Tag Archives: Department of Ayurveda

Siddha

Introduction:
Siddha  is usually considered as the oldest medical system known to mankind.  Contemporary Tamil literature holds that the system of Siddha medicine originated in Southern India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Siddha is reported to have surfaced more than 10,000 years ago.

“Siddhargal” or Siddhars were the premier scientists of ancient days.  Siddhars, mainly from Southern India laid the foundation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Sage Agathiyar is considered the guru of all Sidhars, and the Siddha system is believed to have been handed over to him by Lord . “Agathiyar” was the first Siddhar,   and his disciples and Siddhars from other schools produced thousands of texts on Siddha, including medicine, and form the propounders of the system to the world.

The Siddha science is the oldest traditional treatment system generated from Dravidian culture. The Siddha flourished in the period of Indus Valley civilization.  Palm leaf manuscripts says that the Siddha system was first described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati. Parvati explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He taught all these knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthya. Agasthya taught 18 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to human beings.

The word Siddha comes from the Sanskrit word Siddhi which means an object to be attained perfection or heavenly bliss.  Siddha focused to “Ashtamahasiddhi,” the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved the above said powers are known as Siddhars. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed this system of medicine. Hence, it is called Siddha medicine. The Siddhars wrote their knowledge in palm leaf manuscripts, fragments of which were found in parts of South India. It is believed that some families may possess more fragments but keep them solely for their own use. There is a huge collection of Siddha manuscripts kept by traditional Siddha families.

Generally the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are almost similar to Ayurveda. The only difference appears to be that the siddha medicine recognizes predominance of Vaadham, Pitham and Kabam in childhood, adulthood and old age, respectively, whereas in Ayurveda, it is totally reversed: Kabam is dominant in childhood, Vaatham in old age and Pitham in adults.

According to the Siddha medicine, various psychological and physiological functions of the body are attributed to the combination of seven elements: first is ooneer (plasma) responsible for growth, development and nourishment; second is cheneer (blood) responsible for nourishing muscles, imparting colour and improving intellect; the third is oon (muscle) responsible for shape of the body; fourth is koluppu/Kozhuppu (fatty tissue) responsible for oil balance and lubricating joints; fifth is elumbu (bone) responsible for body structure and posture and movement; sixth is elumbu majjai (bone marrow) responsible for formation of blood corpuscles; and the last is sukkilam (semen) responsible for reproduction. Like in Ayurveda, in Siddha medicine also, the physiological components of the human beings are classified as Vaadham (air), Pitham (fire) and Kabam(earth and water).

Concept of disease and cause:
It is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of the three humors — Vaadham, Pittham and Kabam — is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to affect this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kabam are 4:2:1, respectively.

According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of “do’s and don’ts”

Diagnosis:
In diagnosis, examination of eight items is required which is commonly known as “enn vakaith thervu”. These are:

1.Na (tongue): black in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, white in kabam, ulcerated in anaemia.
2.Varnam (colour): dark in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
3.Kural (voice): normal in Vaatham, high-pitched in pitham, low-pitched in kabam, slurred in alcoholism.
4.Kan (eyes): muddy conjunctiva, yellowish or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
5.Thodal (touch): dry in Vaatham, warm in pitham, chill in kapha, sweating in different parts of the body.
6.Malam (stool): black stools indicate Vaatham, yellow pitham, pale in kabam, dark red in ulcer and shiny in terminal illness.
7.Neer (urine): early morning urine is examined; straw color indicates indigestion, reddish-yellow color in excessive heat, rose in blood pressure, saffron color in jaundice, and looks like meat washed water in renal disease.
8.Naadi (pulse): the confirmatory method recorded on the radial art.

Drugs:
The drugs used by the Siddhars could be classified into three groups: thavaram (herbal product), thadhu (inorganic substances) and jangamam (animal products). The Thadhu drugs are further classified as: uppu (water-soluble inorganic substances or drugs that give out vapour when put into fire), pashanam (drugs not dissolved in water but emit vapour when fired), uparasam (similar to pashanam but differ in action), loham (not dissolved in water but melt when fired), rasam (drugs which are soft), and ghandhagam (drugs which are insoluble in water, like sulphur).

The drugs used in siddha medicine were classified on the basis of five properties: suvai (taste), gunam (character), veeryam (potency), pirivu (class) and mahimai (action).

