Lakshmi, a young woman from Pothankode in Thiruvananthapuram,  went to a much-advertised Siddha treatment centre in the capital city of Kerala seeking a cure for her skin ailment. After a month of medication, her skin problem aggravated. Worse still, both her legs weakened. 


Then the Siddha 'doctor' of Deva Vidya Hospital allegedly told her that weakening of limbs was due to rheumatism and gave another medicine to cure it. Soon, both her hands were paralysed too! 


Detailed medical examinations proved that 80 percent of the nerves in her body had been weakened. Laboratory test results of the medicines given by the Siddha quak were shocking.The tests proved that the medicines had the alarming presence of harmful heavy metals including lead and mercury. 


 The Siddha doctor gave the same medicines to Asianet News reporter who consulted him in the guise of a patient. The doctor also claimed that he belonged to a famous Siddha family and had a course in Siddha medicine. Besides medicines available in the market, he used to make them by himself, he admitted. 


Dr Kashi Vishweswaran, renowned nephrologist, warned against using medicines with high lead and mercury. They will severely affect the functioning of our organs. Sometimes, it can be life threatening too, he added. 


Most of the Siddha Ayurveda Hospitals are run by persons who do not have any prescribed qualification.Besides, there is no system to test these medicines in a scientific manner. 

Though they had informed the authorities with clinching evidences against fake Siddha practitioners, the government or the Ayurveda Drugs Control Department did nothing to check them, The Association of Siddha doctors complained. As per law, all Siddha doctors, even if they passed a course in the system,  need to register under Travancore-Cochin medical council to practice in Kerala. But this norm is seldom enforced, the association pointed out.