By Tamil Bookshelf
Siddha is an ancient system of medicine that originated in the south India. This system is believed to have originated several centuries ago or even since the beginning of the history of mankind. Many ingredients used for preparing Siddha Medicines are same as used in ayurveda.
Siddha is one of the oldest systems of medicine discovered in the South India as a part of the trio, the other two being the Ayurveda and Unani. It is based on the principles similar to Ayurveda. According to the ancient Siddha texts, a human body is made up of several elements. It is a microscopic component of the universe. The elements that form a human body are the earth (MUNN), fire (THEE), water (NEER), air (VAYU) and space (AKASAM). Additionally, there are three humors or the DOSHAS called the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Siddha medicine believes that diseases occur when there is a disequilibrium or imbalance in these humors or if their individual harmony is disturbed. The balance can be restored by correcting the underlying dosha by the application of the Siddha medicine system.
These three Doshas co-exist in all the cells of the body. They function in a harmonious manner to create a balance. Vata is formed by VAYU and AKASAM. It controls the sensory and motor functions of the nervous system such as sensation and movement. Pitta is formed by THEE (fire). It controls the metabolic processes in the body such as digestion, and assimilation, and helps to maintain the warmth of the body. Kapha is formed by NEER (water) and MUNN (earth) and controls stability.
The three doshas are considered the three pillars of health and support the structure and functions of the body. These Tridoshas are involved in regulating all the functions of the body, and maintain the balance in the physical, emotional and mental spheres.
Siddha system that originated in the South India derives its name from the term ‘Siddha’ which means an achievement. The practitioners of this medicine system are called the Siddhars. They need to attain the physical and spiritual excellence to be able to treat people.
Eighteen Siddhars have been believed to have contributed towards the development of this system. The Siddha texts are in Tamil language and the system is practiced mainly in the Tamil-speaking parts of the world.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." ― Hippocrates