According to their mode of application, the siddha medicines could be categorized into two classes:

Internal medicine was used through the oral route and further classified into 32 categories based on their form, methods of preparation, shelf-life, etc.
External medicine includes certain forms of drugs and also certain applications (such as nasal, eye and ear drops), and also certain procedures (such as leech application). It also classified into 32 categories.

Treatment:
The treatment in siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the three humors in equilibrium and maintenance of seven elements. So proper diet, medicine and a disciplined regimen of life are advised for a healthy living and to restore equilibrium of humors in diseased condition. Saint Thiruvalluvar explains four requisites of successful treatment. These are the patient, the attendant, physician and medicine. When the physician is well-qualified and the other agents possess the necessary qualities, even severe diseases can be cured easily, according to these concepts.

The treatment should be commenced as early as possible after assessing the course and cause of the disease. Treatment is classified into three categories: devamaruthuvum (Divine method); manuda maruthuvum (rational method); and asura maruthuvum (surgical method). In Divine method, medicines like parpam, Chendooragyhtyjm, guru, kuligai made of mercury, sulfur and pashanams are used. In the rational method, medicines made of herbs like churanam, kudineer, or vadagam are used. In surgical method, incision, excision, heat application, blood letting, or leech application are used.

According to therapies the treatments of siddha medicines could be further categorized into following categories such as purgative therapy, emetic therapy, fasting therapy, steam therapy, oleation therapy, physical therapy, solar therapy, blood-letting therapy, yoga therapy, etc.

Sidda education:
Siddha has lost its popularity after modern medicine was introduced, as a scientific medical system, even in Tamil Nadu. Still, there are a few ardent followers of the system who prefer Siddha for only a few diseases like jaundice. After some modern doctors, such as Dr. Ramalingam, IMPCOPS, president, Chennai, C.N. Deivanayagam, tried to popularize the Siddha system, a few modern doctors have started suggesting Siddha. In 2012, VA Shiva Ayyadurai, a Tamilian and MIT systems scientist, launched an educational program for medical doctors through the Chopra Center with Deepak Chopra which integrates concepts from traditional systems medicine such as Siddha, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, with systems science and systems biology.

The Tamil Nadu state runs a 5.5-year course in Siddha medicine (BSMS: Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and Surgery). The Indian Government also gives its focus on Siddha, by starting up medical colleges and research centers like National Institute of Siddha  and Central Council for Research in Siddha. There has been renewed interest in Siddha, as many started feeling modern medicine is not complete and changing its stands/theories frequently. The health minister of Tamil Nadu in 2007 claimed that Siddha medicine is effective for chikungunya

Educational institutions:
Government of Tamil Nadu runs two Siddha medical colleges:

Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district
Government Siddha Medical College, Anna Hospital Campus, Arumbakkam, Chennai – 600106

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Government of India runs a Siddha medical college:

National Institute of Siddha, Grand Southern Trunk Road, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai – 600047

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Colleges available in Kerala:

*Santhigiri Siddha Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram
*Private Siddha colleges (approved by Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India and affiliated to TN Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai):

*Velumailu Siddha Medical College and Hospital, No. 48, G.W.T. Road, Opp. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur – 602 105
*Sri Sai Ram Siddha Medical College & Research Centre, Sai Leo Nagar, Poonthandalam, West Tambaram, Chennai – 600 044
*R.V.S. Siddha Medical College & Hospital, Kumaran Kottam, Kannampalayam, Coimbatore – 641042
*A.T.S.V.S. Siddha Medical College, Munchirai, Pudukkadai Post, Kanyakumari – 629171
*Sivaraj Siddha Medical College, Siddhar Kovil Road, Thumbathulipatty, Salem – 636307

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Government of Sri Lanka runs three… Siddha medical colleges offering BSMS degrees:

*Department of Siddha Medicine, University of Jaffna, Kaithady, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
*Unit of Siddha Medicine, Trincomalee Campus, Eastern University, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha_medicine

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Guduchi (Tinospora cardifolia)

Botanical Name : Tinospora cardifolia
Family Name: Menispermaceae
Vernacular Names: Sans Guruchi; Hind: Amrita
SANSKRIT NAME:Guduchi,Madhuparni,Amrita,Chinnaruha,
Vatsadaani,Tantrika,Kundalini,Chakralakshanika
LOCAL NAMES: (in India) Giloya, Guduchi (Hindi), Gulancha(Bengali),Tippaatigo (Telugu), Shindilakodi (Tamil), Gulavel (Marathi),Galo (Gujarati),Amrita balli(kannada).

