Introduction to Traditional Indian Medicine
Ayurveda & Siddha
There are 2 Great ancient systems of Indian Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha Medicine, with various other Traditional Medicine systems practiced in various parts of India, including Tibetan and Unani Medicine.
Ayurveda has its origin in the Vedic texts, while Siddha is traced back to the Tamil Siddhas. Ayurveda originated in central and northern India. It is believed the texts were composed between 1200–1500 BCE in north-western India.
Siddha medicine originated in Tamil Nadu, Southern India and is believed to originate in the Indus Valley civilization during the 3rd millennium BCE. According to some sources, Siddha is the oldest medical system still practiced, and yet other sources will claim the same for Ayurveda. Some have even suggested Siddha may have begun in Northern India or Himalayas and was pushed southward by Muslim invaders to the north.
It appears evident that they have a great deal in common, yet are independent. Both systems share some common theory including 5 Elements and three Dosas (Pitta/Bile, Kapha/Phlegm, Vata/Wind). Both have an advanced understanding of the preparation and use of metal and mineral ingredients including Mercury, and many of the herbs used are common to both systems. From a practical viewpoint, it is perhaps their formulas where they most differ.
Therapies used include Panchakarma (cleansing), Bloodletting, Regimental treatment, Herbs, Massage, Yoga, Meditation, Mantra etc.
Ayurvedic Materia Medica
Ayurveda & Siddha Formulas
Glossary of Ayurvedic Medicine Names
Glossary of Ayurvedic Disease Names
Herb Groups in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Herbs used in Unani Medicine