Monthly Archives: August 2019

Mercury: Life-giving Medicine or Deadly Poison? An Interview with Vaidya Shri Egilane Lebel

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.

Continue reading Mercury: Life-giving Medicine or Deadly Poison? An Interview with Vaidya Shri Egilane Lebel