL is the ancient of all civilization and hence many historians say Tamil civilization is the CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION. All known cultures and civilizations of the past – Egyptian, Babylonian, Jewish, Greek, Indus -Valley etc – had their own equally glorious and useful systems of medicine and health care. SIDDHA system of medicine was developed and practiced in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Before the event of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greek Medicine, SIDDHA system of medicine was part of Tamil civilization, is receiving more attention in global health care circle, which is unknown to many in this world. The era of medicine began with man for the mankind and is endless. During the first second and last Tamil academy, SIDDHA was perhaps the only system of overall healthcare and medicine, which served people and enjoyed the supreme patronage. Ayurvedic texts like Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were documented just about 1000 years B.C.

The word ‘Siddha’ comes from ‘Siddhi’ which means an object to be attained or perfection of heavenly bliss. Thus SIDDHA becomes one of the oldest systems of health care dealing with curative, preventive, preservative aspects and longevity of life in a simplest way.

SIDDHA system of medicine is a unique system providing better cure for all chronic ailments like carcinoma, Syphilis, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, dermatological cases, autoimmune disorders.

The Siddha system included not only medicine and alchemy but also yoga and philosophy. Siddha science acknowledges 64 kinds of yoga.

SIDDHA is a ‘spritual science’ deals with measures for healthful living during the entire span of life and longevity of life. Besides, dealing with principles of preserving the body in healthy condition, it has also developed a wide range of therapeutic measures relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual welfare of human beings. In the present situation, Medical Scientists are researching Siddha remedies for lifestyle related diseases, degenerative, malignant, and psychosomatic disorders. Nowadays Siddha recipes are screened by modern science for many chronic ailments.

According to the ancient books of knowledge, health is considered as a prerequisite for achieving the supreme ends of life – SIDDHI, the YOGIC state. Siddhars were the saintly figures who achieved SIDDHI, the YOGIC state through the practice of Yoga results in medicine. Eighteen Siddhars are said to have contributed towards the development of this medical system. Siddha literature is in Tamil and it is practiced in the Tamil speaking parts of South India. The system is also called Agathiyar system after its most famous exponent Sage Agathiyar. Thirumoolar in his work Thirumandiram says ‘ to understand the secret of preserving the eternal soul aimed at the technique of preserving the body in healthy condition’.

The Siddha system of medicine has its own philosophy, vast pharmacopoeia, diagnostic methods and med-care concepts. According to Siddha all things in this universe including human body are composed


The Siddha system of medicine has its own philosophy, vast pharmacopoeia, diagnostic methods and med-care concepts. According to Siddha all things in this universe including human body are composed of five basic elements (Pancha bhutam) namely, earth, water, fire, air and vacuum (sky). The creation initiates as a single cell leading to cell division. There is a balanced condensation of these elements in different proportions to suit the needs and requirements of different structures and functions of the body matrix and its parts. The basic element builds six tastes, viz. sweet-salty-sour-bitter-spice-astringent. These six tastes bound to materialize the three humours or vital force.


SIDDHA – ‘Spirtual Science’, conceived as the union of body, senses, mind and soul. According to this system, the human body is the replica of the universe. The human body made of physical, biological, psychological and spiritual components and the vital forces working both inside and outside the body comprises of


Three DOSHAS or VITAL FORCE – Vaatam, Pittam & Kapham,

There are three main Doshas called Vaatam, Pittam and Kapham, or sometimes-called air, bile and phlegm.

Vaatam relates to ether, air, space or the wind element,

Pittam relates to the fire element, and

Kapham relates to the water and earth elements.

Vaatam governs all movement in the body and is responsible for all voluntary and involuntary impulses. It is the director of transportation, causing everything in creation to move to the right place at the right time. Because it controls all movement in nature, it actually governs the actions of the other two Doshas.

Cellular level: Controls the movement into and out of the cells bringing in nourishment and carrying away wastes.

Qualities: Dry, light, quick, cold, minute, rough, mobile

Emotional: Fear and anxiety

Symptom: Pain, spasm

Element: Wind

Body Zones: Colon, Bones, Skin, And Mind

Pittam manifests the properties of heat and light and facilitates all transformations in the body and the mind, such as digestion and assimilation. Pittam regulates temperature and is associated with the sun.

Cellular level: It is the functioning inside the cells.

