The mankind has entered the 21-st century. Stress, emotions such as worry, sadness, anger or fear,
overwork or overplay, irregular eating habits eventually weakens our systems, which opens the door for
chronic, degenerative, and non-specific diseases to develop. SIDDHA system of medicine is a unique
system providing better cure for all chronic ailments like cancer, Syphilis, respiratory diseases,
infectious diseases, diabetes, dermatological cases, and autoimmune disorders.
The era of medicine began with man for the mankind and is endless. Siddha Medicine is the
oldest documented medical science and foremost of all other medical systems in the world.
Siddha System of Medicine is an integrated part of Indian System, which is very potent and
unique system when compared with other traditional systems in existence. Not only Indians but
also people from the western countries are also accepting the pathways of natural treatments.
These days, Siddha medicines and remedies have become the major trends of the time.
Instead of going for the heavy allopathic and other western treatments, people are moving their
sides onto the traditional modes. Here is a hundred percent natural system of medication that
seeks to take us from days of bad health on to perfect health. “Siddha” means “perfection” after

According to a report by WHO – The Siddha system is capable of treating all types of disease
other than emergency cases. In general this system is effective in treating all types of skin
problems particularly Psoriasis, STD, urinary tract infections, diseases of liver and gastro
intestinal tract, general debility, postpartum anemia, diarrhea and general fevers in addition to
arthritis and allergic disorders. (WHO Regional Consultation on Development of Traditional Medicine in the South-East
Asia Region June 2005 – Document no. 16)

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. Before the event of
Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greek Medicine, SIDDHA system of medicine was part of Tamil
civilization (Dravidian culture), is receiving more attention in global health care circle, which is
unknown to many in this world. The Tamils who inhabit the Southern peninsula of the sub-
continent of India have an impressive and venerable past, as ancient as that of perhaps the
Egyptians. They undertook a systematic study of nature and its elements and from what they
were able to grasp, they had developed a highly systematized medicine which is now known as
Siddha system. There were 18 Siddhars, developed this Siddha system of Medicine originally
compiled around 6000 years ago, predates and also far most superior to Ayurveda. SIDDHA
MEDICINE, along with the Dravidian culture propagated in south India and serves the
population effectively even today. 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.
Siddhars had access to the great Siddha traditions, which were used in case of illnesses and
physiological problems. Many chronic diseases, considered incurable in western medicine, can
be treated successfully with Siddha medicine.

The Siddha system does not believe in merely treating the symptoms. Siddha system eradicates the root cause for the illness provides quick & complete relief and also prevents recurrence. Siddha Medicine is contributing much to the preventive and curative health care of human beings and so considered as supreme of all the traditional arts of the ancient world. Our ancient Tamilans have been on preventive measures rather that curative measures, they lived a much healthier life.

Siddha system of medicine is all about strengthening the organs and cleansing the body
system. The Siddha medical system seeks to revitalize our bodies and make our organs function
in a healthy manner. The treatment in Siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the three doshas, the
five elements, and seven dathus (tissue types) in equilibrium. There are also other aspects of
human body-mind to be balanced and strengthened, which include the Naadi (energy channels),
Varma (energy points), organs, general strength, and the regenerative potential of the body. It
gives importance to wellness, beauty, longevity, and life span, with thousands of herbal
formulations to promote these aspects.

Siddhar, a Tamil word that is derived from its root ‘chit’ means perfection in life or heavenly
bliss. It generally refers to eight kinds of supernatural powers attainable to man. The persons
who had attained such miraculous powers in life are known as Siddhars. The Siddhars were
essentially Yogis and secondarily physicians. They were men born with great talents who lived
thousands of years ago in Tamil country, who by their devotion and search for truth, achieved
perfection in their life time. A siddha physician should not wear colorful dress, nor use silk,
leather rope, cosmetics and should always move around in white dress, using only sandal paste
as cosmetics. Siddhar Theraiyar, in his Thylavarka churukkam insists that a physician should
clean his hands many times and have bath after examining a patient.

