Safety & efficacy of Siddha drugs should be assessed & brought to public to maintain authenticity: Dr Jayaprakash
The quality, safety and efficacy of the metallic preparations of Siddha system have to be assessed and brought to the public in order to maintain the authenticity of the age old medicines. In Tamil Nadu, where the system was originated, a quantity of about 50,000 kgs of metallic preparations of Siddha are prepared every year, according to Prof J Jayaprakash, former chairman, scientific advisory committee (Siddha), Central Council for Ayurveda and Siddha, New Delhi.
Without conducting a methodological approach to assess the quality aspects of metallic preparations, some scientists are making comments and publishing articles against metal contents in Indian traditional medicines. This approach is seen as an attack against Indian systems such as Siddha and Ayurveda which have medicines containing metallic contents. So, it is the duty of the young scientists of Indian system of medicines to prove that the attack against Siddha and Ayurveda is aimed at commercial purposes.
Prof Jayaprakash was addressing the researchers and scientists of Siddha system after presenting a paper on ‘the role and importance of metallic preparations of Siddha’ at the regional Siddha research institute at Thiruvananthapuram..
“In Tamil Nadu alone, approximately a quantity of 50,000 kgs of metallic preparations of Siddha drugs is produced every year. If there is any iota of truth in the cry that these metal contents are toxic, it would have resulted in chaos already in the healthcare system of the state. Siddha medicine is being used in India, especially in Tamil Nadu, for thousands of years”, he said.
According to Dr Jayaprakash, Siddhar’s concepts on purification of metals, grinding, heat application, compound formulation, adjuvant, antidote, diet regimen etc are astonishing facts which are to be verified and tuned using modern parameters and instrumentation. The present generation of Siddha practitioners, scientists and scholars should be duty bound to shoulder any challenge and conduct advanced researches to prove before the modern scientists that the benefits of metallic preparations outweigh the occasional and mild side effects.
On the side of tradition of the drug, he commented that Siddha system is as old as the classical Tamil. The Siddhars used herbs, minerals and animal products in preparing the drugs, and standardised the preparations and their administration in patients with their experience.