Tel: 044 – 26211621, 044 – 26212421 | Fax: 044 – 26211621 | ccrschennai(at)gmail(dot)com
Siddha Central Research Institute
Govt. Anna Hospital Campus
Arumbakkam, Chennai – 600106 [India]
Phone: 044 – 2621 4925 | Fax: 044 – 26214809
OPD Timings: 8am to 12pm
Siddha Central Research Institute (SCRI) is identified as a potential centre of excellence for clinical research. This Institute is located in the campus of Anna Government Hospital of Indian systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy at Arumbakkam, Chennai. Central Research Institute for Siddha was established in the year 1971. It has all the facilities for preclinical and clinical studies. Pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, pharmacology, literary research, clinical research, Biochemistry, clinical pathology and pharmacy are the various departments functioning under Siddha Central Research Institute.
Clinical research and hospital services
Siddha Central Research Institute is a referral hospital for Psoriasis. Under clinical research, drug trials are conducted for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, peptic ulcer, infective hepatitis, diabetes, osteoarthritis and psoriasis. These clinical trials are monitored by the institutional human ethical committee.
777 oil and P6 emerged as drugs of choice for psoriasis and peptic ulcer respectively through clinical trials.
SCRI was one of the centres that participated in the multi-centric clinical research studies for proving the efficacy of Aººap®tic Cent£ram in anaemia. Open observational studies for studying the adverse effects of Li´ka Cent£ram, Ayav¢ra Cent£ram and Ayapiru´kar¡ja Ka¼pam have been carried out. Treatment claims for vector borne diseases have been documented and published as a guideline.
The Institute is running a general outpatient department. On an average 250 – 300 patients per day are getting free medicines on weekly basis. It has a 50-bedded research hospital for in-patients also. The average bed occupancy per year is forty to forty five per cent. This IPD is a reputed center for treatment of psoriasis and patients from all over India are admitted and treated. The patients attending this OPD are charged nominally for their laboratory investigations. For research participants and senior citizens the investigations are done free of cost.
The Government of India and the Ministry of AYUSH have been taking keen interest in promoting the health care of the old people through Indian systems of medicine. A special geriatric health care unit has started functioning here (on Tuesdays) since 13th May, 2008. Siddha system of medicine has a specialized branch of study called Ci¼appu Maruttuvam, which includes rejuvenation therapy (K¡yaka¼pam) for geriatric health care.
A unit of Varmam and traditional bone setting is functioning in the OPD of this hospital and better care is given for the patients suffering from dislocations, disc prolapse, cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis.
Literary Research and Documentation Department
Literary research forms the basis for any research in Siddha system, as they are scientific reflections of the intuitions of Siddhars. Palm leaves and paper manuscripts still hold with them many unfolded scientific details which are to be unearthed.
A literary research unit was started by the Government of India, at Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur in the year 1964 for the enlightenment of the Siddha system. In 1971, one more literary research unit was started at Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai. They have made wonderful collections of traditional manuscripts and very old Siddha printed books dealing with treatment of ailments, from the traditional physicians all over Tamil Nadu. In 1979, the units were merged to form the Literary Research and Documentation Department at Central Research Institute for Siddha, Chennai. In April 2007 the LR and DD was merged with Central Research Institute for Siddha, Chennai. The mandate of this department is to carry out literary research.
Both virtual and real manuscripts are made available as a ready reckoner for students, research scholars and the public. Literary Research and Documentation Department under the umbrella of Siddha Central Research Institute is carrying out the below mentioned activities.
Major Activities of Literary Research and Documentation Department
Department of Pharmacognosy
Macroscopic and microscopic evaluation, quantitative microscopy, powder drug analysis, fluorescence analysis, preliminary phyto-chemical screening, histo-chemical analysis, works related to identification and confirmation of pure raw drugs as well as plants before they are processed into medicine and analysis related to adulteration and substitution of raw drugs are being carried out in this department.
Department of Chemistry
Physico – chemical parameters such as loss on drying, total ash, acid insoluble ash, water / ethanol / n-hexane soluble extractives, pH, specific gravity, fat content, sugar, acid value, saponification value, iodine value, peroxide value, refractive index, assay for metals like calcium, magnesium, iron, mercury, etc disintegration time, weight variation test, preliminary phytochemical screening, isolation of phytochemical markers, TLC photodocumentation and high performance thin layer chromatographic (HPTLC) finger print profile of single drugs as well as Siddha formulations are being carried out in the department of Chemistry.