Qualities: Hot, sharp, penetrating, light, acidic, slightly oily

Emotional: Anger, irritation, critical

Symptom: Inflammation, fever, irritation

Element: Fire

Body Zones: Small Intestines, Liver, Blood, and Skin

Kapham governs form and substance and is responsible for weight, stability and lubrication. It influences the ocean tides and the ebb and flow of fluids in the body; it is associated with the moon.

Cellular level: Binds and hold together

Qualities: Heavy, slow, cold, steady, solid, oily

Emotional: Desire, attachment

Symptom: Oozing, swelling, mucus

Element: Water, earth

Body Zones: Stomach, head, chest, and lungs

Three MALAM waste products of the body faeces, urine & sweat.


Dhatus – “body tissue” exist in many forms – liquid, semi-solid and solid. These are substances and structures that are kept by the body, when they are expelled from the body, they are considered to be malam or waste matter.

There are seven dhatus:

  • Saram-Rasa: Nutritional Fluid – Plasma, lymph
  • Senner-Rakta: Blood – Life Force
  • Oone-Mamsa: Muscles – Cover Bones, Skin
  • Kozhupu-Meda: Adipose Tissue, Fat – Lubrication
  • Enbhu-Asthi: Bone – Structure and Support
  • Moolai-Majja: Bone Marrow – Nerve Tissue Nourishment
  • Venner-Shukra: Semen/Ovaries – Reproduction

This is the order in which dhatus develop in the body, in a fixed manner, one from the other, each one nourished by the previous one.

Thus the total body matrix comprises of the humours, the tissues and the waste products of the body. The growth and development of the body matrix depends on its nutrition, i.e. on food. The food, in turn, is composed of the above five elements, which replenish or nourish the like elements of the body after the action of bio-fire (Agni). The tissues of the body are the structural whereas humours are physiological entities, derived from different combinations and permutations of Panchabhutas. The food is considered the basic building material of the human body that is processed into humours, tissues and wastes. The growth and decay of this body matrix and its constituents revolve around food, which gets processed into humours, tissues and wastes


Health depends on the presence of a balanced state of the total body matrix including the balance of doshas, thadhus, malam and atma. Both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors can cause disturbance in the natural equilibrium giving rise to disease. The derangement of vaatam-pittam-kapam can happen by dietary indiscrimination, seasonal abnormalities, undesirable habits and non-observance of hygienic aspects of healthy living. Thus the equilibrium of humours, body tissues and waste products is considered as health and its disturbance or imbalance leads to disease or sickness.


In SIDDHA Diagnosis involves the study of person as a whole as well as his disease. The word ‘Noi Naadal Noi Mudhal Naadal’ indicates the approach to the process of diagnosis, ‘Noi Naadal’ means the approach to the disease; ‘Noi Mudhal Naadal’ denotes the determination of the etiology of the disease. For arriving at a diagnosis, the physician investigates the cause of the disease, the predominant signs and symptoms, complications if any and pathological tissue (Dhatus) changes. The causative factors of diseases are attributed to food habits, desire and environmental changes. The methods of diagnosis are specified with pulse reading and urine examination being considered important.

1.1 PORIYAL ARITHAL: Examination of five sensory organs – (AIYMPORI): Skin, Tongue and buccal cavity, Eyes, Nose and Ear (MEI, VAI, KANN, MOOKU and SEVI) PULANAL THERTHAL: Examination by physical perception – (IYMPULAN): Taste, Vision, Tactile sensation, Sound and Smell. 3. VINATHAL: Examination by interrogation, which includes history of illness, examination by the physician by using his organs of sensory perception.

The classified methods of clinical examination is known as ENN VAGAI THERVU – Eight basic diagnostic parameters namely Naadi (pulse), Sparism (Touch), Naa (Tongue), Niram (colour), Mozhi (speech), Vizhi (Vision), Malam (Motion) and Moothiram (Urine)

  • Examination of tongue (NAA)
  • Examination of the Color (NIRAM)
  • Examination of the speech (MOZHI)
  • Examination of eyes (VIZHI)
  • Examination of skin-tactile functions (SPARISAM)
  • Examination of the faeces (MALAM)
  • Examination of the Urine (MOOTHIRAM)
  • Examination of the Pulse (NADI)

NAA: (Tongue) Color: Black, Red, Yellow, Deep Red, Salivation, ulceration, fur-formation, fissuring, eruptions, condition of teeth and gum, speech and pulses.

NIRAM: (Color) Color of the body, face eyes, teeth and tongue.

