Concept of standard raw drug substitution in Traditional Siddha Medicine - A Review
Keywords:Agathiyar Vaidhya Chinthamani, Raw drug Substitutes, Siddha literatures, Traditional Siddha Medicine, Traditional attributes
Classical Siddha medicine recommends the usage of functionally parallel substitute raw drugs in the scarcity of the original material. The concept of standard raw drug substitution is designated by the Tamil term Matru sarakku, which emphasizes selecting alternatives either in herbal or non-herbal sources based on certain attributes. Functionally similar materials are suggested for balancing the deficit based on such parameters. Literature sources from Siddha medicine and other allied subjects were explored and documented for the inclusive understanding of the concept of ideal substitution. Few of the standard substitutes mentioned in the classical Siddha literature were evaluated in a scientific account for its justification. An outlook on different specimens as described in the ancient texts of Tamil medicine indicates the usage of substitutes from numerous plants, animals, and other metallo-mineral ingredients. The rationale of selecting alternatives primarily depends on the equivalent following traditional attributes like organoleptic entities, potency, division, general properties, specific actions, and medicinal uses of the material shared between the raw drugs. This must undergo a systematic evaluation by pharmacognostic and phytochemical studies to justify current practices of substitution. A systematic document in these lines will give a proper guideline for the effective employment of substitute drugs in the current scenario of dwindling official botanical sources for many Traditional Siddha formulations.
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