The Cholayil tradition was born in the 17th century and competent stewardship of various Ayurvedic practitioners has gradually turned it into a household name.
Cholayil — a company rooted in tradition but modern in its thought and approach — strongly believes that going the natural Ayurvedic way is best for your skin. A company that turned to nature for a business idea, we are a pioneer in the field of Ayurveda-based personal care products. We introduced our flagship brand Medimix in 1969, acquired the brands Cuticura and Krishna Thulasi in 2001 and 2011 respectively and have implemented several strategic initiatives since 2007 including revamping the brands and launching new products. These judicious decisions have resulted in our Cholayil brands building a healthy legacy and the company becoming a dominant player with strong brand equity in the personal care industry.
Over the years, Cholayil’s rich legacy has been carried forward by many renowned Ayurvedic practitioners, each of whom made their own contribution towards a naturally healthy society.
Shri Manikyan was the first proponent of the Cholayil family. This prestigious family has contributed several Ayurvedic practitioners to society like Shri Manikyan’s son Shri Raman Vaidyar and grandson Shri Brahmasree Kunju Maami Vaidyar. When the Cholayil family spread all over Edamuttam in Kerala, the region came to be known as ‘Cholayil Ara’, a name that old timers still refer to as today.
Shri Raman Vaidyar
Born in 1845, Shri Raman Vaidyar, the son of Shri Manikyan, also contributed to the society with various Ayurvedic treatment procedures and cures. Owing to this, the term Vadiyar was added to his name as a mark of the people’s respect. He was a great scholar in Sanskrit and was highly ranked in Ayurvedic science, apart from being a wonderful orator. He has the distinction of having cured several fatal diseases with simple medicines.
Brahmasree Cholayil Kunju Maami Vaidyar
Brahmasree Cholayil Kunju Maami Vaidyar (15.12.1865 – 03.03.1933), once known all over India as modern Dhanvantari, was a miracle man in the world of medicine. The firstborn son of Shri Raman Vaidyar and Kunju Kaliyamma, he came from a rich family of Kazhimpramdesom of Nattika and came to be known as a great scholar who trained more than a thousand men in the ancient science of Ayurveda. Right from childhood, he was taught the basic lessons in Sanskrit and Ayurveda by his father Shri Raman Vaidyar. He was also sent to study medicine from his relative and famous physician Chandu Vaidyar of Pokkanchery, under whose tutelage he gained practical training in addition to learning everything about medicine. It is said that during this training that spanned many years, Kunju Maami Vaidyar performed many miraculous treatments.
An expert in Panchakarma and Chemistry, he was efficient at curing many diseases that had otherwise been denounced as incurable. In fact, he was considered to be like Bhrihaspathi in medical science and like the Aswani Gods in medical treatment, shining like a God among humans who performed many miracles through nature-based treatment procedures. He was a wonder in the field of treatment. He handled all the eight divisions of treatment, viz. daivam, siddham, manusham, paishacham, rakshasam, prakruthom, bhouthikom and manasam (god, siddham, human endeavours, devilish, demoniac, uncivilized, materialistic, and mental) with aplomb. It was believed by both men of medicine and common folk alike that there were no equals to this modern Dhanvantari.
A humble soul who did not desire name and fame, the Brahmasree’s academic pursuits were also extensive. He published Narajanmodyeshyam, Vishoochika sudarshanam, Samoohyaprarthan and also a detailed explanation of the first chapter of Ashtangahrudaya-Ayushkamiyam. Additionally, he translated many books from Tamil like Thirukkural, Vrithiprabhakaram, Vicharachandrodayam and Athmabodham. He is also the author of various unpublished works like Vedanthasaram, Rasathanthram, Athmavicharam, Chikitsanotukal, Sree Kunju Maami Samhitha, Ushnirudha Manipravalakavyam and Narada Yadava Samvadam. Further, he started a school on his own land – first named the Kazhimbram School and later renamed the Valiyaparambil Paru Memorial (UP School), Kazhimbram – to facilitate the education of local children.
In 1980, the Brahmasree’s book on medicine – Ayushkamiya Vyakhyanam – was published by his grandson Dr. Sudhakaran who also released a biography.
Shri Sankaran Vaidyar
The firstborn son of Brahmasree Cholayil Kunju Maami Vaidyar, Shri Sankaran Vaidyar (14.11.1889 – 30.01.1952) turned to Ayurveda after school, being taught by his father himself. Post that, in order to achieve knowledge in modern medical science, he stayed with Doctor Palghat Rao Bahadur Krishnan for 5 years then and started his own practice. When Shri Sankaran Vaidyar started to display his proficiency in treatment, his father the Brahmashree began to focus only on treating rare diseases by travelling to other parts of the country. Many medically skilled people from remote places around the country used to approach him for practical knowledge.
Shri Sankaran Vaidyar was well known for providing not only free treatment for poor patients but also helping them financially to buy medicines, sometimes even facilitating their lodging. He treated patients without any bias towards religion, caste or financial status, often travelling as far as Chennai and Kanchipuram for his medical practice. As a noble disciple of Sri Narayana Guru, he also treated many of the Guru’s followers. And although he did his job without expecting any rewards, many rich patients gifted him a lot of wealth out of their happiness at being cured by him. He was also honoured several times by his patients for curing them from many diseases that had defeated Allopathy doctors.
After the demise of his father Brahmasree Kunju Maami Vaidyar, he constructed a memorial at Edamuttam and established infirmary where he started providing free treatment to poor patients.
Sri Sankaran Vaidyar’s eldest son Doctor Harshan mastered modern medical science and ancient Ayurveda with equal ease and went on to become a reputed doctor in Nattika. His second son, Poornamodan, was the principal of Brennen College, Tellicherry. The third son, Somasundaran, was an officer in the Indian railways. The fourth and fifth sons, Doctor Sudhakaran and Doctor Sundaran respectively, are renowned Ayurvedic doctors with healing skills just like their late father.
Dr. V.P. Sidhan
Among many proficient visionaries at Cholayil, one name that clearly stands out is Dr. V.P. Sidhan (19.12.1931 – 26.02.2011). His vision and innovative thinking, coupled with extensive ongoing research, has resulted in many reputed Ayurvedic health care formulations. In 1969, by combining traditional wisdom and modern enrichment, he conceptualised the wonder bar Medimix – a natural remedy to multiple skin-related issues – during his academic pursuits. And being an astute businessman, he understood the importance and the power of communication and soon turned a simple Ayurveda product into a highly sought-after brand.
He was deeply devoted to popularising the Ayurvedic system of medicine as an economical, definite and effective alternative to other forms of medicine. With an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Ayurveda, he was clinically efficient in not only identifying various herbs and plants but also in preparing and administering Ayurvedic formulations in various forms for effectively treating many ailments. His extensive research in Ayurvedic Drugs enabled him to formulate more than 100 Ayurvedic cures for various common diseases.
His business acumen was lauded by the Lions Club, with whom he was associated in the capacity of District Chairman for over a decade. The Rotary Club International also conferred upon him the prestigious ‘Vocational Excellence Award’ for his exceptional humanitarian work. He has and will forever remain the driving force behind Cholayil. During his tenure, he presided over many herbal conferences. International Congress Ayurveda 2000, initiated by Late Dr. V. P. Sidhan at Chennai, witnessed the largest gathering of medical fraternity of both Ayurveda and Allopathy & is considered as one of the most significant Ayurvedic conferences.