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Thursday, December 31, 2009






HAPPY 2010



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Medicinal Tree Plantation at IMPCOPS and NIS

Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research has initiated a project for promotion of medicinal tree plantations at Indian Medicine institutes in Chennai. As a part of the programme about 150 trees each are to be planted at National Institute of Siddha, Tambaram and Indian Medical practioners cooperative pharmacy and Stores ( IMPCOPS) a sixty five year old manufacturing company. The Conservator of Forest Chennai Circle Mr.V.Prabakaran. I.F.S has kindly agreed to provide the saplings of Important medicinal plants like Bilwa, Amla, Red sanders, Vengai, Vagai etc from the Velacherry nursery of the Forest Department under the Urban Forestry programme. Dr. K.V. Manikavasagam Director of the National Institute of Siddha organised the tree plantation programme and the Saplings were planted by Smt.Jalaja. Secretary, Department of Ayush and Mr.B.Anand, Jt. Secretary. Ayush in the NIS campus. Dr.M.K.Thiagarajan the secretary in-charge of IMPCOPS said the tree plantation is planned on 30th Dec.2009 as all directors representing different regions of the southern states will be present on the day. Dr. T.Thirunarayanan Secretary CTMR said this tree plantation activity will be extended to all institutions in a phased manner so that the traditional medical practice in the future will not suffer due to non-availability of medicinal tree parts.

CTMR helps establishment of PHC garden -TOI

Siddha garden at PHC a boon for patients
D Madhavan TNN
Chennai: The past eight years, S Meenakshi, a 65-year-old patient from Medavakkam has been suffering severe back pain. Hardly able to sleep at night, she would ask her son to give her a painkiller. However, once she began to avail treatment at the siddha clinic in the upgraded Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Medavakkam three months ago, her pain has reduced considerably. At the clinic, built in 1982, Meenakshi is treated with an extract from herbal plants being grown at the new siddha garden on the PHC premises. “I visited many hospitals to seek treatment for my back pain. But the siddha treatment has really made a difference,” says Meenakshi. The garden is now turning into a lifesaver in the suburbs. Said to be the first PHC there to have a siddha garden, there are more than 80 medicinal herbs and plants spread over 20,000 sq ft. Before the garden came up, the place was a dump yard covered by weeds. It was on July 14 that state health secretary V K Subburaj announced at a function at the PHC that a new siddha garden would be developed on the site, and thereafter the transformation slowly began. The process was not easy, though. Medical staff, including siddha medical officer, Dr T R Siddique Ali, and medical officer in charge of Medavakkam PHC, Dr Ramya Gowri, found it difficult to source the herbal plants needed. Thanks to the cooperation extended by the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research, a city-based NGO that works on traditional medicine, and the state forest department, Dr Ali and Dr Ramya were able to source most of the herbal plants from the two agencies free of cost. They received guidance from district (Kancheepuram) health officer, Dr P M Krishna Kumar, on cultivation of herbal plants used often by patients.

THE HERBAL WAY: Dr Siddique Ali at the siddha garden in the Medavakkam public health centre

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Student Exchange Programme

Seven Students of international studies from USA- Long Island University Currently in their India Centre had an exposure visit to Meet Traditional Healers of Tamilnadu in Dharmapuri district and visited Govt Hospital and Primary health centre in Erode district, The student exchange programme is a component of understanding the traditional health practices and functioning of the Siddha system along side biomedicine in the public health delivery system in Tamilnadu on 22nd and 23rd Nov.2009.
The students also visited a GMP certified Siddha and Ayurveda drug manufacturing facility- SKM Siddha and Ayurveda Pharma P ltd.
Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research organised the two days field programme and Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, secretary of CTMR briefed the students on the principles, practice of siddha medicine and its current status.

CTMR appointed GMP consultant for IMPCOPS

The six decades old multi-state cooperative society, Indian Medical Practitioners Cooperative Pharmacy and Stores Ltd (IMPCOPS) based in Chennai has revived its GMP status after a period of two years. IMPCOPS, the only one ISM practitioners’ society in the co-operative sector in the country had lost its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification in 2007 because of lack of infrastructural facilities and lack of continuous upgradation.Recently, the director board of the society has decided to increase its sales to Rs 35 crore in the next few years from its present turnover of Rs 17 crore. Following the decision, the board has approached the Chennai-based ISM service provider, Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR) to suggest measures for achieving the lost GMP status. CTMR, after carrying out a detailed audit in the unit, recommended some proposals for reviving the earlier status. Along with this, IMPCOPS has prepared a project report to upgrade the lab and the manufacturing facilities to increase productivity and turnover. On submission of the report to the ISM directorate, inspections and testing of finished product samples were carried out by the concerned authorities in October this year, and finally the State Licensing Authority of ISM, Dr Sarojini Devi, has issued the long awaited Certificate to the society. The society has further appointed Vaidya. S Usman Ali and Dr T Thirunarayanan of CTMR as consultants to carry out the project.The upgradation envisages environmental friendly green energy, fuel efficient systems, alternate power source to overcome frequent power cuts, R.O plant etc. The Lab will develop Standard Manufacturing Procedures for herbo-mineral preparations which would be a model for other industries in the sector.The doctors-cum-manufacturers’ society has been manufacturing 700 formulations of Ayurveda,Siddha and Unani generic formulations and was the first ISM manufacturing facility in the country to mechanize its operational methods. The society claims that it has a live membership of 10,000 practitioners and possesses a good brand image for its products which are being produced without any deviation from the way the classical texts have illustrated and maintain good quality standards. However, the society has been encountering some kind of problems in supplying its products to various government institutions in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states due to non-renewal of GMP certification two years ago.According to sources, the society was struggling hard to upgrade its facilities as it has a huge manpower cost, besides a host of expenses including the maintenance of old equipment, increasing energy cost and processing of water. The delay in upgrading the facilities was the reason for losing the GMP status, said the consultant Dr T Thirunarayanan.Dr M K Thyagarajan, secretary of the society said that this initiative will help the company to fulfil institutional orders from government of India and other state governments and help increase its turnover. He said the workshop on GMP implementation conducted by CTMR last month was an eye opener to the different shop floor manufacturing supervisors and staffers who have assured to maintain the GMP status always. Impcops proposes to submit the project report to the Department of Ayush for assistance under Centre for Excellence Scheme. The joint secretary of Department of Ayush, B Anand during his recent visit to the company assured to consider the proposal as it is an old surviving cooperative and a pioneer in manufacturing ISM drugs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School Herbal garden and Awareness Programme

Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research organised herbal awareness programme and creation of herbal garden at two schools. On 30th Sept 2009. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan addressed the stdents of Atomic Energy School Kalpakkam and explained to the children the health benefits of different medicinal plants grown in the township. The home herbal garden of Mr.Rajendran at Anupuram was suggested as a model. On 7th Oct 2009, Dr.T.Thirunarayanan and Mrs. Sundaravalli, Horticulturist of CTMR had a VIDEO PRESENTATION and Lecture at Govt. Adidravida welfare Hr.Sec. School Kilambakkam, Urapakkam. The students predominantly from rural area and poor socioeconomic status responded very positively and in fact were very well informed about the health benefits. Over 240 students both boys and girls took active part in the interaction that followed and promised to grow atleast 50 plants in the school. A list of medicinal plants for school based on utility and ability to survive in challenging conditions were recommended
List of plants for HERBAL GARDEN in SCHOOLS

Agati grandiflora - Agathi
Adathoda vasica - Adathodai
Aegle marmelos - Vilvam
Aloe vera - Katraazhai
Alpinia officinarum - Arathai
Andrographis paniculata - Nilavembu
Bacopa monnieri - Neer Brammi
Carica papaya - Pappali
Cassia fistula - Sarakkondrai
Cassia alata - Seemai agathi
Cissus quadrangularis - Pirandai
Clerodendrum phlomidis - Thazhuthazhai
Coleus aromaticus - Karpuravalli
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Chemparathai
Indigofera tinctoria - Avuri
Nyctanthes arbor-tristis - Pavalamailli
Ocimum gratissimum - Karum thulasi
Orthosiphon grandifloris - Poonai meesai
Pongamia glabra - Pungan
Punica granatum - Mathulai
Tabernaemontana coronaria - Nandhiyavattai
Tylophora asthmatica - Nanjaruppan
Solanum trilobatum - Thoothuvelai
Saraca asoka - Asoku
Vitex negundo - Nochi
Wedelia calendulosa - Manjal Karisalai
Centella asiatica - Vallarai


  • Dr.R.Manikandan. M.D(s)
    Research Fellow
    Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research, Chennai-600088

    Lecture delivered during the National Seminar on ‘Entrepreneurship development for Biology Students’ on 25th Sept, 2009 at Govt. Arts College, Nandanam, Chennai


    Siddha medicine, a traditional system of the Dravidian culture, practiced in the Southern India.
    Other well known Indian System of Medicine is Ayurveda .
    These Indian System of Medicine are based on principles of nature.
    The source of medicines of these systems are from plants, animals including marine organism and inorganic.
    Extensive research have been conducted in drugs of plant origin (Pre-clinical and Clinical studies). But very little research has gone into drugs of faunal origin.
    This probably because they seems to be safer and effective when compared to drugs of Inorganic origin as human is also from animal kingdom

    Many drugs of Animal origin were extensively used by the Siddha physicians.
    Milk , honey, curd, clarified butter , fish oils, turtle shell and flesh, deer horn are some simplest examples of animal products used either as drug or as adjuvant
    But, Animal origin drugs are also becoming restricted in use because of their over exploitation and endangered availability and also due to governmental regulations.
    Proteins and amino acids apart from animal fats and trace elements contribute for the biological activity of these medicines.