Habitat : Found throughout tropical India, ascending to an altitude of 1000 ft

Description:A big climber (glabrous).Climbs on large trees.Stems:-Fleshy.Roots:-long thread like, aerial,arise from branches.

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Bark Thin, greyish or creamy white in colour,When peeled fleshy stem is exposed.
Leaves: Cordate(heart shaped), membranous,juicy. Flowers:- Bloom during summer
Male flower:-Small,yellow or green coloured occur in clusters.
Female flower Occur singly.
Fruits:Pea shaped,fleshy,shiny turn red when boiled.Occur in winter
Seeds:- curved,pea sized. Flowers and fruits . .

Cultivation : It grows well in almost all types of soils and under varying climatic conditions.

Chemical Constituents: alkaloid – Berberine and a glucosoid – Giloin.
Sesquiterpene tinocordifolin, Sesquiterpene glucoside tino cordifolioside, tinosponone, tinosrfioside, sordioside furanoid diterpene;

Medicinal Uses : It is useful in burning sensation hyperdipsia, helminthiasis, dyspepsia, flatulence, gout, vomiting, skin diseases, leprosy, erysipelas, anemia, cough, asthma, jaundice, seminal weakness, uropathy and splenopathy.

Studies on induced oedema and arthritis and on human arthritis proved anti-inflammatory potency of the water extract of plant. It also has antipyretic action.This drug relaxes the intestinal and uterine smooth muscles.It is proved effective in prevention of fibrosis and in stimulating regeneration in hepatic tissue

As per Ayurveda:The plant is guru, ushnaveerya, tikta, kasaya, antipyretic, beneficial in burning swnsation, pain, vomiting, dyscrasia, vitiated vata, polyuria, anaemia and vertigo

Parts used: Leaves and stem.

Therapeutic uses :
The stem is bitter, astringent, sweet, thermogenic, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory , antipyretic, digestive, carminative, appetizer, stomachic, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac, rejuvenating, galacto-purifier, useful in vitiated, vata, burning sensation, dyspepsia, flatulence, intermittent fever, inflammations, gout, vomiting, cardiac debility, jaundice, anaemia, seminal weakness, asthma, cough, uropathy, splenopathy, skin diseases and general debility.

Stem-juice is valued in high fever and also given in jaundice either alone or mixed with honey.

Decoction of the stem is used for rheumatic fever and vomiting due to excessive bile secretion; slow fever associated with cough is arrested by the administration of its decoction mixed with Piper longum (fruits) and honey.

Stem, pasted with a little ginger, is prescribed in urticaria.

In combination with the stem of Piper nigrum and honey it is useful to control heart palpitation due to flatulency; stem-juice found beneficial in elephantiasis

A kind of starch, called ‘Palo’, prepared from the aqueous extract of dried stem, is considered to have antacid, antidiarrhoeal and antidysenteric properties.

Leaves of the plant are rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus with no toxic effect and as such prescribed in fever. Aqueous extract of the plant is a fabrifuge.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#eranda
http://www.ayurhelp.com/plants/guduchi.htm
http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=10

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Natural Drugs Set for Major Role

Natural drugs, especially of plant origin, are expected to play a major role in the healthcare programme in the 21st Century, a leading scientist has said.

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“The revival of interest in plant-based drugs and other herbal products is mainly because of the widespread belief that ‘green medicine’ is healthier than the synthetic products,” said veteran scientist P Pushpangadan in a paper titled ‘Health Food and Nutraceuticals – Traditional Wisdom’.

“This is mainly due to the increasing evidences of the health hazards associated with the harmful side effects of many synthetic drugs and the indiscriminate use of modern medicines such as antibiotics, steroids,” said the paper, which will be presented at the ongoing Annam – National Food and Agro-biodiversity festival on Monday.

Pushpangadan is the director general of Amity Institute for Herbal and Biotech Products Development, and has previously served as director of the National Botanical Research Institute till 2006.

The preference for green food and medicine has resulted in the rapid growth of plant-based drugs, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, functional foods and even cosmaceuticals.

The scientist said in the 1980s, this led to the rapid spurt of demand for health products such as herbal tea, ginseng and products of traditional medicine.

Health improvement and disease preventive strategies in treatment, prevalent in oriental systems, especially Indian (Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Amchi) and the Chinese systems of medicine are finding increasing acceptance all over the world.

