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Manikadai nool, a Sidha method of diagnosis

👤Lakshmi Narayanan 🕔10-July-2013
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Manikadai nool is a traditional diagnosis method used in the Sidha medicine, with a Vedic origin. What makes Manikadai nool different is that unlike other diagnosis methods, patients themselves can diagnose their disease and know the progress 

By Lakshmi Narayanan

Diagnosis is the basis of all treatments and that it is more difficult and complex than the treatment itself. Every medical system has its own methods to diagnose a disease. But in some cases, diagnosis methods prove unsuccessful or become a long process. Either way, the patient is the sufferer and paying a huge price for the delay in starting right treatment.               

In the traditional medical practices, we can see different methods of diagnosis which are not time-consuming. Manikadai nool is such a diagnosis method used in the Sidha medicine, with a Vedic origin. What makes Manikadai nool different is that unlike other diagnosis methods, patients themselves can diagnose their disease and know the progress.

Manikadai nool is one of the many tools used in Sidha practice. It is a Sanskrit word, ‘mani’ means the protuberance of wrist, ‘kadai’ means the finger breadth and ‘nool’ means thread or twine. Detailed information on this practice is available in Saint Agasthya’s classical medical literary work Agasthya’s Soodamani Kayaru Soothram. Also this method was used by Vedhamamuni, a student of Sidhar Agasthya, who was a proponent of the Sidha medicine.

“Today, many Sidha medical practitioners use this method to diagnose diseases in Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam. As it provides good results, many patients prefer it,” says Reshmi Abhilash, a Sidha practitioner and a Manikadai nool expert at Santhigiri Sidhasramam in Kottayam. 


In the application of Manikadai nool, the doctor measures the circumference of the right wrist using a twine, then the twine is removed from the wrist and is placed on a plain surface and the measurement of the twine is taken by the patient’s fingers. Count the total length of thread in terms of finger units. The only thing should be taken care of is that the twine should be non-elastic. The progress of the disease is calculated by the number of fingers.  Usually, the length of the twine starts with four fingers and ends with 11 fingers.

Main measurements as follows

In this method, the measurement starts from 4 to 11 number of finger breadths. If the measurement starts from 11th finger breadth, it states that the body is in an oedematous condition and the presence of heat is high in the body. Here, the patient is in a very critical stage and the patient should immediately seek further treatments.

In the middle of 11-10 fingers breadth, it’s a highly diseased condition but can be cured with proper medicine.

In 8th finger, it is also a curable condition and there should be some disturbances related to the stomach. 

In 6th finger breadth, it’s an incurable condition and after 20 days, death will occur.

In the case of 5 ¼ th to 4th finger breadth, the illness is in a deteriorated condition.


  • Do not use any plastic twines or threads, which may lead to false reading
  • Avoid too much tight and loose while measuring the circumference of the arm
  • This measurement should be converted into finger breadth units with the finger breadth of the patient concerned 
  • Accuracy in the performance is to be adopted strictly

Do not measure the affected forearm in the case of hemophilia, fracture etc.

  • Prognosis can be confirmed
  • Simple and painless procedure
  • Less expensive diagnosis

Manikadai nool is not applicable in case: 
  • Lack of standardisation
  • Insufficient source for reference
  • Ignorance
  • Lack of confidence

Diagnosis sample 

Name: Sobha
Age: 50 years
Sex: Female
Naadi: Kapha, Pitham
Complaints: Decreased appetite, sleeplessness, headache and epigastric pain
Diagnosis: Gunman (Ulcer)    
Manikadai nool measurement: 8 finger breadth
Inference: Peenism, throat pain, peptic ulcer and dropsy

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