    Leech – Hirudina medicinalis
    Bloodletting is one of the oldest medical practices, having been practiced among diverse ancient peoples, in order to detoxify the body as detoxification is one of the treatment procedure.
    Saliva of Leech contain hirudin which is anti-coagulant in nature.
    Leech saliva also contains a Factor Xa inhibitor, and this compound restrains the coagulating effect of the coagulation Factor Xa.
    It also has hyaluronidase that enhances the viscosity of the interstitial fluid. For vasodilating effect, it has acetylcholine and histamine-like substances as well as carboxypeptidase A inhibitors. These three can increase blood flow by dilating constricted vessels.
    Leech Therapy - Procedure
  • Before placing leeches on the skin, they are cleansed with clean water.
  • Treatment sites vary, depending upon the affected part where the vascular problems are more prominent.
  • Depending on individual cases, approximately each area requires between 7 to 14 leeches each consultation, but it still depends on the severity of the case.
  • After the leeches are placed and have fastened themselves onto the skin, they are usually left until they automatically disengage themselves from the patient.
  • Each leech can suck about 15 to 20 ml.
  • Once treatment is complete, the area is cleaned and bandaged but may continue bleeding due to the anti-clotting factor in the leeches saliva.
  • After five days of continuous leech therapy, a patient will feel improvement in their condition.
  • To arrest excessive bleeding after blood letting, astringent powders like Quercus infectoria (Masikkaai), Acacia catechu (Kaichukatti), Areca catechu (Pakku), Terminalia chebula (Kadukkai) and alum are sprinkled and a compress is made with sterile gauze.

    Leeches safe to use:
    Leech should be collected from ponds which contain large number of live frogs and covered by weeds.
    Rat tail shape leech with thin ends are good for therapy. The leeches of 5 -7 centimeters length are ideal.
    Diseases treated with Leech therapy
    This process is essentially meant for purification of the blood
  • Skin diseases,
  • Hypertension,
  • Psychiatric illness,
  • Head ache, eye, ear, tongue, colic,
  • Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lumbo-sacral diseases
  • Lymphatic disorders.
  • Venesection is done to remove toxins from snake bite and other envenomation.
    Leeches are never placed on major veins like the jugular vein or the femoral vein. Likewise, they are not placed on the breasts, eyelids or delicate structures of the body.

    Blood letting is contraindicated in tuberculosis, emaciating disorders, convulsive disorders, pregnancy and anemia. During the time of rain, heavy wind and cold weather, blood letting should not be done.
    Growing of leech for therapy
    Leeches can be grown in fish tanks
    They normally feed on tadpoles
    Commercially leeches are maintained and sold by animal houses.
  • Contains trace element copper as per Siddha literature, used to treat vatha diseases (arthritis),
  • Honey is a delicious and highly nutritious food.
  • In traditional method of honey hunting, many wild colonies of bees are destroyed. This can be prevented by raising bees in boxes and producing honey at home.
  • Honey acts as Wound healer, Nourisher, Laxative, Astringent, Expectorant, Preservative
  • Honey is used as one of the ingredients in preparing Lehyam.
  • Honey is used as an adjuvant or vehicle along with medicines.
  • Honey applied to face removes black spots or marks and provides good complexion.

  • A base for most creams and ointments and pain balms
  • Provides excellent body for Creams.
  • Wound healing, anti-inflammatory and Moisturizing
  • Wax bath in Arthritis, Waxing by women for removal of unwanted hair.
  • Pinda thylam is also used for abdominal massage for easy delivery

    Potentials of Bee keeping
  • Bee keeping requires less time, money and infrastructure investments
  • Honey and beeswax can be produced from an area of little agricultural value
  • The Honey bee does not compete for resources with any other agricultural enterprise.
  • Beekeeping has positive ecological consequences. Bees play an important role in the pollination of many flowering plants, thus increasing the yield of certain crops such as sunflower and various fruits.
  • Beekeeping can be initiated by individuals or groups
  • The market potential for honey and wax is high

    Milk and Milk products
  • Milk and milk products are used as medicines and adjuvant to be given along medicines.
  • Clarified butter (ghee) is used as adjuvant or vehicle.
  • Many medicine prepared along with clarified butter, it also acts as preservative of the medicines prepared out of it.
  • It is used to extract fat soluble substances out of the herbs.
    Bhrami ghirtam :
    A formulation prepared out of Bhrami (Bacopa monnieri) is used as Brain and nervine tonic, Restorative and Stimulant, Improves memory.

    Other products
  • Chitin, Glucosamine, chitoson, are derived from Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Prawn, Shrimp shells
  • Chondroitin Sulfate Sodium from bovine trachea is used to treat cartilage problems in joints.
  • Gelatin used for capsulation is derived from animal bones.
  • Lanolin is derived from sheep fat used as moisturizer.
  • Ox gall – Korosanai – Used as expectorant.
  • Feathers of the Birds are also used in Traditional Medicines in order to treat snake bite
  • Along with Medicated oils used to treat wounds.
  • Egg shells are calcined and used as demulcents.
  • Yellow yolk of egg is used in the preparation of ‘Anda thailam’ used in speech disorders.
  • Egg albumin is used to triturate many inorganic substances and
    Pavo cristatus
  • Peacock feather contains trace element like copper as per Siddha literatures.
  • Charred peacock feather is a drug of choice in Hiccough
    Pearl oyster
  • Used in treating patients suffering from Tuberculosis.
  • Very good nutritive and dietary supplement
  • Cardiac tonic.
  • Pharmacological action of Pearl and Pearl oyster more or less similar.
    Conch shell - Sangu
  • Calcined Conch Shell is used to treat gastritis, dysmenorrhoea and skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema etc.
  • External Application : Conch Shell immersed water is used to treat Pimple- Acne vulgaris.
    Turtle (AAMAI)
  • Parts used for Medicine: Shell, Flesh, Fat, Skin and Egg.
  • Aamai ottu karukku kudineer is a drug of choice in child care.
  • Blood: Blood of Tortoise is given orally to treat bronchitis, which is in practice in local health tradition in Tuticorn dist.
  • Calcined shell (Aamai ottu parpam): The shell of tortoise is calcined with Justicia adhatoda juice, aloe juice, and Abutilon juice. It is used for the treatment of Haemorrhoids, fistula.
    Cypraea moneta - Palagarai
  • Purified with lime juice and calcined cypera is used as antidote and first aid medicine to all type of wounds.
  • Used in skin diseases like Psoriasis and eczema.
  • Calcined snail is used to treat haemorrhiods, fistula and diseases pertaining to Ano-rectal region.
    Antelope horn - Deer horn
  • Calcined Deer horn is used to treat Cardiac disorders and Menstrual disorders.
  • Usually Antelope horn sheds up in an interval of 2 -3 years.
    Musk deer- Kasthuri Maan
  • Musk collected from Musk deer cures cold and fever in Children. Effective in Bronchial asthma
    Civet cat- Punugu Poonai
  • Civet is used in aphrodisiac formulations
  • Dungs of Animals along with Urine are used as Disinfectants.
  • Dung cake are used traditionally to make calcination of the drugs of mineral origin.
  • ‘Panchakavvya’ today needs no explanation.
    I wish to conclude this presentation that this is a virgin field and abundant opportunities exists both for research and development.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Herbal Awareness Programme at Denkanikottai