MOZHI: (Speech) Voice coherency, modulation of tone and pitch control, and in conscious, delirious, comatose states.

VIZHI: (Eyes) Features of Vatha, Pittam and Kapham. Color, ulceration, pallor, congestion, lacrimation, edema, infection of cornea, condition of pupil and vision.

SPARISM: (Tactile Perception) Hot or cold or mixed perspiration, numbness, chillness, oily or dry cracking skin, thickening of hair or falling of hair, hair raising like thorn, chillness of nose, eyes, ears, condition of fontenelle, umbilicus, soles, palm, thickening or pigmentation of skin, rashes or inflammatory changes of skin, obesity or emaciation of body.

MALAM: (Urine) Colour, consistency, smell, forth and residue, etc

NAADI : (Pulse): Naadi, in Siddha Medicine is an applied science and the basis for the diagnosis of diseases. By feeling the pulse with his fingers, the physician first assumes the physiological and pathological state of the person examined by him, before deciding the line of treatment. There are 21 Nadi Sastras on pulse-perception in Siddha today. According to Siddhars, pulse is the manifestation of Prana in a living being. Prana is the cosmic energy responsible for the evolution and involution of the universe and it penetrates and surrounds everything.


This science of pulse is peculiar to Siddha system of medicine. Guru taught Traditionally this science of pulse to disciples. Diagnosis of the disease by means of the pulse requires great skill and experience.

The science of pulse is based on three life factors viz. Vatam, Pittam and Kapham. According to Siddhars, Pulse is the manifestation of Prana in living being. Prana is the cosmic energy responsible for the evolution and involution of the Universe. The normal order of Vaatam, Pittam and Kapham are in the proportion of 1: 1/2: 1/4 respectively.


The Siddha System is largely therapeutic in nature. The basic therapeutic approach is the right treatment along with factors like the condition of body & mind, temperament (Prakriti), sex, age, metabolic fire (Agni), which makes for health. Regular balanced food habits are stressed and are affordable by the common man. The food that the human body takes and the drugs it uses are all made of these five elements. The proportion of the elements in these drugs vary and their preponderance or otherwise is responsible for certain actions and therapeutic results. If the merits and demerits were weighed between Siddha and any other systems of medicine then Siddha would emerge to be the first choice.

The treatment consists of restoring the balance of disturbed body-mind matrix and immunity through regulating diet, correcting life-routine and behavior, administration of drugs targeted to exert effects on the disease and resorting to preventive therapy. It concentrates on cure of disease, prevention of disease restoration of health and preservation of health, thus ensuring the way of healthy living.

The principles of treatment are aimed at three aspects.

1. PREVENTIVE: Preventive aspect is very much stressed in all Siddha literature. Body & mind should be clean and free from evil thoughts and deeds.2. CURATIVE (Pini Theerthal):

Pre medication

  • VAANTHI: Induced vomit with herbs, which are selected to balance the deranged Doshas.
  • KAZHICHAL: Purgation with herbs and minerals mostly in castor oil base.
  • PEECHAL: Enemata.



  • Drugs for the disease
  • Adjuvant Therapy
  • Diet regulations (Pathiyam)


  • Kattu (herbal bandage)
  • Patthu
  • Fomentation
  • Vedhu (vaporization)
  • Massage with herbal-oil
  • Ointments
  • Plastering

3.PROMOTIVE (Kayakarpam):

  • Rest from active work.
  • Cessation of medicines (Internal and External).
  • Baths with medicated oils.
  • Offerings to God.

Treatment of the disease consists in avoiding causative factors responsible for imbalance of the body matrix or three humors (DOSHA) through medicaments (the use of Herbal derived medicines), suitable diet for restoring the immunological balance and strengthening the body mechanisms to prevent or minimize future occurrence of the disease without any side effects.


In Siddha medicines are based mostly on herbs and metallurgy. Siddhars dealt with metals, salts, minerals and animal products. Siddhars were the pioneers in the use of metals and minerals in the treatment of diseases. They convert metals into medicinal compounds in powder form or solid components of high potency. Some Siddhars make use of a saltish substance (‘muppu’ or universal salt), to prepare medicines. This universal salt is capable of rejuvenating the entire human system.

Fractures of the bone are set right by traditional bone -setters, who has learnt the art orally from generation to generation. It is a separate science prescribed by the Siddhars. It is known as ‘Varma Treatment’. It deals with the various kinds of fractures and their cure.

