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Medicinal herbs on display

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, DEC. 17. Siddha Expo 2004, an exhibition of indigenous herbs and plants with medicinal value, began here today with a focus on integrating them into the daily diet.

Organised by the Government Siddha Medical College, the expo will focus on the uses of Siddha in daily life in simple terms, through creative models and charts. With displays of various indigenous herbs, the students of the college seek to highlight the medicinal value they hold. From the common mint plant to the "touch-me-not" plant mimosa pudica, the exhibits carry information on the common name, the parts used, the actions caused, the phyto-chemicals and the medicinal uses. Some stalls demonstrated the uses and the effects of the herbs, such as water purification with "thetrankottai" (spryhs) or a quick home facial using "multani mitti."

G. Ganapathy, Principal, Government Siddha Medical College, said the expo would also sensitise people to Siddha as a branch of study. Dr. Ganapathy said the college was part of a joint research initiative of Siddha and allopathic doctors on possible treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Some TB patients, he added, were resistant to modern allopathic drugs and Siddha was their only option.

The expo centred round the theme "unavae marundhu, marundhae unavu," (food itself is medicine and medicine itself is food).

Herbal products are available for sale at the stalls.

The expo is open to the public till December 19.

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