Background: Traditional Medicine throughout the world has been passed on to the next generation mostly by oral tradition. The two codified medical traditions of India, Ayurveda and Siddha have also been similarly promoted and the medical literature is in the poetic form for continuity and easy memorization. Subsequently they were written down in palm leaves. Not all palm manuscripts, treasure of knowledge have been converted into books. Objective: To collect and digitize the traditional Siddha medical knowledge documented in the Siddha palm manuscripts in the possession of Traditional healers. Materials and Methods: The Centre for Traditional Medicine, Tamil Nadu, India, carried out survey among different practitioners of Traditional Medicine in northern Tamil Nadu, to locate and collect palm manuscripts and followed it with preservation, cataloging and digitization using digital scanners and photographic equipment. Results: Two hundred and fifty six works were analyzed and this paper presents the age, authorship, subject content and status of the palm manuscripts. Conclusion: The traditional knowledge present in the palm manuscripts are undergoing decay and the persons with knowledge to decipher are less. Hence there is an urgent need to decipher and publish the contents as books.
Key words: Siddha, palm manuscripts, Traditional knowledge, survey, India, Tamil Nadu, Ayurveda.