Dr.Padmanandan, senior Siddha physician of the Govt. Hospital, Denkanikottai, Krishnagiri District organized a traditional medicine awareness programme on 5th Sept, 2009 along with Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research, Chennai. The main objective was to create awareness about the medicinal plant resources available in the dense forests and adjoining areas of the taluk and their sustainable utilization.

The Local body vice-chairman Mr.Kalam presided over the function. Apart from local residents and volunteers, farmer members of the MYRADA farmers club took part in the programme.

Dr.T.Thirunarayanan explained the concept of Hospital Medicinal Plants Gardens and Kitchen Herbal garden and requested the general public to utilize the garden created in the Govt. Hospital for identification purpose and understanding the medicinal use of each of the plant grown in the garden.

Dr.Padmanandan took the participants to the demo garden where 150 species of medicinal plants are grown.

Vaidya.S.Usman Ali enumerated a list of 10 plants of commercial value, which can be grown in the land owned by the farmers with minimal water and also suggested a live fence with Bonduc nut, a hardy climber which can prevent entry of elephants into the cultivation area. He in fact suggested growing the plant all around the villages bordering the forest. Gymnema, Coleus, Aswagandha, Long pepper and Asoka were the Key species recommended for cultivation.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Field trips and Invited lectures at Department of Dravyaguna, Institute of P G T & R in Ayurveda, of Gujarat Ayurved University. Jamnagar

Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, Siddha physician and Vaidya.S.Usman Ali, Director, Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research, Chennai visited Gujarat Ayurved University from 25th Aug, 2009 to 27th Aug, 2009 for interaction with experts of different institutions and departments of the university on the various Research activities in Indian Medicine. The Department of Dravyaguna has organized lecture by Dr.T.Thirunarayanan on ‘New product Development in Traditional Medicine –Challenges’ on 25th August. Dr. Parameswar Prasad Sharma, Prof. & Head of the department introduced the speaker and the topic. Dr. Tarulata N. Pandya, Dr. Rabinarayan Acharya, Readers of the department, Research scholars and Post-Graduate students of Dravyaguna, Bhaisajyakalpana, Rasashastra, Ayurved pharmacy and Medicinal Plant Sciences attended the lectures and actively interacted with the speaker. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan highlighted the point that new product development is essential due to changing environment, disease pattern and a broad spectrum of people across the globe showing keen interest in Traditional medicine and this should happen without compromising the basic principles of Traditional medicine but adopting to current day requirement. He insisted that these new products should necessarily undergo pre-clinical and clinical trials and all regulatory requirements fulfilled before launch. There was one more lecture on ‘External Therapies of Siddha medicine and similarities with Ayurveda’ on 27th August. The stress was on utilizing the external therapy techniques more frequently in clinical practice so that the recovery is fast.

On 26th August, Vaidya S.Usman Ali led the team of Dravyaguna students to Jam Barda hills on the botanical identification field trip along with Dr.T.Thirunarayanan & Dr. Bhupesh R. Patel, Lecturer of the department. About 100 plants of medicinal value were observed in this 9 kilometer stretch and Dr.S.Usman Ali gave simple clues to establish botanical identity of the plants using certain peculiarities seen in the macroscopic examination and co-existence of some plant with others (Bio-diversity) was also explained. The unique medicinal use of these plants in Siddha practice was highlighted by Dr.T.Thirunarayanan and the use by local community was elaborated by Dr.Bhupesh R.Patel. Students made a listing of plants of Barda hills along with photos and deposited the CD in the department for future reference.

On 27th Vaidya. S.Usman Ali explained the various medicinal tree species planted in the Joggers' park in Jamnagar to the students. Many visitors to the park showed keen interest in the explanations provided and joined the students for the rest of the evening.

