The recent report on FSSAI granting licence to several herbal ingredients such as Thippili powder, Kasturi manjal and Mudakathan as food supplements being objected by some Siddha experts in anonymity stating that who would own the responsibility for the side effects from those herbal products, if occurs.
The bone of contention was that FSSAI should not grant licence to these products because they are described as Siddha drugs by the system. The objection or concern is quite bizarre because all the above herbal ingredients are either grown widely or cultivated by several farmers for commercial use. Further some of the herbal ingredients are even used is variety of culinary preparations.
If the ownership possessiveness shown by some Siddha experts is so strong, then they may soon ask the cultivators and traders to stop the trade and cultivation of all those herbs listed in Siddha system as drug or drug ingredient or else must get permission from Siddha experts.
Further the Siddha experts may also even demand that without their permission no one should use/consume any of the herbal ingredients listed in the Siddha system without prior permission from Siddha system. It means, from coconut oil to gingili oil to asafoetida to salt to curcuma power to sugar and jaggery to curry leaves to fenugreek to Aloe vera to almond to ghee to milk and butter to…….. all most everything thing that we consume today must be stopped immediately or must get permission Siddha system.
When the question of how they claim raw Aloe vera or curcuma as drug is if asked, immediately they would jump the gun and say that Siddha system has certain specialized methods called purification and processing and that is how all the ingredients are converted as medicine.
What therapeutic effect the Siddha or Ayush products would offer, what is the active content (s) responsible for the above, what is the mechanism of action, where is the pharmacokinetic data, how soon the patient would get the benefit, what is the dosage required, how we can medically measure the benefit, how the Tridosha can be tested, correction after Siddha product intervention can be confirmed and if Siddha products are so effective, why several institutionally qualified Siddha vaidya are engaged in cross pathy, none of the questions the experts would either love to face or are willing to address.
Single herb or herbal preparations either licensed as food supplement or food or as Siddha product should not be seen as an issue but how far it would offer some benefit to humanity should be the key concern we must display.
If we promote Siddha products as drug they are not going to succeed in the modern world. When a Siddha product is promoted as drug, naturally the question would be posed as how an herbal conglomeration without knowing its phytochemistry chemistry or pharmacology or mechanism of action or drug targeting and also due to no visible effect seen against any of the key disease symptoms can be accepted as drug would surface which AYUSH may not dodge than explain. If Siddha products are promoted as paramedical substances, the system will gain some ground in near future.
Siddha experts should worry more about cross pathy by several Siddha vaidya in private practice in the state than about FSSAI granting license to certain herbs as food supplements. When the Siddha vaidya in private practice show lack of trust and confidence in prescribing Siddha products and take pride in prescribing allopathic drugs and then make claims about their competence possibly obtained from CIMS are the one derailing the credence of Siddha system. If the Siddha vaidya in private practice instead of engaged in cross pathy, told the patient about the greatness of Siddha system, how the self-discipline and other Siddha doctrines are extremely helpful in dealing all most all diseases, the system would get better recognition and respect that it deserves.
Cross pathy by some Siddha vaidya in private practice should be the issue Siddha vaidyas in government service must discuss and do the needful to convince their brethren in private practice to take pride in practicing Siddha system and promote it in the society. Claiming ownership over herbs and blaming other competent government licencing agencies like FSSAI is not going to help in promoting Siddha system. Such attempts would only make the credence of the system laughable.