There are about 64 types of medicines in Siddha. The common preparations are Parpam (calcined metals and minerals), Churnam (powders), Kashayam (decoctions), Lehiyam (confections), Ghritam (ghee) and Thailam (oil).

Oil is used for external application by Siddhars. Bathing regularly after being anointed in the oil (in which the essence of the herb ‘Karisilanganni’ is added) is an antidote to skin diseases. For body pain, Marma Thailam, an oily preparation from herbs is applied to the body before going to bed. After a hot bath in the following morning, symptoms of relief are said to be marked.

Herbs are used to treat Asthma, Piles and eczema.

Powdered gold, silver and other metals extract from pearls and corals, and juices of herbs are made use of by the manufactures of Siddha medicines. Even today, people are said to consume ‘Thanga Parpam’ or powdered gold to get over the handicaps of old age.

The Siddha system included not only medicine and alchemy but also yoga and philosophy. Siddha science acknowledges 64 kinds of yoga.


In Siddha system, perfect digestion and assimilation of our food, together with the regular and efficient evacuation of wastes that is essential for health and beauty. The regulation of diet as therapy has great importance. It quotes that ‘food is medicine and Medicine is food because the food is considered the basic building material of the human body that is processed into humors, tissues and wastes. The food, is composed of the above five elements, which nourish the like elements of the body after the action of bio-fire (Agni). Ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and metabolism of food have interplay in health and disease, which are significantly affected by psychological mechanisms as well as by bio- fire (Agni).

Food in human body is transformed first into chyle or SAARAM and then successive processes involve its conversion into blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, reproductive elements and ojas. Thus, food is basic to all the metabolic transformations and life activities. Lack of nutrients in food or improper transformation of food causes imbalance of three DOSHAS –Vaatam, Pittam & Kapham lead to a variety of diseased conditions. There is enough evidence in the literature to indicate that a well balanced diet can help in alleviating Doshas.

How we digest and assimilate our food is just as important as what we eat. If digestion is disturbed, even the best diet will not provide proper nutrition. The following points include a variety of recommendations to aid in the most complete digestion of food.
  • Eat according to your hunger level. Avoid eating when not hungry and do not delay eating when hungry.
  • Eat at approximately the same time every day. Try to keep regular meal times. Finish dinner 2-4 hours before bed.
  • Don’t eat too quickly or too slowly. Take at least 20 minutes to eat a meal.
  • Do not overeat. Eat to about 3/4 capacities. Do not leave the table very hungry or very full.
  • Allow 3 – 6 hours between meals. Do not eat before the previous meal is properly digested.
  • Eat a balanced meal with all six tastes.
  • Eat sitting down and in a settled environment. Do not read, watch TV or drive while eating.
  • Sip warm or room temperature liquids during the meal. This enlivens digestion and helps the food be bettering dissolved and absorbed. Never drink ice water or milk with a meal as they suppress digestion.
  • Sit comfortably for five to ten minutes after finishing the meal. This allows the digestive process to get well underway. If you immediately jump up from the meal, digestion will be disrupted and the food will be improperly processed.
  • Eat only as much as would fit into your two hands cupped together
  • Chew the food well. Digestion starts in the mouth.
  • Milk should be taken alone or with other sweet tastes. Milk should not be taken with vegetables, meat, fish, sour foods, salt or eggs.
  • Eat fresh foods freshly prepared. Avoid leftovers.
  • Avoid artificial foods, colors and preservatives.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are recommended as part of your daily diet.
  • Do not follow a meal with dessert, it disturbs digestion.
  • Honey should not be heated in any way such as by cooking, baking or by adding it to hot beverages. When heated honey is ingested it creates a toxic effect in the body. It can be added to tea or hot milk once the beverage has cooled down to body temperature.
  • Eat organic food whenever possible. Strictly avoid genetically engineered or genetically modified food.
  • Do not use a microwave as it can aggravate Vatam in the food.
  • A vegetarian diet is ideal but if you have been eating meat for many years the transition should be made gradually with great attention placed on having a balanced diet and enough milk products to get the proper amount of vitamin B12.
  • Avoid snacks containing refined sugar. Have sweet juicy fruits, dried fruits, and hot milk alone or with spices, dates, nuts and other wholesome foods instead.
  • Avoid lunches of only raw salad. Raw vegetables are not a balanced diet at lunch, the most important meal of the day. Raw vegetables are too Vatam aggravating to be eaten as the only item on the menu at lunch.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages. They aggravate Vatam being filled with air and destroy the foundation of “ojas”, the chemical that contributes most to the immunity and vigor of the body.
  • Avoid cold foods. Cold food depresses digestion and clogs the physiology.
  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is very aggravating to Vatam and Pittam and can significantly imbalance the physiology with overuse.
  • Avoid excessive sour or fermented foods, especially yeasted bread


