Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Preparations and plants used to treat diabetes in Sri Lankan Siddha Medicine


Conference: 3rd International Conference on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Traditional Medicine, At Colombo, Sri Lanka


Introduction: In recent decades diabetes mellitus (DM) has a considerable health problem in countries like Sri Lanka (SL) and results in an increasing economic burden hampering their social and economic development. More than 60 % of the rural population in SL rely on indigenous medicinal systems as their main source for primary health care. Siddha (Tamil) Medicine (SM) is one of the four Sri Lankan traditional medicinal systems and it is practised mostly in the eastern and northern provinces of SL where the majority of Tamils reside. Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate the indigenous concepts about DM and its signs, which antidiabetic preparations are used, and plants included in those preparations recorded in historical and modern Sri Lankan Siddha (SLS) documents. Method: Current university Sri Lankan current texts books in Tamil were sources used to obtain information of antidiabetic SLS preparations. Results and discussion: Information of ingredients, preparation methods, amount of ingredients used, and dosages of 63 antidiabetic SLS preparations were obtained. Oral medications and topical medications are used. Animal parts including marine organisms, metals, minerals, and plants are the four types of ingredients used. Approximately 175 plants of 73 families were used and Senna auriculata (L.) Roxb. (Fabaceae) is the most frequently used species. Conclusion: This is the first study systematically assessing the importance of preparations and plants used in antidiabetic SLS preparations. It documents the importance of such treatments and creates the basis for a more systematic study of these local resources.

Keywords: Siddha Medicine, Tamil Medicine, diabetes, Sri Lanka