The entire three day activities particularly the field trips were well coordinated by Dr. Bhupesh R. Patel, Lecturer of the Dravyaguna department.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Siddha medicine & H1N1

Siddha research centre suggests that claims of Siddha medicine of prevention & cure H1N1 influenza may be looked into.
The Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR), an institute that conducts research in Siddha medicine and giving training to physicians of Siddha, claims that some Siddha medicinal plants and formulations can prevent and cure the pandemic H1N1 viruses without any side effects. The CTMR has written to the Department of Ayush (Union Health Ministry) in this regard with a request to evaluate the effect of Siddha medicinal plants and formulations for anti-viral activity against stains of H1N1 virus, which is currently spreading throughout the country and taking lives across the world.The institute has made an attempt to draw the attention of the Ayush top brass to the clinical experiences of Siddha doctors in the state on the effect of Nilavembu Kudineer (a Siddha formulation), in viral diseases including certain pandemic fever. It also explained the 'Neuraminidase inhibitor activity' of Andrographis paniculata (Nilavembu) in studies carried out elsewhere (China). The bicyclic diterpenoids present in the plant has a significant activity. This Neuraminidase inhibition activity prevents H1N1 virus multiplication, said the Secretary of the Centre.In the letter addressed to the Secretary of Ayush, the secretary of the Centre DrT. Thirunarayanan said the potential of medicinal plants which are well known for their antiviral activity and studies may be initiated in the National Institute of Virology, Pune under ICMR and some other competent institutes like Haffkins Institute, Mumbai. He requested the authorities to initiate immediate measures in this regard and consider it as an additional and important effort from the Ayush's side towards combating the epidemic. The Influenza caused by A H1N1 (Swine Flu) is attaining epidemic proportion in different states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. The centre also praised the governments at the central and state levels for various measures being taken to contain the disease spread.He further wanted the Department of Ayush to initiate in-vitro and in-vivo researches on this plant drugs and Siddha formulations at National Institute of Virology, Pune, so that scientific data can be generated which will finally help millions of sufferers of virus diseases.

The common clinical manifestations of influenza A (H1N1) are cough, running nose, sore throat, fever, head ache, body ache and diarrhoea. The virus has a tendency to multiply in the lung epithelium and due to excessive cytokines can cause breathlessness due to pneumonia. An ideal drug combination therefore would be the one which has the following pharmaco-clinical activities: Antiviral activity, specifically with ‘Neuraminidase inhibition activity’, anti-pyretic, analgesic and immuno-modulant (Immune enhancers may cause excessive production of Cytokines while immunosuppressant drugs- corticosteroids can hasten secondary infection). One such Siddha formulation which fulfills the entire requirement is the ‘Nilavembu kudineer’ which contains the following ingredients – Andrographis paniculata (herb), Vetiveria zizanioides (roots), Cymbopogon jwarancusa (roots), Santalum album (heart wood), Trichosanthes cucumerina (herb) Cyperus rotundus (tuber) Zingiber officinale (rhizome), Piper nigrum (fruit), and Mollugo cerviana(whole plant).

Antiviral plants in the formulation are Andrographis paniculata, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina.

Antipyretic plants in the formulation are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Andrographis paniculata, Santalum albumand Trichosanthes cucumerina.

Immunomodulant plants are Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum.

Analgesic ingredients are – Andrographis paniculata, Zingiber officinale and Cyperus rotundus.

Antibacterials are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina .

Therefore Nilavembu kudineer is the most appropriate candidate for evaluation.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One day workshop on Cultivation of Medicinal Plants

Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research Organized a one day workshop on 'Techno commercial aspects of Medicinal Plant Cultivation' for the officers of the Horticultural Department of Tamilnadu in the Coimbatore region on 30th June 2009 at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam premises, Annaikatti in the Western ghats 25 kms from Coimbatore. 45 officers of the department working in Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tirupur and Erode districts including Deputy Director, Assistant Directors and Horticultural officers took part in the training apart from Siddha physicians, NGO members and few traders of Medicinal Plants.

Mr.Chandrasekar, Deputy Director inaugurated the workshop stressing on the need for clear understanding of the potential for medicinal plants cultivation in the region and technical feasibility. He also mentioned the quantum of subsidy available for promotion of medicinal plants cultivation under the National Medicinal Plants Mission and how judicious use of the same will benefit growers as well as the Traditional Medicine industry. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, Presented the commercial viability of different crops likely to be grown in the region and the current demand status along with volume and price. Vaidya. S.Usman Ali, director of CTMR presented the technical aspects of cultivation of Coleus, Gloriosa, Aswagandha, Centella, Bacopa among other plants. He also stressed the need to promote growing of atleast 10 trees per acre by individual farmers in the margin of the land – Saraca asoca, Aegle marmeoles were recommended as they are in high demand. He also suggested live fence of Bonduc, Adathoda, Henna on the hedge.

