Disease, as described by modern science is only a diversification from a healthy body state or frequent disturbance of the body’s health to which any particular case of ailment is assigned. According to Siddhas’ Philosophy, diseases in man do not originate in himself, but from the influences which act upon him. Diseases may often occur without any cause; sometimes people get cured without the administration of any medicine. Disease can be caused by the following factors.
Imbalance of the three humors
It is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of three humors (wind, fire and phlegm) is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors, which assumed to affect this equilibrium, are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between these three humors (wind, fire and phlegm) is 4:2:1, respectively.
According to the siddha medicine system, diet and life style play a major role not only in health but also in curing diseases.
For example like the planet Saturn controls over bones, teeth, ear, spleen, bladder, can give rise to ailments like leprosy, paralysis, cancer, cough, asthma and dropsy.
Jupiter powers over blood, liver, pulmonary veins, diaphragm, muscles of the trunk and sense of touch and smell.
Mars rules over bile, gall-bladder, and kidneys; and brings diseases like fever, jaundice, convulsions, hemorrhage, carbuncle, ulcers etc.
Venus presides over throat, breasts, abdomen, reproductive parts, and sense of perception of taste, smell, and pleasurable sensations; and causes sexually transmittable diseases.
Mercury has jurisdiction over the animal, spirit, over legs, feet, hands, fingers, tongue, nerves and ligaments and produces relapsing fevers mania, epilepsy, convulsion, profuse expectoration etc, or even death by poison, witchcraft and so on.
Impure and injurious elements enter the human system in various ways: through food, drink, inhalation or absorption by the skin.
Fever due to fear; Fever caused due to sorrow; vomiting due to disgust or dislike.
The most frequent causes of illness are negative attitudes and emotions, guilt, the need for attention, or the need to escape an unpleasant situation. Those who are vulnerable to the suggestion that illness is ‘contagious’ will attract illness because they expect to be sick as a result of circumstances.
Siddha’s way of interpreting the disease
The Siddha vaidya fully recognizes ninety-six body nature (tatwas), 72,000 blood-vessels, 13,000 nerves, 10 main arteries, 10 vital airs (Prana), all together in the form of a net-work in the physical body; and it is, and owing to the imbalance of the three humors tend to lead to 4448 different diseases.
To diagnose, the physician investigates the cause of the disease, the complicated signs and symptoms, and pathological tissue (dhatu) changes. The Siddhas look at the physical body and the disease together to arrive at a conclusion regarding the condition or diagnosis of the case which is an essential pre-requisite for the treatment.
There are eight important factors which help in finding out the disease and imbalanced life factors.
1. Classification of diseases according to the variations in three humors
2. Clinical signs of the ailments
3. Causes of the ailments
4. The diseases caused by worms, parasites and microbes
5. Varma and Accident
6. Parts affected by the ailments
7. Inherited diseases
8. Psychiatric illnesses.
Examination of the physical body parts or eight fold tests
• Tongue: black colored in wind, yellow or red colored in fire, white colored in phlegm, ulcerated in anemia.
• Skin Color: dark colored in wind, yellow or red colored in fire, pale colored in phlegm
• Voice: normal in wind, high pitched in fire, low pitched in phlegm, slurred voice in alcoholism.
• Eyes: muddy colored in conjunctiva, yellowish or red colored in fire, pale colored in phlegm.
• Touch: dry in wind, warm in fire, chill in phlegm, sweating in different parts of the body.
• Stool: black colored stools indicate wind, yellow colored in fire, and pale colored in phlegm, dark red color in case of ulcers and shiny stools in terminal illness.
• Urine: early morning urine is taken for the test ; if the urine is straw colored, indicates indigestion, reddish yellow excessive heat, rose colored in blood pressure, saffron colored in jaundice and looks like meat washed water in renal disease.
• Pulse: The science of pulse is peculiar to the Siddha system of medicine. Traditionally this science of pulse was taught by the Teacher to his disciples. Diagnosis of disease by the pulse requires great skill and experience.
According to the Siddhas, the pulse is the manifestation of prana or life in living beings – Prana being the cosmic energy responsible for the evolution of the universe. It penetrates, surrounds and seeps through everything.