The following is the list of eighteen Siddhars according to literature:

  1. Nandi
  2. Agathiyar
  3. Thirumular
  4. Ramadevar
  5. Pulasthiyar
  6. Poonaikannar
  7. Idaikadar
  8. Bogar
  9. Pulikai Isar
  10. Karuvurar
  11. Konkanavar
  12. Kalanginathar
  13. Sattainathar
  14. Azhuganni
  15. Agappai
  16. Pambattisiddhar
  17. Theraiyar and
  18. Kudhambai

Eighteen Siddhars who were the greatest scientist both in medical and spiritual aspects of
ancient days discovered Siddha medicines. Siddha medicine have been around for centuries and
many of the medicinal herbs in use today are being used in the same way they were hundreds of
years ago. The drugs used in Siddha medicine were developed after trials and retrials that
stretched through many hundreds of years and were conducted by many generations of Siddha
doctors. During the period of Siddhars there was not even a microscope, but were able to identify
as many as 3500 herbs, their properties, purification processes, also administered medicines with
suitable anupanam and they documented all these things. Lakhs of formulations are available in
Siddha literatures. All successful formulations were preserved in palm-leaf books for future
generations. Though a few are printed, many are still in manuscripts and palm leaves and
imparted their knowledge through Guru-Sishya principle. Siddha medicines are in the form of
food that ultimately rejuvenate and revitalize the defense mechanism of the body and hence
proved safe, pure and effective. This is the only perfect medical science of the past, present and
future. Providing the human body with enough powers and strong immune system has given a
new definition and another goal for Siddha medicine. Siddhars stressed more that the body can
be made as strong as a stone-KAAYAKARPAM, and this is a way it can resist all kinds of
diseases. The 64 medications including – 32 external and 32 internal therapies cleverly utilize the
Siddha knowledge of healing mechanisms and harnessing the power of the body’s immune

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 PITTA Dosha.
     VIRECHANAM: Purgation with herbs and minerals mostly to balance VATHA Dosha.
     PEECHAL: Enemata.
     NASYAM: Nasal application balance KAPHA Dosha.

 32 Internal medication
 32 External medication and therapy

  1. PROMOTIVE (Kayakarpam):
     Rest from active work.
     Cessation of medicines (Internal and External).
     Baths with medicated oils.

Mode of Treatment is classified into three categories:

DEVAMARUTHUVUM (Divine method); parpam, chendooram,chunnam, guru, kuligai are
MANUDA MARUTHUVUM (rational method);herbal medicines like churanam, kudineer,
vadagam are used.
ASURA MARUTHUVUM (surgical method); heat application, blood letting, leech application
are used.


Nature has created innumerable plants, herbs, metals, poisonous substances, minerals, salts and
other organic substances. Siddhars has selected such of those things which can render relief to
innumerable ailments of mankind suffered and is suffering. Siddhars had thorough knowledge
about anything they took for experiment. Everybody wonders how it was possible in those
primitive days when modern science had not developed. Without any laboratory or microscope,
they had invented several facts about human organism, its ailments and their remedy. It was
possible only due to their super human power attained through yogic practices. A yogi, through
his “GNANAM” can penetrate into anything and know everything about it. That is how the
Siddhars had discovered thousands of raw drugs and invented their uses.
When any matter in nature has to be utilized for medicine purposes, the properties which may
cause bad effects should be neutralized or eliminated. That is why every raw drug used in Siddha
medicine is purified before preparing it as a medicine. Siddha literatures describes the usage of
minerals,metals,pashanams(toxic ores) for therapeutic purpose only after adopting proper
purification and nullified to non-toxic form, which is then safe for processing medicines.
Spiritual Purification:-Each herb has its own life. Hence before removing the herb from the
soil, it is imperative one should utter the following words {mantram) Om Vajra Roopie Hari Sri
Neeye Swaha .. mindfully. Then alone the herb is to be unearthed. Such meditation will expiate
the harm of up rooting the herb. Adherence to such procedure will ensure that the quality of the
herb is no way is affected in the preparation of a particular Medicine.
Physical Purification:- The exact part of the herb which has been prescribed should alone be
taken for medicine. There should not be other impurities like mud, sand or any such thing, If it is
the green leaf, dried or decomposed leaves or insects infected should be eliminated. Care should
be taken in identifying the herbs properly.
Chemical Purification:- As a general rule, when anything is subjected to be processed by using
heat, some chemical reaction may take place. Hence, some of the poisonous herbs which are
purified by using heat come under chemical purification.