The participants also visited the Demonstration garden of medicinal plants, field scale processing facility, storage facility of AIM for SEWA and appreciated the efforts of Shri. D.S. Raman. In maintaining such a integrated facility and collection of both tropical and temperate species of medicinal plants in the Garden.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Traditional Healers Meet- Krishnagiri

Traditional Healers Conference

Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research, Chennai is carrying out a project entitled ‘Documentation and Validation of Local Health Traditions’ in Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamilnadu with grant from Department of Ayush. Govt.of India. So far over 170 traditional healers have been interviewed and their healing practices documented. As Part of the field based research activity an one day ‘Traditional Healers Conference’ was organized at Forest Extension Centre, Krishnagiri on 28th June 2009. Over 70 healers from the districts of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri Districts took part in the conference. Ten institutionally trained Siddha physicians and 15 field staff of the forest department also took part in the meet. Dr.M.A Kumar, Deputy Advisor- Siddha and Nodal Officer for LHT projects. Department of Ayush presided over the inaugural session and delivered a lecture detailing the objective of this intervention, mainly to revive the lost healthy traditional health practices which will reduce the health expenditure burden of the community. He stressed that the traditional medical science has survived this long, mainly due to the oral traditions handed over by the healers to the next generation as institutes have come up only in the last four decades. Mr.Ganesan, the district forest officer, Hosur in his inaugural address emphasized the need to live in harmony with nature, as living in harmony with nature is the cornerstone of health care in traditional medicine and appealed to the practitioners to use the medicinal plants in a sustainable way and regenerate them in home gardens, community parks and as hedge crop in their agricultural land.

Four vaidyas were presented ‘Best healer’ award on the occasion. Mr.Kembae Ramiya of urigam at the ripe age of 84 not only provides treatment in this interior forest village, but maintains a good herbal collection and imparts knowledge of the healing practice to seekers. Mr.P.R Krishnan aged 82 is continuously imparting training to a group of 40 healers for a period of 12 years and created a good library and a miniature common medicine processing facility at Dharmapuri. Mr. Kathirvel of Nalampatty a bone setter, treating atleast 300 persons every day with the help of his assistants for whom he has imparted training and Mr.Sivaprakasam of Thonganur who treats atleast 500 persons every Sunday were awarded. The Awards were presented by Dr. L.P Yuvaraj and Dr.K.Kootharsan, senior Siddha physicians of the districts. Vaidya S.Usman Ali, director – CTMR and Dr.T.Thirunarayanan shared the findings of the research so far and the healers took active part in the deliberations which followed. Dr.Sugumaran, Dr.Hariharan and Dr.Sunandani – Siddha physicians shared the views of the institutionally trained Siddha physicians and expressed their willingness to work closely with traditional healers.

The healers displayed the fresh plants used by them, Raw drugs used by them and rare form of medicines prepared by them. The healers also visited the medicinal plants garden maintained at the Forest extension centre and Vaidya. S.Usman Ali explained to them the propagation technique to be adopted for different plants

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Training on Medicinal Plant gardens in Schools

CTMR along with Chennai circle of the State Forest Department organized a one day training programme on establishing medicinal plants garden at Schools at State Forest Research Institute, kolapakkam on 17th June 2009. Nine schools both government and private schools took part in the training which included visit to the medicinal plant demo garden and display gallery. Principals, Biology teachers as well as school pupil leaders/eco club presidents took active part in the deliberation. Mr.Jainulabudeen, Deputy Conservator of Forest inaugurated the training. Vaidya. S.Usman ali, Director CTMR explained about the procedures of land selection, designing of garden, plant species to be grown and their propagation techniques. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan listed plants of common uses and explained about the simple remedies to be made out of it and dose of use. The forest department assured saplings at very low cost in order to promote medicinal plants garden in schools. The students assured to carry forward the message to other students in the school assembly and assured to maintain the garden.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


CTMR organizes a traditional healer’s conference on 28th June 2009, at Forest Extension centre, Jeenur, Krishnagiri. About 100 healers from Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamilnadu are participating in this conference organized with grant from Department of AYUSH, Government of India. The outcome of the documentation study carried out by CTMR on the traditional healing practices will be presented and views of the other vaidyas elucidated as part of the peer review and validation activity. Four senior vaidyas making significant contribution in terms of delivery of medical service, training the next generation of healers, creation of awareness and maintaining a vast repository of healing herbs are to be honored on this occasion.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CTMR to facilitate Growers-Industry tie-up for Medicinal Plants cultivation

In an effort to provide support for farmers cultivating medicinal plants CTMR has tied up with four extraction and Ayurveda formulation companies for buy back of the produce of 15 commercially important medicinal plants like coleus, gloriosa, gymnema, centella, bacopa. In the current year about 200 farmers cultivating in 500 acres would benefit from the tie-up. The activity will focus on Coimbatore, Thiruvannamalai and Perambalur district. Interested farmers can get in touch with Horticulturist at CTMR Chennai. 044-22533399

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gloriosa cultivation in Bhavnagar

CTMR Director Vaidya.S.Usman Ali and Dr.T.Thirunarayanan recently visited shihor in Bhavnagar District in GUJARAT to introduce large scale cultivation of Gloriosa superba as the seed price of the seeds have sky rocketed in the recent past due to higher demand. This seeds are used for extraction of Colchchin and its derivatives used in GOUT.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Training on 'Medicinal Plants Cultivation by Tribal'

Training on Medicinal Plants Cultivation for Tribal at Maannar Settlement , Karamadai Forest Range- 15th May 2009.