Pharmacological and Toxicological Studies
In the Department of Pharmacology, acute, sub-acute, sub-chronic and chronic toxicity studies for Siddha drugs are being carried out. Moreover, various experimental and pharmacological techniques are being employed for evaluating the different aspects of drug effect/efficacy.
Standardization and Quality Control of Siddha medicines
Objectives of standardization and quality control of Siddha medicines are to ensure identity, quality and purity and detection of adulteration. These are important determinants of safety and efficacy of the products. These activities are carried out through several drug standardization units, research centers, drug testing laboratories at national and regional levels, both in public and private sectors. These laboratories use internationally laid down parameters for standardization and quality control. The Government of India set up the Siddha Pharmacopoeia Committee (SPC) in 1975 for prescribing standards for single drugs and compound formulations mentioned in Siddha literature for the use of manufacturers and practitioners.
An independent Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy has been set up which would work on the lines of other Pharmacopoeia Commissions of the world like the US Pharmacopoeia Commission and the British Pharmacopoeia Commission.
In order to ensure quality of drugs prepared as per pharmacopoeial standards, the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with the Quality Council of India (QCI) has developed a scheme for voluntary certification for quality assurance in AYUSH products. Under the scheme, AYUSH standards and AYUSH premium marks are provided on the product packs. Similarly, to provide quality assurance as well as quality services to the people, QCI identifies the laboratories for accreditation through NABL and hospitals by NABH.
Safety aspects of Siddha Medicines
Rational use of medicines in minute forms on par with the disease process is mentioned in medical ethics laid down by Siddhars in Akattiyar Cillaraikk°vai and T®raiyar Yamaka ve¸p¡. Interactions between Drug-Drug, Drug-Diet and Diet–Diet are dealt in detail in Toxicology (Naµcu Maruttuvam). Pat¡rttaku¸a Cint¡ma¸i, a classical Siddha treatise describes the properties of every ingredient used in the preparation of medicine. In safe preparatory procedures of medicines, the following are to be checked with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP):
Collection of plants should ensure the exact time (Circadian rhythms), place, season (flowering and fruiting) and hygienic (non-contaminated) environment in procuring, cleaning, processing and storage of raw drugs, purification and preparation of medicines.
Post-preparatory procedure includes fixing of proper dose of the drug, Tu¸ai Maruntu (adjuvant) and diet according to severity of the disease. Non-compliance of any one of these procedures may lead to possible undesirable effects or no side effects. If purification (Cutti) is perfectly done before preparation of medicines (especially mineral drugs), there will be no side effects.
In olden days, Siddha physicians used to prepare medicines with piety and in small quantities with the locally available resources by adhering strictly to the SOPs learnt from their Kuru. This personal care ensured quality and safety of the drug. Industrialization and increased demand for Siddha medicines have led to adulteration, supplementation, SOP deviations, irrational combinations, use of tissue cultured species and explants, gene modified herbs, fortified active ingredients and synthetic derivatives. Recurrent amendments in Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, Rule 170 have ensured safety and toxicity studies as a part of drug development process. Nowadays regulatory authorities lay emphasis on in-vitro and in-vivo studies for a drug before marketing.
The open toxicity studies conducted in the recent past have disproved the statements claiming metallic toxicity of drugs. Phase I studies (as per Schedule E- CDSCO) of certain Siddha formulations such as Ili´kac Cent£ram, Ayav¢rac Cent£ram and Ayapiru´kar¡ja Ka¼pam clinically supported the safety as they produced no significant changes in the renal and liver profile. Other commonly used drugs such as I¶ivall¡ti Me¾uku, Iracakanti Me¾uku, Nanti Me¾uku, Va´ka Pa¼pam and Aººap®ti Cent£ram were subjected to chemical and pharmacological evaluation and their safety was ensured.
This institute has, to its credit, 298 publications in National and International peer reviewed journals.
Propagation of Siddha system
This institute periodically conducts workshops, Continuous Medical Education programs and organizes through its Science Club monthly special lectures benefitting research scholars and members of teaching faculty as well as student community. This institute plays an active role in propagating Siddha system by participating in Arogya health melas conducted from time to time by the Ministry of AYUSH in various states of India.