The Chosen One

Jul 01, 2014 | Vol 6, Issue 3
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Ullanoor Mana Vimala Antharjanam is one such Ayurvedic practitioner who has devoted her life to this profession. Soft spoken, simple, intelligent and practical, she has saved many from snake venom over the past four decades.(from Kerala, India)

The treatment for venomous snake bite is an area of speciality and a crucial one because of its fatal character.  Agada Tantra (Damstra chikilsa/ Visha chikilsa ) is the branch in Ayurveda which deals with toxicology. The medical practitioners in this field need lot of dedication and professional acumen to save the lives of snake bitten people. Ullanoor Mana Vimala Antharjanam is one such Ayurvedic practitioner who has devoted her life to this profession.  Soft spoken, simple, intelligent and practical, she has saved many from snake venom over the past four decades.

Childhood

Vimala Antharjanam is the daughter of V M C Sankaran Nambuthiri from Vallur mana, the traditional family from Kalluvazhy, near Ottappalam in Palakkad district. Sankaran Nambuthiri was a famous Ayurveda practitioner who presently resides at Palappuram. Unlike his earlier days, he does not offer regular consultation now as his age does not permit it.

Vimala had to discontinue school education at the age of 12 because of her rheumatic complaints.  It was then treated and cured by her father.  During this period she started studying Ayurveda from him. Her father Sankaran Nambuthiri imparted all his expertise in snake bite and other poison related treatment methods to his daughter. Although she had three brothers, no one was interested in this traditional medicinal system. She started practicing Ayurveda after her marriage with Thrivikraman Nambuthiri of Ullanoor Mana, Vengidangu in Thrissur Dt.

Devoted service

Most cases of snake bite are risky to handle as each one is different from the other. Vimala detailed that any case of snake bite differs from the other; it depends on the type of snake and the intensity of the bite. More over it will differ based on Tridosha principle of Ayurveda in a human body which effects the Saptha dhadu (seven basic body elements described in Ayurveda ). So, the medication also differs even in similar snake bite cases. Treatment procedures are prescribed after gauging the condition of a patient by analysing the symptoms- patient's eye, ability to speak, general body condition, or difficulty in urination etc. According to her, patient's behaviour and sometimes the omen also play an important role while managing the case. Apart from the medication the patients need to follow 'Pathyam', the strict regimen on routine life, prescribed in Ayurveda till one is fully cured.  The common poisonous snakes in Kerala are the Viper, Cobra and the Indian Krait. She said there is special method for treating rabies that her father's Guru used to practice in his time which also requires a strict regime of medication.

Vimala Antharjanam is a hereditary practitioner of Ayurveda and now her son UMT Brahmadathan Nambuthiri is also practicing the same. She also imparts her valuable knowledge to doctors of Ayurveda from different universities who come here for practical training. Her clinic and pharmacy are located in the pathayapura (granary complex) of the 200 year old Mana. They preserve three sacred groves dedicated to snakes and three deities - Vettakkaran, Bhagavathi and Sasthavu are consecrated within the house. Vimala Antharjanam said that they also practise Balachikilsa (paediatrics) as a custom, because it is believed that, whatever curses that may occur due to the treatment of snakebites can be overcome by treating children, since children are the purest souls and the personification of God.

Location/access: Ullanoor Mana is situated about 2.5km from Vengidangu, in Thrissur district, Kerala' Vengidangu is about 22km from Thrissur town on Chavakkad road, via Kanhani. Vengdangu to Chavakkad is about 11km.(Kerala, India)

 

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