Indigenous Rice for Filariasis Control

Filariasis is a disease spread by mosquitoes. Even modern medicines do not have a complete cure for this disease. But, people believe that this disease could be cured by Siddha medicine. Murugadasan from the village Thiruppurambiam 5 kms from Kumbakonam says that filariasis can be cured by using the indigenous rice variety called Karungkuruvai.

According to him, the Karungkuruvai paddy is boiled with cactus milk (thirugukallipal), cow’s milk and honey and made into a lehyam confection. This lehyam is stored in a mud pot. People who are afflicted with filariasis should have it for five days continuously and after an interval of three days, again for five days. During the intake of this medicine, ghee, milk, cereals and fried salt should be added to the diet. The method for preparing the lehyam using karungkuruvai also finds a reference in the ancient tamil text Pulippani Vagadam 500. Ramu of the same village had already undergone this treatment 15 years back and has been cured.


Karungkuruvai is an indigenous paddy variety. This can be cultivated during the Kuruvai (June 1 – August 31) and Navarai (December 15 – March 14) crop seasons. The crop grows well on clayey, coarse and sandy clay soils. Normally, the crop grows to a height of 95.56 cm. The age of the crop is 120 – 125 days. Normally, 55 grains can be obtained from an ear head.

This paddy variety was originally cultivated near Kollidam but currently they do not have this variety. CIKS from its collection has given seeds of Karungkuruvai to a farmer Gunasekaran of this area for cultivation in 20 cents of land.

Source : Murugadasan, 2/34-D, South St., Thirupurambiam–612303.

Compilation : Subhashini Sridhar, Ashokkumar, CIKS, Sirkazhi.

Let's preserve our rice heritage, united in our efforts!