“Because of this sweeping ‘green wave’ a large number of herbal drugs and plant-derived herbal products are sold in the health food shops all over the developed countries. According to some healthcare experts, there will be more dieticians rather than physicians in coming years,” Pushpangadan said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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India To Boost Tribal ‘Folk Medicine’

India will document, validate and popularise folk medicine practices of tribals across the country and even start institutes for their study to save these traditions from extinction.

“Folk medicine is different from ayurveda, homeopathy or unani. These are local medicinal procedures practised by tribals across India. We are trying to document, digitise and scientifically validate them,” said Verghese Samuel, joint secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“Due to modern systems of medicine, this health heritage is losing its popularity. We are trying to save these good practices through the initiative,” Samuel said.

Sanjeev K. Chadha, director, department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy) in the ministry, said: “Because of folk medicine practices, tribals in India have a very good immune system. If they are getting benefits out of these practices then there must be something good about these practices.

“These age-old traditions should not be lost in the wilderness. We will do research on these practices and record them. All the good practices would also be considered from patenting.”

There are over 130 tribal groups in India, many from north eastern states.

Chadha said the health ministry had decided to establish a North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh. The state government has already given over 40 acres of land for the purpose and the institute will come up at a cost of nearly 330 million.

“The institute will dedicate itself to the cause. Research and scientific validations will also be done there. The institute may soon have branches in states like Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh among others.”

Talking about the institute’s location, he said north eastern states were full of folk medicinal practices. “From malaria, to diarrhoea to wounds, people in this region use folk medicines and it’s better to start from there.”

Chadha said folk medicine was “a pool of knowledge” that had to be tapped.

“The practices are very utilitarian. We as a nation with diverse culture can’t allow a body of knowledge to perish. Like manuscripts, here is a pool of knowledge that needs to be tapped for a greater cause, for betterment of millions of people.

“Who knows it may give India a different pedestal in the health community of the world.”

Sources: The Times Of India

Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba)

Botanical Name: Eclipta alba
Family: Compositae, Asteraceae
Synonyms: Eclipta prostrata, Cotula alba
Therapeutic Catagory: Hepatoprotective
Ayurvedic Names : Bhringraja, Keshraja
Unani Name: Bhangra
Indian Names: Bhangra, Kalkeshi, Maka

Description:
It is an annual, erect or prostate entirely pubescent herb, often rooting at nodes with opposite, sessile, usually oblong, 2.5 – 7.5 cm long leaves with white appressed hairs. Floral heads 6-8 mm in diameter, solitary, white, achene compressed and narrowly winged.
It grows commonly in moist places as a weed all over the plains of India.Root well developed, cylindrical, greyish. Floral heads 6-8mm in diameter, solitary,white,achenecompressed and narrowly winged.

The herb Eclipta alba contains mainly coumestans i.e. Wedelolactone (I) and Demethylwedelolactone (II), Polypeptides Polyacetylenes, Thiophene-derivatives, steroids, triterpenes and flavonoids. Coumestans are known to possess estrogenic activity (Bickoff et al. 1969) Wedelolactone possesses a wide range of biological activities and is used for the treatment of hepatitis and cirrhosis (Wagner et al 1986:), as an antibacterial, anti-hemorrhagic (Kosuge et al. 1985), as an antidote for snake venom (Mors et al , 1989) and direct inhibition of IKK complex resulting in suppression of LPS-induced caspase-11 expression (Kobori et al 2004)

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Habitat/Occurrence: It is widely distributed throughout India, China, Thailand, and Brazil. In paddy growing areas of India, it occur as common weed. In many parts of India it is grown commercially as a medicinal crop.

Related Species: Four species have been reported so far in warmer parts of America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Botany: An annual herb.
Stem: Stems and branches are strigose and hairy.
Leaves: Opposite, sessile, oblong- lanceolate; also strigose and hairy.
Flowers: In heads, involucral bracts, axillary, ray flowers ligulate; disk ones tubular.
Fruit: Achene.
Flowering Time: October to December in Indian conditions.
Useful Parts: Whole plant.
Season: Kharif (June, July in Indian conditions)
Propagation: Through seeds

Traditional and medicinal uses:
Plant is bitter, hot, sharp, dry taste and is used in ayurveda for the treatment of Kapha and Vata imbalances. In ayurvedic medicine, the leaf extract is considered to be powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative, and especially good for the hair.A black dye obtained from Eclipta alba is also for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta alba also has traditional external uses, like athlete foot, eczema and dermatitis, on the scalp to address hair loss and the leaves have been used in the treatment of scorpion strings. It is used as anti-venom against snakebite in China and Brazil (Mors, 1991). It is reported to improve hair growth and colour (Kritikar and Basu 1975.and Chopra et al 1955)The expressed leaf juice is applied along with honey is a popular remedy for catarrh in infants. A preparation obtained from the leaf juice boiled with sesamum or coconut oil is used for anointing the head to render the hair black and luxuriant. Plant is rubbed on the gums in toothache and applied with a little oil for relieving headache. Applied with sesamum oil in elephantiasis. Roots of Eclipta alba are emetic and purgative.

