I injured the tissues around my right hamstring during the kung fu training in wintertime in China. It wasn’t a rupture, which would enable my further training. But, every time I was doing a front kick, I had pain around the ischial tuberosity (see the picture).

Also, my flexibility in the right leg decreased considerably. It was visible, especially during the power stretching when I had to lay on my back, and the other person pulled my one straight leg towards my head. My right leg wouldn’t go more than 90 degrees, while my left leg almost touched my chest.

I was using a lot of warm bottles and tiger balm to deal with the pain. I was also stretching with caution. Surprisingly, I could do splits on both legs (I probably compensated for my injury by shifting the pelvis). The pain decreased when the summer came.

Appointment with KALARICHIKILSA Doctor

After one year at kung fu school, I went to India to train Kalaripayattu. During the training, I still felt a lot of pain in my right leg. Luckily, the place where we were training was also a hospital specializing in Kalarichikilsa – a traditional Ayurvedic treatment based on Kalaripayattu ancient knowledge. Kalaripayattu Masters created Kalarichikilsa to treat injuries from fights or training.

Such an opportunity!!! How could I not have taken advantage of it!!!

After two days of training, I had an appointment with the hospital chief, who prescribed me… AN OIL! In the afternoon, I applied it to my right and left leg before the training. The pain has immediately decreased.

Discovering the secret ingredients

I asked about the oil ingredients. The son of the chief physician told me that his mum made it, and he didn’t know the components. Fortunately, the lady in a pharmacy wrote a small label on the bottle:

Elathailam + siddhartha thailam
make little hot before use for pain.

After a long research in internet I found this information:


The base of thailam is Sesame oil. It is prepared by adding water extracts of specified medicines (Kashayam), Juice (Swarasa), or Paste (Kalka) to the base. The mixture is prepared at regulated temperatures.  It has specific actions according to the herbal ingredients in it. It is used externally and sometimes internally.S1

Both Ela and Siddharta are Sanskrit names. The ingredients turned out to be well-known spices used by many people as food ingredients.


I found information that would explain why the oil containing cardamom was prescribed for my hamstring problem.

  • Cardamom oil is highly effective in curing muscular spasms. It has a warming effect.

Apart from that, when ingested, it promotes urination, improves digestion, and boost metabolism.S2


It has many health benefits, among others:

  • improves a cholesterol balance,
  • contains antibacterial and antifungal properties,
  • improves skin and hair health,
  • treats gum diseases,

And, important for me, the mustard oil:

  • helps to release stiffness in the muscles, bringing relief for sore and aching muscles.

Firstly, because it contains selenium, which has anti-inflammatory properties, which means that the micro-injuries created during the intense training in the muscles will heal faster.

Secondly, massage with mustard oil increases blood circulation, in this way relaxing and rejuvenating tired muscles.S3, S4

Traditional Kalarichikilsa Treatment

However, although the pain decreased, it was still present after a few days of applying oil. For this reason, I had the next appointment with the headmaster. He prescribed the traditional kalarichikilsa treatment.

It was a massage with a bag (mainly containing turmeric) poured in a medical hot oil. What surprised me the most: even the lady, who was in charge of making the massage and who was working already a few years in the hospital, didn’t know the oil ingredients. It was a secret. Only a doctor knew it and the people who were in charge of preparing the oils.

I had four days of treatment. It was very relaxing and comfortable. It gave immediate relief to the pain. However, the injury hasn’t healed 100%.

The Kalarichikilsa treatments contributed to my hamstrings being in better condition. However, in the end, it was time, and all the treatments combined, that did a job.


1st Year Kung Fu

Hamstring Injury

30-Day Kalaripayattu

Training Experience – Part 1

Hamstring Recovery

Becoming More Flexible