Unani & Siddha
The Unani System of Medicine recognizes the influence of surroundings and ecological conditions on the state of health of human beings. Unani system emphasizes on six essentials- Pure air,food and water,physical movement and rest,psychic movement and rest,sleep and wakefulness and retention of useful material and evacuation of waste materials from the body.
Principles of Unani Medicine
According to practitioners of Unani medicine, achieving a balance of the bodily fluids known as “the four humors” is essential to health.
Another key principle of Unani medicine is that disease results from an imbalance in air, earth, water, and fire, four elements thought to comprise all that exists in nature, including the human body.
In addition, Unani medicine is partly based on the principle that environmental conditions, including quality of water and air,) can significantly impact health.
A health care system of traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu) in South India, is the Siddha medicine. Traditionally, it is taught that the siddhars laid the foundation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers.
What is Siddha
Generally the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are similar to Ayurveda. The only difference appears to be that the siddha medicine recognizes predominance of Vaadham, Pittham and Kapam in childhood, adulthood and old age, respectively, whereas in Ayurveda, it is totally reversed: Kapam is dominant in childhood, Vaatham in old age and Pittham in adulthood.
According to the Siddha medicine, various psychological and physiological functions of the body are attributed to the combination of seven elements: first is ooneer (plasma) responsible for growth, development and nourishment; second is cheneer (blood) responsible for nourishing muscles, imparting colour and improving intellect; the third is oon (muscle) responsible for shape of the body; fourth is koluppu/Kozhuppu (fatty tissue) responsible for oil balance and lubricating joints; fifth is elumbu (bone) responsible for body structure and posture and movement; sixth is elumbumajjai (bone marrow) responsible for formation of blood corpuscles; and the last is sukkilam (semen) responsible for reproduction. Like in Ayurveda, in Siddha medicine also, the physiological components of the human beings are classified as Vaadham (air), Pittham (fire) and Kapam (earth and water). It is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of the three humors — Vaadham, Pittham and Kapam — is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to affect this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kapam are 4:2:1, respectively. According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of “do’s and don’ts”.