Siddha system of medicine, one among the ancient system of medicine, originated in Tamilnadu. Siddhar system of medicine is an intergral part of Tamil language and Tamil culture. Siddha system of medicine, was formulated, contributed and governed by Siddhars.
Siddhars are 'super humans'. They have super natural powers.
Agasthiyar, is the prime among all the 18 Siddhars.
One can find references about 'Siddhars' in Tholkaapiyam, an ancient Tamil text about 2500 years ago. Siddhars dedicated their life into spirituality in their pursuit to attain longevity. They acheived their goal in understanding the basis of life and its connection with the Universe. Myths, mysteries and spiritual reasoning dominates sometimes, but their knowledge in understanding human physiology, diseases and treating the disease are remarkable.
All the 18 Siddhars have contributed in understanding the basis of the disease and treatment to the diseases. They have specialized the art of treating the disease. Siddha System has a defined parametric approach in diagnosing and treating a particular disease. Siddhars used herbs, minerals, metals and sometimes natural forces (Lighting and thunder) as Medicines.
Siddhar Thirumoolar, author of 'Thirumandiram' defined medicine as given below;
Medicine is one that cures/refuses physical disease
Medicine is one that cures/refuses psychological disease
Medicine is one that prevents disease
Medicine is one that refuses death.
Siddhars have always insisted upon proper lifestyle, emphasised diet regulation, breathing practises, Yoga and meditation. These contribute a lot to the well-being of an individual.
Siddhars have contributed their body, life and soul in their destiny to longevity. They administered the medicines they made onto themselves and then fine studied their therapeutic effect. From commom Cold to many life threating diseases, they have identified symtomatically and designed medicines. They have documented the datas in forms of scripts and in poems.
Kaya kalpa or kalpa medicine
Although, preventing and treating diseases were dealt with Siddha system, Siddhars were not contented, they wanted to forbid Death. In this pursuit they have suceeded;
A class of herbs and compounded drugs called ' Kaaya kalpa' or 'Kalpa Medicine' are given in order to prolong life and refuse death.