SIDDHA MARUTHUVATHIL VER, MARAM, CHEDI, KODI, ILAIKALUM AVATRIN MARUTHUVA-P-PALANGALUM:Ka. Sivanesan, Arul Pathippagam, 66, Periyar Street, MGR Nagar, Chennai-600078. Rs. 150.

THIS BOOK contains well-documented facts on the innumerable herbs used in the Siddha system of medicine. Their medicinal properties discovered by 18 celebrated mystics, called Siddhars, are vividly narrated, with citations from Tamil classics like Thirukkuraland Tholkappiamserving to enrich the narrative.

A retired professor and practitioner of Siddha medicine, Sivanesan says he was inspired by M.S. Udayamurthy and his ‘Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam' to take to the profession of providing health care to the people. A firm believer in the dictum, ‘Nature is our mother', he brings home to the younger generation the message that a major part of human population depends on herbs as the primary source for medical care.

The book, which has an illuminating foreword by S. Sundaramurthy, former Vice-Chancellor of Thanjavur University, provides a long list of herbs, common and not-so-common — their names, description, uses, and so on. Some of the chapters that deserve special mention are the ones dealing with herbs whose names are suggestive of the diseases they are meant for, the 96 aspects of human anatomy, and the medicines for everyday life.