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FAQ about Siddha medicine

What is Siddha system of medicine?

Siddha system of medicine is one of the oldest traditions of healthcare in the Indian sub-continent well documented and replete with novel therapeutic interventions and treatment modalties. The Siddha system of medicine provides preventive, promotive, curative, rejuvenative and rehabilitative health care by adopting scientific and holistic approach.

How old is Siddha system of medicine?

The Siddha system of medicine is a traditional medical system, providing preventive, promotive, curative, rejuvenative and rehabilitative health care by adopting scientific and holistic approach. The Siddha system is believed to have evolved from 10000 – 4000 BC. The Siddha system has evolved into a well-documented medical stream from folk medical practices by Siddhars and by way of keen observations and experimentations. In Indian subcontinent, Siddha medicine has its strong roots reflecting India’s culture, tradition and heritage.

What does the word ‘Siddha’ means?

The term ‘Siddha’ is derived from the root word ‘Citti’ / ‘Cittu’ which means ‘complete knowledge’ or accomplishment.

What are the fundamental constituents of Siddha system of medicine?

The Siddha system is comprised essentially of philosophical concepts and also the following four components: 1. Chemistry / Iatrochemistry /Alchemy (V¡tam / Iracav¡tam) 2. Treatment (Vaittiyam) 3. Yogic Practices (Y°kam) 4. Wisdom (Ø¡ºam). According to Siddha system a human being is composed of 96 tools and they not only consist of physical components of human body but also the mental and intellectual components such as passion, instinct, knowledge, function of the sense organs and motor organs and their co-ordination. Among the 96 tools, the five elements (paµcap£tam) are the fundamental units of everything in the human body and the cosmos. All substances are made up of five primordial elements, namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. The physical and functional constituents of human beings are also constituted by these five elements.

According to Siddha medicine, every substance is understood by five characters, which depend upon the elements present in them. They are taste, property, potency, post digestive transformation and unique biological activity or specific pharmacological action.

Human is the microcosm and the Universe, the macrocosm; what exists in the Universe also exists in human. Therefore, human must be looked upon as an integral part of the Universe. Further, the matters in the microcosm or human are identical with those of the macrocosm or the Universe.

What are the diagnostic tools in Siddha system of medicine?

Diagnosis is based on the following eight kinds of diagnostic tools — Pulse (N¡¶i), Perception by palpation (Paricam), Tongue (), Complexion (Ni¼am), Speech (Mo¾i), Eye (Vi¾i), Faeces (Malam) and Urine (M£ttiram). Examination of pulse and urine are very important because they are helpful not only in arriving at the diagnosis but also in assessing the prognosis of the disease. In Siddha system, apart from the eight investigatory tools of diagnosis described above, the measurement of wrist circumference by an inelastic thread expressed in terms of four finger-breadth (excluding thumb) of the patient forms another diagnostic tool called Ma¸ikka¶ai n£l.What are the preventive measures in Siddha system of medicine?

T®raiyar, one of the Siddhars, has recommended preventive measures for promotion of health. For leading a healthy life, he has laid down some basic guidelines to be followed which include observation of certain regimen as mentioned in ‘Pi¸iya¸uk¡ viti’ (preventive measures), literally meaning, guidelines that help to prevent diseases.  The concepts pertaining to habitat, seasons and diet (Ti¸ai/Nilam, N¡½ O¾ukkam, K¡la O¾ukkam, U¸avu) are both preventive and curative. Some of them to list are:


  1. Drink warm water after boiling.
  2. Take food twice a day.
  3. Take diluted buttermilk and melted ghee.
  4. Take sufficient quantity of cow’s milk.
  5. Always have food to the level of hunger.
  6. Always consume well-fermented curd.
  7. Practice short walking after food.
  8. Have therapeutic emesis once in six months.
  9. Have therapeutic purgation once in four months.
  10. Instill nasal drops once in 45 days.
  11. Take oil bath (applying oil all over the body and scalp and taking bath) once every four days.
  12. Use warm water while taking oil bath.
  13. Apply collyrium (medicated eye-liner) once in three days.
  14. Lie in the left lateral position while sleeping.
  15. Stay away from water splashing from hairs and nails.
  16. Worship cow, God, ancestors and teachers (Kuru).


  1. Never eat root tubers except yamTyphonium trilobatum (L.) Schott. (Pi¶ikaru¸aikki¾a´ku).
  2. Never consume food that was prepared the previous day.
  3. Don’t drink water during the course of a meal.
  4. Never suppress any of the 14 natural urges — urination, defaecation, etc.
  5. Avoid sleep during daytime.
  6. Avoid excessive sexual indulgence.
  7. Avoid sex after consumption of heavy food.
  8. Never smell fragrant flowers during midnight.
  9. Never lie close to articles producing dust.
  10. Never sleep under a tree or near a burning lamp during night.

What are the various forms of Siddha system of medicine?

All pharmaceutical forms of drugs and therapeutic procedures are broadly classified into 64 categories — internal medicines – 32 and external medications and treatment procedures – 32.

Can Siddha medicines be taken concomitantly with modern medicine?

Siddha medicines can be taken concomitantly with modern medicines under medical supervision.

Is it advisable to take Siddha Medicines as Over The Counter (OTC) drugs?

No. Siddha medicines have to be taken with proper prescription from qualified Siddha physicians.

What is the role of anupanam in Siddha system of medicine?

Anupanam (Vehicle) in which the drug is administered enhances the absorption and efficacy of the drug.

How safe is Siddha medicine for paediatric age group?

Siddha medicines are absolutely safe for children if medicines are taken after consultation with qualified physicians.

Is yoga a part of Siddha system of medicine?

Yes, Yoga is practiced and it’s an integral part in Siddha system of medicine.

Do Siddha medicines insist on diet restriction?

      Yes, Siddha system of medicine insists on diet restriction for complete cure.

Is Siddha medicine safe to take during pregnancy?

Not all Siddha medicines are safe to be consumed during gestation. Selected medicines can be taken under medical supervision. 

Are there any medicines in Siddha system to improve the immunity of children?

Yes. There are many Siddha medicines available to improve the immunity of children which has to be taken after consultation with the Siddha physician.

Do Siddha medicines have treatment for poisoning?

Yes. Various poisons can be treated with Siddha system of medicine.