1 PRAISE BE TO SIDDHAS A Literary Review of Kayakalpa Plants in Siddha LiteratureA. Rajalakshmi, S. Baby Malathi, S. Kanimozhi, N. Nilakkalli*Siddha system of medicine – A preamble: The Siddhas are superhuman beings, the immortal masters of medicine andmeditation, also founders of the Indian Traditional Alchemical system of Medicinenamely “The Siddha system”. This system belongs to a very ancient period and it may beroughly ascertained to the origin of Tamil civilization itself. According to Siddhas,human body is a wonderful replica representing the entire universe. The criteria by which an organism originates depends on 96 Thathuvas orConstituent principles. To elevate the soul on its spiritual journey, the Siddhas formulatedan applied alchemy, the Kaya Kalpam.The Kayakalpa – A Preamble: Kaya – Body, mind and psyche and Kalpa - Transmutation. Kayakalpa is a transformative approach to health and consciousness to preventand free from chronic diseases. Besides rejuvenating the body, it also possessesProphylatic action. According to Siddha Materia Medica, Kayakalpa formulationsinclude Herbs, Minerals and Animal kingdom also.Classification: In general karpam ramifies into two, namely Pothu karpam: can be taken by any one at anytime for the sake of attaining optimum health, beauty, longevity and consciousness. Sirappu karpam: taken during the period of illness and physical imbalances.* III B.S.M.S students, Govt. Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai, Tamilnadu. 627002.
2Kayakalpa Plants: In the text “Karuvoorar Vadha Kaaviyam” it has been mentionedthat nearly 108 Herbs are termed as Karpa Mooligaigal. Pothu karpam comprises of plants such as • Zingiber officinale (ginger), • Alternanthera sessilis (sessile leaf), • Azadirachta indica (neem), • Aloe barbadensis (aloe), • Withania somnifera (winter cherry) etc., Sirappu karpam comprises of plants such as • Phyllanthus amarus (Indian phyllanthus), • Semecarpus anacardium (marking nut), • Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry), • Ocimum sanctum (sacred basil), • Acalypha indica (cat’s struggle) etc.,Time of Consumption: Predominantly, Morning is stated as the optimum time forconsumption of Karpam, whereas evening is also preferred for some preparations.For example, Kadukkai (chebulic myrobalan) is preferred during evening.Initiative measures on Consumption: Before consuming Kayakalpam, primarily the body has to be prepared.It is to be noted that consumption of kayakalpa along with some simple Yogasanas makesthe purpose fruitful.
3Compatible Diet: According to Siddha literature, Food itself is a Medicine. Food in our dieteither enhances or disturbs the potency of the drug consumed. In accordance with thatsome of the compatible diets are as follows. Solanum trilobatum, dried fruit of Solanum nigrum, dried fruit ofchundai, Alternanthera sessilis, leaves of black neem, red gram, black pepper, Cumin,Clove, bark of Cinnamom , fruits or seeds of Cardamom, Myristica fragrans, cane sugar,cow’s milk, ghee, mango, Indian gooseberry etc., The above mentioned items are general and there are separate list ofvarieties which can be added for each and every karpam. The references aregiven in the text of Pathiya Vithi Pathiyam and Pathiya Nirnayam.. These are listed on the basis of the “Arusuvaigal”, the main criterianamely Sweet, Salt, Sour, Astringent, Pungent, Bitter which was primarily based onthe Pancha Bhuthic Theory.Pathiyam: This refers the sort of food to be neglected. Salt, Tamarind, Mustard,Ginger, Flesh, Fish, Ash pumpkin, Horse gram, Tobacco, Betel should be prohibited.Sexual abstinence is also advised. This is for the purpose of Rejuvenation instead ofGeneration which is very much needed. Each drug has its own diet restrictions. Thesort of diet to be restricted or added depends on various factors such as patientsphysic, pathognomonic conditions, potency of medicine, period of drug consumption,environmental changes etc., Uncertainty could be compensated with the guidance ofexperienced physicians to select the diet.Age Group: There are certain age limitations. Kayakalpa hardly produces any remarkableeffect beyond Fifth decade of life due to degenerative changes in the body.
4Specialities of Kayakalpa: Kayakalpa does not mean restoring old to youth, it means the maintenanceof youth without mere lethargy both physically and mentally. Kayakalpa preventsand brings us to a state that the body could not only be healthy but also fulfillsthe purpose of being healthy, becoming a person meaningful and very much inHarmony with the nature.Discussion: Till now the Siddha medicines are being used for various ailmentsfor both physiological and psychological wellbeing. Though these are in writtenforms by Siddhas, this system stands neglected and identified wrongly as unscientificand superstitious. In addition a systematic analysis of these drugs based on recentscientific methodology is also lacking, even though Multifarious actions have beenindicated in Siddha literature. Scientific investigations should be done to confirmthe Siddha claims to achieve the Siddha Goal (i.e.) to free Humanity from Diseases.Conclusion: With the help of kayakalpa the innate Rejuvenating powers of bodyare awakened thus creating a magnetic and vital being. It helps us to live our lifeto the fullest at the same time to understand what life is all about. This is only acurtain raiser and a further evaluation has to be done with this work.References: 1. ‘History of Siddha medicine’ Ist edition, 1979 by Mr. N. Kandasamy Pillai, Siddha science development committee, Govt. of Tamilnadu. 2. ‘Heritage of Tamils’ Ist edition, March 1983 by Dr. S.V. Subramanian, V.R. Madhavan, International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai, 113.
53. ‘Sattaimuni Gnanam’, Ist edition December 2001 by Mr. S.P. Ramachandran, Thamarai Noolagam, Chennai.4. Dictionary of Medicine, Chemistry, Botany and Allied sciences (Based on Indian medical science), volume II, IInd edition, 1992. By T.V. Sambasivam Pillai, published by Department of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Chennai – 106.5. ‘Siddha Maruthuvam Sirappu’ by Dr. R. by Dr. R. Thiagarajan, IInd edition, 1995, Published by The Directorate of Indian Medicine & Homeopathy, Chennai, India.