  • Upon arising drink a glass of warm water (stimulates the elimination of wastes), clean mouth, massage gums, scrape tongue, wash out eyes, apply oil to nose or use netti cup and flush nostrils.
  • Warm oil massage in morning, using warm sesame oil or sesame and coconut blend. Use long friction strokes, starting with top of head, down to toes and back up again. Follow with a warm bath until you begin to perspire.
  • Meditate every day, twice a day.
  • Keep your attitude positive and smile.
  • Yoga daily
  • Exercise – ½ to 1 hour daily is all that is needed to maintain health.
  • Eating – Eat in a peaceful setting. Do not eat on the run, in a hurry or in an emotional state. Do not eat to fullness. Finish eating at least 2 hours before sleep – 4 hours is ideal.
  • Fasting –when tongue is heavily coated, urine is cloudy, bad breath, nausea or digestive upset or sense of constant fullness. Start out with once a month and work up to once a week. Let the body rest for ½ to 1 full day. Soups, juices, vegetable broths, herbal teas or fruits are best to fast on.
  • Do not restrain natural urges such as gas, bowel movements, urination, belching, sneezing, yawning.
  • Avoid sex, deep study or sleep for at least 2 hours after eating, especially in the evening.
  • Avoid late nights, reduce hurry and worry – Care for yourself with love.


A few drops of castor oil are let into the nose to cure cold.

For various bodily ailments, gingerly oil is boiled with small quantities of chillies and turmeric and the body is anointed with this liquid compound and given a warm bath.

Boiled nutmeg is powdered and consumed with a plantain -fruit to stop dysentery.

The skin of the fox is heated in the oven and devoured with honey to relieve whooping cough.

For sore throat, leaves of the drumstick tree are powdered, the juice extracted and applied to the throat along with ‘chunnam’ -the lime consumed with betel leaves.

Ginger, turmeric, onion, mustard, nutmeg, cloves and other spices are consumed along with food for their medicinal properties.

For building iron in your body eat plenty of spinach juice.

Cooked raw flour mixed with turmeric powder is boiled and used as bandage material to cure abscess formed in any part of the body.

The water content of rice kept overnight is drunk with salt, turmeric and asafoetida every three hours as a tonic.

The stem of the banana plant is used for urinary troubles and prostrate enlargements.

Drinking a glass of vegetable juice everyday made from carrot and beetroot, or tomato and coriander, or mint juice, or ginger-lime-coriander keeps the heart healthy.

Cow-dung is used as a disinfectant in house holds.

HAIR’SCARE: The right way to begin hair care is to commence a regular routine of hot oil massage that can do wonders. It not only rejuvenates your lackluster hair but also invigorates the gray cells within and perks you up to face the world.

This massive ancient Siddha compendium deals with anatomy, physiology, embryology, pharmacology, toxicology and pathology, etiology, prognosis, treatment, therapeutics, dietary guidelines, nutrition science and medicine etc.

Siddha advocates the use of metals and minerals in medicines. The pharmacology of Siddha system is broadly classified as preparations of herbal origin, preparations of mineralo-metallic origin, preparations of animal origin collectively known as SASHTRIYA PREPARATIONS.

Siddha deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life. Besides dealing with principles for perseverance of health, it has also developed a wide range of therapeutic measures to cure diseases and promotes revitalization of immune system. Prevention of disease and promotion of health are important aspects of Siddha. These principles are related to physical, mental, social and spiritual well being of human beings. Thus Siddha system of medicine became one of the oldest systems of medicine dealing with curative, preventive, preservative aspects and longevity of life in a simplest way.

Benefits: The main aim of Siddha is to assure a healthy life to mankind. Being an oldest system of medicine, treatment is available for all acute as well as chronic diseases. It cures constipation, malaria, jaundice, all infectious diseases, colds and diseases of the digestive, respiratory, genito-urinary tracts. It cures sexual ills, circulatory problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attacks, mental illnesses, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), metabolic and degenerative disorders etc. It helps in treating AIDS and many other ailments that are incurable or fatal.