"Spicy world of NanoScience"
SIDDHA MEDICINE AS A FORM OF NANOMEDICINE
The ancient system of medicine practiced in Tamil Nadu is called as Siddha system of Medicine. The system deals the diseases in various methods namely using drugs derived from plants, animals and birds, metals and nonmetals and physical methods including varma and external application of oils . There is also description of prevention of diseases using proper food, environmental modifications in living methodology and various ways of using the five elements (namely earth, air, fire, water and space) for the betterment of human body so that the human beings can live with out diseases for a century. There is a book called Pathartha Guna Chinthamani which deals in detail regarding the effects and adverse effects of food materials and environment including all the five elements.
The following methods used in Siddha Systems of Medicine have got some resemblance to the nanoparticle effect.
1. The metal vessels used for the preparation, storage, serving of the food and water have got lot of properties to help the human body and is described in detail,
For example, the hot milk drank by using the silver tumbler has got effect on the cataract is observed by me. There are plenty of uses described for copper and other metallic vessels. The effect may be explained by the dissolving of nano size particles from the concerned metal dissolved in to the liquid of use which is not possible to see by naked eyes.
2. The fanning of the body using the peacock feathers and using the Palmyra tree leaves have got different effects on the human body is well described and the effect may be related to the nanoparticle effect on the body through the inhalation mode by the air getting the nano particles from the used materials. The peacock feathers have got the particles which are natural nano particles are already described in introduction.
3. The material used for sleeping like the mat material also has got different effects is pointed out and this may be due to the particles absorbed by the nanopores of skin and needs elucidation scientifically.
4. The use of plantain leaves for serving the food and its uses are well written and the same mixing of the nano particles from the leaves due to the heat effect may be responsible and that is why the elders of the houses used to say do not put the hot materials on the leaves..
5. The oil bath has got effect on the various systems of bodies especially the serum lipid profiles and indirectly prevent heart attack. The leaving of the habit of regular oil bath in most of the house hold may be having some bearing on the development of Diabetes, Hypertension and the like. Arthritis endemic may also be due to the same.
6. The water used for drinking purpose is mostly stored in villages in mud pots which are porous in nature. That has got the property of preventing stone formation in certain renal stone endemic areas. The native population using conventional vessels is not getting stones, where as the newer vessel users are more prone for the stones in places like Neyveli where there is a big migrant population
7. The use of Condiments and spices has got a property to prevent diseases which arise out of the imbalance in Thridosas namely vada, pitta and kappa. This is described due to the antioxidant properties. It may have a role by behaving like the nonmaterial since the quantity used is very less compared to the food prepared.
8. The use of medicated oils being used in chronic hemiplegics who are not able to use their partly recovered limbs is also due to the seepage of medicines through the pores in the skin which are almost quantifiable for the nano pore level may open the gate of nanotechnology for the Nano Pharmacology and Nano Anatomy.
9. The use of sandal paste smearing and the like also has got some effect in heart beating and irregularity of the heart and may be due to absorption of nanoparticles from the smears of sandal wood.
10. The use of gingili oil lamps in houses have got the pollution prevention property and may be having the basis of nanotechnology concept.
These are some of the information available and a systematic approach to bring out all the information available in the texts of Siddha Medicine will help to explain the effects due to so many ordinary materials used by all in day today life. This may bring to the fore the Nano Physiology and Nano Biochemistry angle of the ancient system of medicine.
A great opportunity is available for finding out the effects like the use of camphor and the possible development of lung cancer, the use of cookers, gas stoves at the present context creating a possible atmosphere (environmental pollution) for the development of various diseases especially cancer of various organs need more research in Indian context and will go a long way to prevent and finding methods for the treatment of various diseases for developing countries like India.
A great knowledge base is available to work out the Science of nanotechnology and Medicine in Siddha Medicine and needs attention in Tamil Nadu.It is for the Indians and especially Tamilians to deeply research in to these areas of interest.