Mercury toxicity and its earlier footprints in Siddha system of medicine– Analogous to Pharmacovigilance

  • P Kamalasoundaram Prog Asst, Peripheral Pharmacovigilance Centre, Siddha Central Research Institute,Chennai-106
  • M Kannan Scientist-II, Research Officer (Siddha), Siddha Central Research Institute,Chennai-106.
  • P Sathiyarajeswaran Scientist –II,AsstDirector I/c,Siddha Central Research Institute,Chennai-106
Keywords: Siddha, Pharmacovigilance, Ore dressing, Detoxification, Mercury toxicity, ADR.


Background: According to Siddhars, Mercury is the chief of all elements and ubiquitous. Due to the life-threatening toxicity of mercury, it is considered by WHO as one of the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern [1]. Siddhars believe and prove that Mercury can cure most of the incurable diseases, protect the body from the disease, gives good health and facilitate to attain eight folds of Siddhi (Attama Siddhigal)[2].Siddhars practiced Pharmacovigilance successfully in all the areas of drug profile such as collection and selection of raw drugs, purification, SOP’s of formulations, medicinal dosage, duration of the treatment, vehicle, and precaution. Because, the occurrence of ADR is mostly due to error in the above steps. The symptoms and the treatment of ADR caused by mercury and its toxicity is well explained in Siddha literature. In mercury, the collection is made by the removal of impurities from the mercurial ore itself, the literature describes impurities and its toxicity (Thodam &Sattai) [2].The purification (ore dressing) of mercury is the process to detoxify the toxin by chelation and increase the efficacy. The science behind the detoxification of mercury needs to be explored for the betterment of health. Insisting upon the ban on mercury, monitoring, and reporting of the adverse reaction and adverse event for the mercurial product should be registered and documented for the successive current Pharmacovigilance practice. Implementation of Pharmacovigilance practice will throw the renaissance to the Siddha system of medicine.