I am a Medical Anthropologist interested in non-codified and manual medical practices in South Asia. My interests also include Tamil Studies and the history of medicine. Currently, I am a full-time postdoctoral researcher and part of a collaborative research centre at Tuebingen University.
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Sébastia, Brigitte 2019. From siddha corpus to siddha medicine. Reflection on the reduction of siddha knowledge through exploration of manuscripts, In: Mishra A. (ed.). Local Health Traditions: Plurality and marginality in South Asia, Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi, pp. 129-155, ISBN: 9789352876617, URL: https://orientblackswan.com/details?id=9789352876617. Download: Sébastia (2019).
Within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre 1070 “ResourceCultures”[i], anthropologist Roman Sieler conducts research in South India on resource understanding and resource use in traditional medicine. While Ayurveda for example is known worldwide for oil massages and medicinal herbs, Siddha medicine is often characterised by the use of various minerals and metals. Mercury, in particular, plays a special role. Siddha medicine is part of a complex, centuries-old tradition which, in addition to medical methods, also includes philosophical currents, astrological teachings, yogic practices and tantric and alchemical influences, which can be traced back to the Siddhars, a group of mystics whose origins may be dated back to roughly the 8th century. Today, Siddha medicine is one of India’s officially recognized medical traditions and can be studied as a medical degree in India. Siddha medicine is therefore practiced today by traditional healers trained by gurus as well as by doctors who have studied in modern universities. Roman Sieler spoke[ii] with the traditionally trained Siddha physician Egilane Lebel, 48, about the meaning, effect and preparation of mercury in Siddha medicine.
An International Conference Medicine, Religion and Alchemy in South India Resources and Permutations of Siddha Traditions and Siddha Medicine 25 – 27 July 2019 | Hohentübingen Castle |Tübingen University
These pages are designed to serve as a platform for researchers from all disciplines working on Siddha and related traditions in South India, as a platform for exchange and networking, and as a platform where scholars can present their completed and ongoing work and research results. In this way, we hope to provide a unique opportunity to publicize and discuss South Indian traditions and practices in their diverse and multiple forms. While this platform is open to contributions from all disciplines, its main focus is on social sciences and humanities, especially on research in cultural anthropology, indology, history, sociology and religious studies. This platform will hence function as a map of what is going with regard to research on South Indian medicine and its history, alchemical traditions and related philosophies and as a way of getting to know of research and researchers interested in Siddha traditions.