AIM for Sewa, Coimbatore, Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR), Chennai and Jan Sikstan Samiti(JSS), Coimbatore joined together with the Tamilnadu forest department and organized a training programme on cultivation of commercially viable medicinal plants at Maanar tribal settlement near kilkundha of Karamadai forest Range. About 50 land owning tribal men and women took part in the training. A visit was also undertaken to the fields to examine the suitability of the land for cultivation of the selected species. Gymnema, Andrographis, Palmrosa, Tulsi, Bacopa and Henna. Suggestions were also made for growing medicinal plants as kitchen herbal garden and how to use them for common ailments. Shri. D.S. Raman of AIM for Sewa distributed saplings and assured free supply of seeds and saplings required for cultivation in 20 acres of land owned by as many tribal families. Mrs.Sundaravalli, Horticulturist of CTMR explained the agricultural practices- land preparation including manuring, Planting espacement, interculture, other care, harvest and post harvest handling. Dr.R.Sudha, Siddha expert explained the use of different plants and also about using them for health promotion and treating common ailment. Dr. T.Thirunarayanan of CTMR gave an insight into the commercial viability, the alternate income generation and prosperity it can bring to ensure sustainable livelihood for the tribal families living in the remote area. Mr.Dasan the range officer informed that the DFO has assured support for getting infrastructure to pump water from the streams and percolation ponds. Mr. Balasubramanian, Director of JSS has organized the training and also distributed books under the ‘Literacy for All’ project to two trained facilitators from the tribal community. A time bound programme is planned for cultivation and AIM for sewa will facilitate selling of the cultivated produce to three reputed user industries with which buy-back arrangement has been worked out.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Siddha Specialty treatment clinics at CTMR.

Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research
4A, 4th Cross Street
Mahalakshmi Nagar
(Near Subramaniar temple, Brindavan Nagar)
Chennai- 600 088

Days - Consultation for
Monday - Pain Management
Tuesday - Skin Care.
Wednesday - Women & Child health.
Thursday - Geriatric care – Diabetes, Liver Diseases, Hypertension
Friday - Immunology - Allergy, Respiratory care
Saturday - Kayakalpa clinic – Life style & stress

Detoxification & Rejuvenation Programme are designed based on individual Prakruti. Kayakalpa includes health counseling including medical astrology, Yoga and Pranayama apart from supplements.

For appointments
Call- 91-44- 22533399

Thursday, February 12, 2009


'ISM has found foothold in several countries'
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 08:00 IST Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research (CTMR) is an NGO registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. It is a 'not for profit organisation', operational since 2001. The key objectives of CTMR are mainstreaming traditional medicine in the area of public health, creation of awareness, capacity building by way of training, developing cost effective medicine with natural resources and promoting research in traditional medicine. The NGO works with different government departments, institutions and organisations for the cause.Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of CTMR, is a siddha physician with 20 years of experience in Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM). To his credit he has prepared the 'Development of ISM' report for Tamil Nadu state under the Tamil Nadu Equitable growth initiative programme along with members of the health sector subcommittee. He has also served as an expert member in 'mother and child healthcare' programme and subsequently in designing training module and 'Kit for RCH' programme of Tamil Nadu govt. In an interview with Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Thirunarayanan elaborated the efforts taken by the NGO to improve Indian Systems of Medicine.
Excerpts:Do Indian Systems of Medicine have global acceptance now?
Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM), particularly ayurveda, has transcended the Indian subcontinent and now find a foothold in many countries. The regulations pertaining to traditional medicines and alternative medicines govern ISM. Originally the efforts were to promote products, but the acceptance for services, particularly in the 'wellness sector' is fast catching up. But the problem lies in getting trained manpower and the products that are acceptable by the international community. Even the medicated oils used for physical therapies need to be pleasant and should not create stains on cloths, as use of heavy laundering with surfactants is considered eco-unfriendly. The herbal supplements, apart from the issue of heavy metal that occurs in the plant source itself due to alarming level of soil pollution at herbal collection sites, leads to batch-to-batch inconsistency in biological activity. Very few Indian herbs have positive reviews and monographs compared to other herbs.
What are the efforts taken by various stakeholders to promote ISM?
World Health Organisation (WHO) in all keenness to promote traditional medicine has come out with a good number of protocols including, good sourcing practices, evaluation and clinical trials and testing methods for quality control etc. The Dept of Ayush on its part is insisting GMP upgradation and has taken stringent measures for closure of non-compliant units. The efforts are also on to develop method of analysis, making available marker compounds and support for 'drug testing labs' in various states through central schemes. Many institutes have taken up projects on developing method of analysis and monographs. The ayurvedic cluster scheme is yet another initiative. But certain guidelines are still difficult for this sector.
Where does ISM stand in terms of research and infrastructure development?
Large pharma industrial houses are happy to have just a few products mostly as over the counter (OTC). Unlike resource being spent on developing new drug molecules, very little money is spent on R&D of ISM drugs. The turnover being small, money that is required to develop new products from traditional medicine is definitely not being pumped in. National medicinal plants board initiatives have started paying results in easing raw material supplies and more efforts in the future for good agricultural practices and clean post harvest practices. This will enable overcome the issue of heavy metals, microbial contamination and pesticide residue issues. Excessive cultivation and storage for a longer time also needs to be curtailed by proper demand assessment.
What could be done to enable more Indian products get approval in international markets?
A large number of ISM physicians with interdisciplinary qualification are expected to pass out of institutes, even with PhD qualification. These scientists should be encouraged to establish product development labs and clinical research organisations with an exclusive set of rules for ISM in line with WHO guidelines for evaluating traditional medicines. Dept. of Ayush should have funds like the innovator incubation schemes of DST and DBT for product development. This should not be confused with basic research. Perhaps, these scientists may be requiring training and orientation in drug development and evaluation. I am sure in five years time we can have at least 15-20 internationally acceptable ISM products. Besides, resources should be made available for ISM companies for GMP upgradation for few more years and the Schemes for establishing GLP should be implemented on a faster pace without bottlenecks.
How do we address the increasing global demand for ISM services?
Health tourism for wellness is fine, but for fulfilling larger potential of the market, we need to have exclusive training on the speciality treatment procedures of ISM. The govt. has come out with curriculum for panchakarma training. Similar speciality treatment procedures of siddha, including varma, thokkanam and regimental therapy of unani also need to be encouraged. Tamil Nadu Health Department has taken a lead in training almost its entire ISM physicians on these therapies. Efforts are on to train private physicians also. Physical infrastructure has been provided in major govt. hospitals to provide these treatments. But a separate set of paramedical professionals with soft skills needs to be created both for domestic and global requirement. There was a proposal to have nursing therapist-ISM diploma but it has not taken off.
Do you think ISM can play a key role in public health issues?
Definitely, the greatest challenge now is the anemia in adolescent girls and antenatal mothers. Siddha medicines evaluated in a fairly large population in rural area have proved to be very effective. Similarly antenatal care with siddha methods has proven to help easy labour without caesarean. Management of diarrhoeal diseases and 'upper respiratory infection' in which indiscriminate use of antibiotic has led to resistance is possible with siddha medicine. Popularising these siddha methods needs efforts. Geriatric issues can be very well addressed by kayakalpa therapy.
What role do you think organisations like CTMR should be playing in promoting ISM?
Creating awareness of the advantages of ISM in specific areas and where ever possible taking the healthy practices to the community, popularising simple remedies, promoting community herbal gardens, including road side plantation will make more people use these systems and thereby generate demand. Our NGO is focused on capacity building at all levels by conducting trainings on specialised treatment procedures, drug development and on growing medicinal plants. Developing quality learning materials in siddha in English is another key area.
How does CTMR support the cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants?
We support good number of clinical evaluation of less known siddha plants for which literature support from classical siddha texts and preclinical studies are available. Solving identity of controversial raw materials both from plant source and inorganic source is another area we are currently engaged in. Conservation by means of ex-situ, conservation by promoting community herbal gardens, home herbal gardens and plantation of medicinal tree where ever possible are other areas CTMR is working on.

