Mezhathur has a special place in Kerala's socio-cultural history. Greats such as social critic V.T. Bhattathiripad and Ashtavaidyan Vaidyamadham Valia Narayanan Namboodiri, an authority in Ayurveda, hailed from this village located between Koottanad and Thrithala on the Thrissur-Pattambi route.
On Friday, the quaint village was all decked up to celebrate the 80th birthday of another famous son — Ashtavaidyan Vaidyamadham Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri, the chief physician of Mezhathur Vaidyamadham. Valia Narayanan Namboodiri had bequeathed his skills and knowledge to this grandson of his.
Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and State Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy are expected to take part in the three-day celebrations.
Ashtavaidyas are experts in all branches of ayurveda such as Kaya chikilsa (general medicine), Bala chikilsa (paediatrics), Graha chikilsa (psychiatry), Oordhwanga chikilsa (ENT, neurology, dentistry, ophthalmology), Salya chikilsa (surgery), Damshtra chikilsa (toxicology), Jara chikilsa (geriatrics) and Vrisha chikilsa (gynaecology and rejuvenation therapy).
The diagnostic skills of successive generations of Vaidyamadham, whose members were official physicians of royal families, are legendary. They are well known for detecting the ‘maranalakshana,' signs of death.
At first sight
“The rhythm of life is determined by the perfect balance of ‘panchabhuthas.' An expert physician needs no modern diagnostic methods to spot the imbalance,” says Mr. Namboodiri. With 60 years of experience under his belt, he is said to possess the ability to diagnose most of the ailments at first sight. While the world is still looking for a way to arrest ageing process, Valiya Narayanan Namboodiri performed more than 60 years ago ‘Kutipraveshikam' (a traditional treatment that is believed to arrest the ageing process). Siravedha (cutting of vein to let out impure blood) was another rare treatment brought into practice by the Vaidyamadham.
Under Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri's guidance, the Vaidyasala (pharmacy) and the Nursing Home were expanded. Legend has it that the Vaidyamadham family was brought to Mezhathur as Sala Vaidyas 1700 years ago by Mezhathole Agnihotri who conducted 99 soma yagas. Sala Vaidya is a special status given to those responsible for the healthcare of the participants of yaga.
A trust established by Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri in memory of his grandfather has developed a treatment regime for cancer. Free cancer treatment camps are held on the last Saturday and Sunday of every month.
His collection of essays ‘Ayurvedavum Deerghayussum' is testimony to his scholarship. ‘Ayurvedathinte Prathama Padhangal', the Malayalam translation of ‘Garga Bhagavatha' and ‘Kavyatheerthadanangal' are some of his other noted works. He has also translated ‘Palakapyam', an Ayurvedic text on elephants.