Dr A. Mathuram
1877 to 1944
Dr. A. Mathuram
Rao Bahadur Dr A Mathuram was one of the city’s notable medical practitioner.
His father Dr. Samuel Mathuram is the one who decreed ‘Mathuram’ (honey/nectar in Sanskrit) should be the family name, though we don’t know exactly why.
He was a Christian missionary doctor who served in many places throughout
southern India for 46 years,”
Dr. Samuel Mathuram was also the recipient of the formulae of
his grandfather Nallamuthu Visuvasam’s natural remedies.
Visuvasam was a well-respected physician from Tirunelveli who had formulated his medicines based on his interactions with Hindu ascetics in the early 19th century.
Dr Samuel’s son Dr A. Mathuram was born in 1877 in Irungalur near Trichy.
After the death of his first wife (after the birth of another son),
Dr. Samuel moved to Nazareth near Tuticorin.
He was a precocious child, “even though he had already done an
LMP (Licentiate Medical Practitioner) degree, considered a
high qualification at that time.
He decided to switch over to proper medical studies after getting inspired by the words on the page of a pulpit Bible while praying in church, which he felt urged
him to go and minister the sick and serve the poor.”
He completed his studies at the Prince of Wales Medical School,
Thanjavur, in 1900 and served in the government for five years before
deciding to strike out on his own.
Starting his practice in Virudhunagar, he moved to
Viswanaikanpettai (near modern-day Tennur), in Trichy, choosing
two adjacent houses to function as his clinic and residence.
Unlike other doctors of the period who were rejecting native cures in favor of Western medicine, Dr. A. Mathuram promoted Ayurvedic therapies in Trichy.
The most common ailments at the time were anemia and malaria, cures for which people thronged the doctor’s clinic.
“Dr. A. Mathuram wanted to give people medicines that were
reasonably priced, and used natural ingredients.
“Inspired by a song with the words ‘Guru Marunthu, Maru Marunthu’ playing next door, Dr. A. Mathuram decided to name his company Guru Medicine,”
With Guru indicative of Jesus Christ, whose image is also part of the product logo.
By the early 1900s, Dr. A.Mathuram’s formulations were selling well in Burma, Malaya and Sri Lanka. Among the more famous of those was
Guru Thylam (Best remedy for pain and cold)
The British honour's of ‘Rao Bahadur’ and ‘Rao Sahib’ were conferred to
Dr. A. Mathuram as his medical career flourished.
Seven children were born to Dr. A.Mathurams, four sons and three daughters,
most of who went on to serve as medical practitioners.
The eldest, born in 1904, was Dr. Edward Paul, who joined his
father in the Guru Medicine enterprise in 1930 after completing
his medical studies. Later on, he was also active in politics,
serving as Member of Legislative Assembly and Member of Parliament.
The second son, Dr. Naoroji Mathuram also joined the family firm in 1935.
The third, Mr. George Rothschild, served in the army and upon retirement, joined the judicial service and went on to become District Judge.
The Fourth Dr. Bannerji Mathuram (Dr. Enoch.B. Mathurams’s grandfather), completed his medical studies in Madras Medical College and joined the government service. He retired as District Medical Officer (DMO) in Trichy after serving in Cuddalore (formerly South Arcot) and Salem in the late 1960s.
Subsequent generations have shown a similar affinity for medicine, with
Dr. Samuel Ayyathurai Mathuram
Dr. Bapu Isaac Mathuram
Dr. Ann Duraisami
Dr. Joseph C Mathuram
Dr.John Mathuram (Dr.Enoch B Mathuram’s father)
all distinguishing themselves in their chosen field, followed by
Dr. Enoch. B. Mathuram the 7th generation in the family
is now carrying out the legacy of
Dr. A. Mathuram's health service to the people of Tiruchy at
(Credits Dr.Bapu Isaac Mathuram)