World Siddha day

Experts of siddha medicines have joined together to celebrate 'World siddha day' on 14th April every year. Govt of India is likely to notify this shortly based on the resolution of the members of the Central Council of Indian Medicine. Director of National Institute of Siddha Dr.Boopathy raj is the Chairman of the celebrations committee while Dr.Stanley Jones, Vice-president-Siddha of CCIM will be the secretary. This year celebrations will take place at National Institute of Siddha, Tambaram, Chennai and almost all Siddha physicians from south india are likely to join.
Chitra poornami is for long been celebrated as Siddhar's day in some pockets but now it will get official support. Centre for Traditional Medicine and research invites all siddha physicians to join the celebrations and extends its warm wishes

Friday, January 2, 2009

Arthritis and Food

Arthritis and Food

Traditional medicines, Particularly Siddha medicine attribute disease including arthritis due to food that turns toxic. More over Excessive body weight causes heavier load on the weight bearing knee joint and aggravates Osteoarthritis. It is well known that uric acid deposits in the minor joints leads to Gouty arthritis.

Effective management of arthritis therefore lies in avoiding the food that aggravates the disease and reducing body weight. There is an excessive Vatham with in turns affects Pitham. The obese patients normally have Kapham body constituent and are more prone for Osteoarthritis.

Detoxifying with gentle purgatives in patients with recent onset, and strong purgatives in chronic cases are the first line of management

Raisins with honey or Rose petals with honey, Cassia fistula flowers (Chandelier flowers) or its fruit pulp with honey, Herbal tea with Senna, Psyllium husk are the options for gentle purgation.

Avoidance of Red meat, Excessive use of dairy products, shortening, Saturated fat, sweets, Tamarind and tubers that grow beneath – Potatoes, Yam except wild yam and many plants of the potato family including brinjal (Egg plant), tomatoes (due to Oxalic acid presence) are also to be avoided.

Fruits and green vegetables like Ladies finger are fine. Skimmed milk and Plants containing phyto-oestrogen is good in women. Flax seed oil and fish oil containing Gamma Lionelic Acid are good.

Among spices and condiments Ginger and Garlic helps in arthritis. Parsley celery also helps in detoxifying.

Morniga leaves and Cardiospermum helcacabum (Balloon wine- Mudakarurthan) leaves as chutney is very helpful.

Chutney made of tender stems Cissus quadrangularis(Hadjora- Pirandai) or the stems processed with butter milk and sun dried can be made into powder and added to food particularly in osteoarthritis. Though Cissus also contains Oxalic acid, processing removes the unwanted oxalic acid.