In Taiwan, entire plant is used as a remedy for the treatment of bleeding, heamoptysis, haematuria and itching, hepatitis, diphtheria and diarrhoea. In China, as a cooling and restorative herb, which supports the mind, nerves, liver and eyes. The leaf extract is considered to be powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative, and especially good for the hair. A black dye obtained from Eclipta alba is also for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta alba also has traditional external uses, like athlete foot, eczema and dermatitis, on the scalp to address hair loss and the leaves have been used in the treatment of scorpion strings. It is used as anti-venom against snakebite in China and Brazil (Mors, 1991).
Medicinal Properties and Uses: The herb is an Ayurveda and Yunani medicine. According to Ayurveda philosophy Eclipta is bitter, hot fattening, alterative, anthelminticum, and alexipharmic. It is useful in inflammations, hernia, eye diseases, bronchitis, asthama, leucoderma, anaemia, heart and skin diseases, right blindness, syphilis etc. It is reported as beneficial for complexion, hair, eyes, and teeth.

Eclipta alba is mainly used in hair oils, but it has been considered a good drug in hepatotoxicity. In hair oils, it may be used alongwith Centela asiatica (Brahmi) and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla). It may be used to prevent habitual abortion and miscarriage and also in cases of post-delivery uterine pain. A decoction of leaves is used in uterine haemorrhage. The juice of the plant with honey is given to infants with castor oil for expulsion of worms. For the relief in piles, fumigation with Eclipta alba is considered beneficial. The paste prepared by mincing fresh plants has got an anti-inflammatory effect and may be applied to insect bites, stings, swellings and other skin diseases. In Ayurveda, it is mainly used in hair oil, while in Unani system, the juice of Eclipta alba is used in ‘Hab Miskeen Nawaz’ alongwith aconite, croton tiglium, triphala, piper nigrum, piper longum, zinziber officinale, and minerals like mercury, sulphur, arsenic, borax etc. for various types of pains in the body. It is also a constituent of ‘Roghan Amla Khas’ for applying on hair, and of ‘Ma’jun Murrawah-ul-arwah’.

Popular Ayurvedic Formulations: Bhringraj ghrit, Bhringraj taiil, Bhringrajadi churana etc.
Chemical Constituents: The plant contains the alkaloid ecliptine. Other chemicals identified are wedelolactone, wedelic acid, apigenin, luteolin, b-amyrin etc.
Cultivation .

The dried leaves of Eclipta alba have been reported to contain wedelolactone, a complex coumarin and its derivatives dimethylewedelolactone – 7 – glucoside and nor-wadelolactone.

The roots contain polyacetylene substituted thiophenes and leaves have been reported to contain 2.2:5.2:5-terthienylmethanol. The arial part of the plant has been reported to contain phytosterol, ß-anyrin in the n-hexane extract and luteolin – 7 – glucoside, ß-glucoside of phytosterol, a glucoside of a tritepenic acid and wadelolactone in polar solvent extract.

Hentriacontanol and heptacosanol are reported from the roots. The polypeptides isolated from the plant yield cystime, glutamic acid, phenyalanine, tyrosine and methionine on hydrolysis.

Juice: useful to teeth, skin and hairs, indicated for the treatment of Kaphha-vata disorders, cough, bronchitis, worms, asthma, skin diseases, oedema, mucous disorders, anemia, digestive, support and nourished body, choleggue, hepatomegaly, liver disorders, loss of appetite, vertigo, hepatospleenomegaly, piles, indigestion, headache, weak vision, Externally for burns, skin diseases, leucoderma, hair loss, alopecia.

Ayurvedic Uses:
Essential hair tonic .Buy Bhringaraj and supplements on line

Buy Bhrigaraj – Panchang on line
For Thick, dark hair : Apply a mixture of bhringaraj, gooseberry, coconut, almond and olive.

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Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.banlab.com/eclipta.htm
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/eclipta.html
www.allayurveda.com
www.en.wikipedia.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbs_and_minerals_in_Ayurveda

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