Siddha is a system of medicine that focuses on keeping the body's many systems working in harmony, and is popular in Southern India. Although Siddha has many similarities with the Northern Indian healing system of Ayurveda, Siddha developed in Southern India and has unique diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
Siddha is derived from the word and supernatural power "Siddhi," a concept with origins in Hinduism, which means the ability to achieve physical and spiritual perfection and heavenly bliss.
Siddha was developed by the ancient Tamils who were locally called the Cittars. These spiritual leaders developed a system of personal and spiritual improvement, which eventually evolved into a system of medicine. This system of physical and spiritual yogic awareness as well as its associated practices for self-improvement became known as the "Siddha System." Some of the palm leaves that were originally used for recording this system of medicine have been excavated in Southern India. It is believed that many of these fragments were also passed down through family generations and held protectively.
The individuals who diagnose and treat patients in this system of medicine are known as Siddhars who aim to bring the body into a state of perfection through meditation, breathing exercises, and treatment with certain herbal formulas. Through these practices, as well as other unique treatments, it is thought that Siddhars may become immortal.
Siddha is most popularly practiced in the Tamil speaking part of Southern India. The government of India regulates the medical practice of this medicine, and the country has medical schools dedicated to training future siddhars in the practice.
Some of the herbs used in Siddha are under clinical investigation for their possible use in a variety of applications, such as treatments for diabetes and cancer.

Related Terms

Bhuta, cittar, dosha, Kapham, Pitham, siddhars, siddhas, tridoshas, Vatham.