PITHAATHIKKAM / KURUTHI AZHAL NOI (HYPERTENSION)
SIDDHA APPROACH TO HYPERTENSION
Though exact equivalent for high blood pressure cannot be found in siddha texts, conditions and complications which are associated with this are found mentioned in old siddha texts. Pithathikkam is a condition in which pitham, one of the vital humours of the body increases from its normal limits and becomes predominant. It is the humour according to siddha principles which has its main role in the production of blood and its constituents mentioned as senneer in siddha literatures.
Kuruthi azhal is another condition which can be related to this, more similar to the condition which occurs when the blood pressure has reached a severe life threatening stage, producing symptoms like headache, shortness of breath, nose bleeds etc.
In general, according to siddha principles pitham is increased or pitha noi (disease) occurs due to excessive intake of sour, spicy and salty food, mental stress, excessive exposure to heat and sunlight, sleeplessness, uncontrolled anger etc. Thus according to siddha system, diet and lifestyle are the major factors which influence susceptibility to this disease.
MANAGEMENT & PREVENTION
Some medicinal plants shown by studies to be effective in treating this condition are tabulated below:
|S.No||Botanical Name||Tamil Name||English Name||Family|
|1.||Rauvolfia serpentina||Pampukala||Indian snake||Apocynaceae|
|3.||Carum copticum||Omam||The Bishops weed||Umbelliferae|
|4.||Hibiscus rosa-sinensis||Chemparattai||Shoe flower||Malvaceae|
|8.||Ocimim sanctum||Thulasi||Sacred basil||Labitae|
|9.||Allium cepa||Periavengayam||Bombay onion||Liliaceae|
Some compound preparations in siddha system of medicine used in the treatment are:
(1) Musumusukkai decoction: one part of Mukia maderaspatana leaf powder and ten parts of dry ginger powder are mixed and decoction prepared; it is taken 30--60 ml twice daily.
(2) Malliyathi choornam: Main ingredients are mayiliragu (peacock feather), processed kothumalli (coriander seeds), processed cumin seeds and some others.
(4) Jeeraka choornam: Constituents include cumin seeds, Mukia maderaspatana juice, ginger juice etc.
(5) Venthamarai choornam: Main ingredeients are cardamom, dry ginger, long pepper, athimathuram (liquorice), seeragam (cumin seeds), venthamarai ithazhgal (white lotus petals) etc.
(6) Drakshathi chooranam: Main ingredients are dried black grapes, root of long pepper, dry ginger, pepper, long pepper and many others.
(7)Elathy chooranam: Main ingredient is Elam (Elettaria cardamomum).
(8) Sarpagantha mathirai: Main ingredient is pampukala (Rauvolfia serpentine).
In addition to this change in lifestyle and appropriate yogic exercise is also advocated.
1. Kuppusamy Mudaliar K.N, Kuruthiazhal, Siddha Maruthuvam, Tamil Nadu Siddha Maruthuva variyam, 1987:201-210.
2. K.S. Murugesa Mudaliar, Siddha Materia Medica, Directorate of Indian Medicine & Homeopathy, Chennai-106, 2013.