Martuvam Healing Forest is a 7 acre medicinal forest and garden in the western periphery of Auroville near the Tamil village of Annainagar. Beginning in 2002, Sivaraj, his wife and three children, and friends of Auroville have used traditional cultivation and harvesting techniques to turn their barren plot of land into a multi-dimensional healing centre and educational haven. Friends from the Farm Group, Forest Group, Green Group and Pitchandikulam Bio Resource Centre in Auroville (where Sivaraj once worked) gave enormously of information, seedlings and their moral support, which have grown into a lush, natural forest and have provided the raw materials for the centre’s herbal medicines.
Our aim is to grow and provide medicinal herbs to the community. We are committed to educating all peoples about the traditional Indian medicine system of “Siddha” and encouraging a holistic lifestyle. Furthermore, we seek to bring the traditional, local medicinal knowledge back in the nearby villages. We work to improve the livelihood of the people in the surrounding villages by offering skill building courses and access to herbal healthcare.
The Healing Forest and Herbal Garden
Martuvam is home to thousands of medicinal plants, bushes and trees of more than 100 varieties. Material from the forest and garden are used directly in medicine prepared at the Siddha Clinic. The plants are grown organically without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, which is very important for their use in medicinal treatments. Furthermore the Healing Forest is a place where villagers and guests can learn about the healing qualities of the plants. In the past the indigenous plants were used in the daily life. Slowly the traditional knowledge has been forgotten. Therefore, Martuvam promotes the use and general knowledge of herbal medicine through workshops, clinics, volunteer opportunities and forest walks. The local village people are welcome to come to the Martuvam to get information and to collect plants as they need. Work on the new Herbal Garden began in 2013. Still in its early stages, this project will increase the number and variety of medicinal plants available for the healing centre, as well as create new opportunities for locals and guests to learn about the cultivation and harvesting of traditional herbs.
Siddha Medicine Clinic
Under the Siddha guru Dr. Salvarasu (one of South India’s renowned Siddha practitioners), Sivaraj has received a Diploma in Siddha Medicine(DSMS), which is a traditional form of South-Indian healing that is similar to Ayurvedic herbal healing. Using plants harvested from Martuvam and around Auroville, Sivaraj provides consultations and treatments, massages, workshops in different alternative healing methods, and education and information about herbal wellness practices. In collaboration with Dr. Charles, BIMS, AMRC. Sivaraj provides his services to the community at Martuvam Ayurvedic Healing Centre with prior appointment.
Martuvam is home to a small and developing clinical facility where the herbs are processed into medicines and some services are provided. The clinic also offers the use of its facilities to healing practitioners visiting Auroville. One such group, internationally known Healing Touch, comes once a year to give a seminar on restoring harmony and balance in the energy system through facilitating the client’s self healing process.
In addition to providing services and education to Aurovillians and visitors, the clinic is devoted to improving the possibilities of deprived people from the surrounding areas a by offering an elementary course and training period in the centre. In future we want to create work for deprived young people by giving them a job in the clinic. Free or low cost treatment is also provided for the people of the lower casts.
Martuvam is a continuously growing center that requires alot of energy and innovation. Volunteers are most welcome and we have long term and short term opportunities available! Your tasks can include:
- All kinds of gardening work
- Harvesting and preserving medicinal plants
- Creating educational materials
- Manual and construction work
- Public relations work
Martuvam can also offer you a space for your own healing practice.
Martuvam Healing Forest offers Siddha treatment and consultation in Herbal Medicine. Discover Tamil Nadu's traditional medicine on appointment by calling 9345454232.
Martuvam needs volunteers to help with the work of the maintenance of the herbal garden, the solar drying of herbs and the preparation of the herbal medicines. We are also looking for persons who are interested in helping in the Ayurvedic Healing Centre. If you are willing to learn and help, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. or email@example.com
More on Siddha Medicine
One of the oldest medical systems know to mankind, this system originated from Tamil Nadu of south India as part of the trio Indian medicines- Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. This system was extremely popular in ancient India and is considered to be one of the most ancient traditional medical systems in south India. Siddha is believed to be developed by the 18 siddhars of the south India. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Sara Agathiyar, the first siddhar, is believed to have been given the Siddha system of healing by Lord Muruga, son of the Hindu God Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Agathiyar and his 17 disciples contributed thousands of texts on Siddha, including but not limited to medicine, and established a system of healing that is still in practice today.