Siddha Medical Herbs & Antiviral Activity

A Column by – Dr.S.Thillaivanan,BSMS,MD(Siddha)

Siddha medicine protects people from viral fevers in every situation during various outbreaks in India. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that viral fevers are only for the development of Siddha medicine. Nilavembu concoction, Kapasura kudineer concoction and Aadathodai concoction are popular medicines in south India, popularly in TamilNadu.

Various herbs in Siddha medicine, especially herbs to bitter taste, are used to control viral fever. Nilavembu (Angrographis paniculata), Aadathodai (Justicia adathoda), Seendhil (Tinospora cordifolia), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Malai Vembu (Melia azadirach), Vilvam (Aegle marmelos), Keezhanelli (Phyllanthus amarus) are the main among them. Simple herbs like turmeric, licorice, arathai, garlic, cinnamon are also effective in antiviral activity.


Viruses have no separate metabolic function, and depend on the host cells for their growth, i.e., our body cells. The antivirus drugs that are used to destroy the virus work by preventing entry into our body, preventing multiplication, or disabling their DNA or RNA, or blocking the enzyme activation of protease. Our Siddha medicinal herbs are also working on the same way.

The active molecule of well known Siddha herb “nilavembu” is andrographolide and it has been studied and demonstrated in the Chikungunya virus, dengue virus 1 and 2, and Flu virus H1N1 and H 5 N1. The sulfur-rich alkaloid allicin in garlic is responsible for its antiviral properties. Against Infective Bronchitis Virus has also been studied for Garlic. The alkaloids in cinnamon are cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde responsible for its antiviral medicinal properties.  The neem oil is used for ages and its chemical, azadirachtin, is known to act against various zoster viruses. Research results suggested that it prevents the multiplication of the dengue 2 type virus.

Simple herb turmeric is, well used in the corona period. The chemical curcumin is the cause of its medicinal properties. The influenza type virus and zoster virus are an also studied for this aromatic herb. There is also a suggestion that cytokine storm, the main subsequent effect of Covid-19, prevents the occurrence of the storm.  

Six types of chemicals like melianone in the “Malaivembu” (mountain neem) are responsible for its dengue virus destruction. Research results suggested that the chemicals like phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin in Keezhanelli act against hepatitis virus. The chemicals present in the arathai is known to be good in influenza viruses, measles and herpes viruses. Amirthavalli, ,another name for seendhil is well known for its immune enhancing effects and antiviral activity. Tinosporin is the alkaloid, responsible for this.

The alkaloid glycyrhizin, the sweetest of chemical in Adhimathuram (Glycyrrhiza glabra– licorice), is found to be effective in SARS-CoV 1. It is 70% similar to the covid-19 called SARS CoV-2. This is a special addition to our Aadathodai Concoction. 

Thus we can talk more about the basic molecule of our Siddha medicinal herbs and the antiviral nature. Research on Siddha medicinal herbs is going to the all corners of the world.

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