The unique feature of this marvellous system is the preparation and administration of Parpams,
Chendoorams, and Chunnams and elaborate descriptions relating to the processes of purification
and calcination are given.The therapeutics of Siddha medicines consists mainly of the use of
metals and minerals whereas in the earlier Ayurveda texts there is no mention of metals and
minerals. In the usage of metals, minerals and other chemicals, this system was far more
advanced than Ayurveda. From earliest times in Siddha text, there is mention of mercury,
sulphur, copper, arsenic and gold used as therapeutic agents. The use of more metals and
chemicals was justified by the fact that to preserve the body from decomposing materials that do
not decompose easily should be used. The other reason perhaps was that the south Indian rivers
were not perennial and herbs were not available all through the year.
For a medicine to be effective, the inorganic substances have to be brought to their atomic form.
This is done by marana prayogam, ie.heaviness or toxic effects of the metal are transformed to
assimilative form (non-toxic and non-existence of heavy metal).Siddhars developed the
knowledge of bringing inorganic substances into atomic and ionic form which can be easily
absorbed in the system when mixed (bhavanam) with herbal juices and put in the fire (puttam)
with a calculated number of cow dung cakes.

Metallics after proper purification and calcination, the prepared parpam and chenduram
should not possess any metallic lustre. They have been found very powerful as curative drugs.
Only very experienced and highly learned people in indigenous medicines and medical
preparation are capable of extracting such elixirs for which the Siddha physicians have been
revered through centuries.
Siddhars preferred the metallic therapeutic agents for the following reasons.
 Certain herbs are not available in all the seasons and there is alteration in their potency due
to climatic and geographical changes.
 The life of herbal preparation is short so their storage, transportation and administration
caused problems.
 Metallic drugs once prepared could be used for a long time irrespective of seasons.
 Metallic drugs were effective in smaller dosage; they were convenient for administration
and transportation.
 Potency of the drug once prepared was maintained over a longer period(75-500 years of
expiry). (Kalavathy Kamalakar Rao et al).

The siddhars’ knowledge of chemistry with minerals, metals and plants was stupendous. This
was successfully used by them from time immemorial for both prevention and treatment.
Processes like calcinations of mercury, minerals and metals and the preparation of a superior
universal salt known as muppu – animated mercury pills with high potency possessing marvelous
properties of transmuting metals and capable of rejuvenating the entire human system bear ample
testimony to the fact that, even in the remote past when knowledge in chemical technology was

not fully developed, the siddhars had an unparalleled knowledge of medicine. The process of
Muppu (universal salt) and chunnam- calcination processes of minerals and metals are special
features of Siddha system of medicine and are not known to other medical systems in India or
other countries.
The analogy: If there are one hundred herbal /mineral combination in Ayurveda to cure a
disease, Siddha just uses ten herbs/mineral to elicit a similar cure. The Tridosha theory,
sapta dhatu physiology and nomenclature of the diseases in the two systems may seem
similar but differs a lot.
There is wide spread belief amongst Indians that the use of siddha medicines leads to liver and
kidney failures. The myth about siddha medicines are unsafe and cause heavy metal toxicity after
consumption. This unsupported belief is a common reason for hesitation to take siddha medicine.
However this oldest medical system pays more importance to the beneficial effect on kidney
protective, hepato-protective and hepatic cell regenerator. The safety profile starts from
purification and processing according to the literature, convert them to most absorbable form for
internal administration and assimilation without any side effect. If the merits and demerits were
weighed between Siddha and any other systems of medicine then Siddha would emerge to be the
first choice.
Note: There may be adverse effects and complication, if these medicines are prepared and
prescribed by unqualified siddha doctors. Deviating from purification and preparation process
may lead to spurious ill effects. Heavy metal toxicity affecting liver and kidney if not eliminated
from the body, deposits in these vital organs causing toxicity.