WriteUps By Prof. Dr. K. Kanakavalli
Siddha system of Medicine is one of the indigenous Ayush systems, predominantly practiced in parts of South India and across the countries where Tamil speaking people reside. The concept of Udal iyal (Body constitution) in Siddha system is in line with the current practice of personalised and preventive medicine in the global context. Udal iyal is based on the fundamental principle, Muth (Three)-thaadhu (3 vital life forces, ie Vali, Azhal and Aiyam forming 7 different types of Udal iyal or Yakkai Ilakkanam. These 7 types are brought under 3 major classifications, Vali Udal, Azhal Udal and Aiya Udal. Distinctive in their physical and psychological aspects, an accurate assessment of the Udal iyal will pave the way for predicting health status of the patient thus contributing to diagnosis and planning treatment and prevention strategies. A team of researchers from Siddha Central Research Institute (SCRI) functioning under the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS), under the Ministry of AYUSH. Govt. of India have devised Yakkai Ilakkanam (YI) tool. This was possible through comprehensive review of literature and research. [Project title: “Validation of Siddha Udal iyal Inventory – YI for Assessment of Body Constitution (ABC): a deive cross-sectional study”]. The YI tool has 3 divisions, each covering the physical, mental and functional profiles of the human body. Answering a set of questions on these aspects together with basic socio-demographic details will help to ascertain the Udal iyal, Yakkai Ilakkanam/Body constitution of an individual and classify as Vali, Azhal or Aiyam thegi. Based on this information, an individualized dietary and lifestyle modifications is advised. Such body constitution – Udaliyal analysis based on Siddha principles will promote healthy behaviours towards preventing lifestyle disorders in individuals and thus, in the long-run will contribute to overall improvements in population health.