Siddha :: Siddha Vaidya system of health and rejuvenation
Siddha Vaidya system of health and rejuvenation has a long lineage and tradition in south India. It has been practiced for thousands of years in Tamilnadu and Kerala. Dravidian in origin, the whole gamut of its literature is in Tamil language. The basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are the same as those of Ayurveda.
Tradition has it that there were 18 Siddhars. They were Nandi, Agasthiyar, Thirumular, Punnakkeesar, Pulasthiyar, Poonaikannar, Idaikkadar, Bogar, Pulikai isar, Karuvurar, Konkanavar, Kalangi, Sattainathar, Azhuganni, Agappai, Pumbatti, Theraiyar and Kudhambai.
Agasthiyar is considered to be the greatest of them all. He was the founder of the Siddha system of medicine and originator of the Tamil language.
About two hundred works in Tamil on Siddha medicine have rich and varied alchemical ideas. Of special importance are Amudakalaijnanam, Muppu, Muppuvaippu, Muppucunnam, Carakku, Guruseynir, Paccaivettusutram and Pannir-kandam by Agastya; Kadaikandam , Valalai-Sutram and Nadukandam by Konganavar ; Karagappa, Purva, Muppu-Sutram and Dravakam by Nandisvar; Karpam and Valai-Sutram by Bogar etc. Thus the Siddha system is basically a regional variant of Ayurveda, conditioned by the local Tamil culture and tradition.
Although the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are almost similar to Ayurveda, the only difference appears to be this that the Siddha medicine recognises the predominance of vatham, pitham and kapam in childhood, adulthood and old age respectively, whereas in Ayurveda it is totally reversed: kapam is dominant in childhood, vatham in old age and pitham in adults.
According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and life style play a major role not only in health but also in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathya and apathya, which is essentially a list of do’s and don’ts.