Scientific reasons behind common Indian traditions – 2


In my last article I have written about scientific reasons behind common Indian traditions and customs. This is the continuation of same article. Here I am going to tell you about some more common practices / traditions and health benefits / scientific reasons behind them. Scroll to know more.

Scientific reasons and health benefits of ear piercing:

Piercing ears is one of the markable rituals in Indian tradition. Though earrings / ear piercing has become a trend these days, this ancient Indian ritual has its own health benefits. In general, the ear piercing is done before the child turns one year, as it helps in brain development of the child. Ayurveda says, the centre point of the ear lobe is the main acupressure point of the body. These points are called master sensorial and master cerebral points. Simulation of these meridian points helps in quick and healthy development of the brain. On the other hand, it is also associated with reproductive health of both males and females. In females it helps to maintain menstrual cycle and in males it helps in sperm production. By wearing earrings, the problems associated with the ear channels are also prevented.

Reasons of sitting on the floor and eating:

Sitting on the floor with crossed legs (sukhasana) is the traditional Indian practice. Sukhasana and Padmasana are the two ideal postures that helps in digestion and improves flexibility. Sitting in sukhasana circulates blood equally all over the body thereby relaxing the heart muscles. While having food, Indian tradition says to keep the plate on the floor and sit before it with crossed leg. And to eat by bending down towards the plate and coming back to normal position. By doing so throughout the meals, it helps to secrete digestive juices, hence aids in good digestion. This posture also strengthens the core and abdominal area. Sitting down and getting up upgrades the body movement and we feel full sooner. Hence, sitting down on the floor while eating also helps in weight loss. Alongside, this also helps to relieve joint pains and cures arthritis.


Significance of touching the feet of elders:

Everyone in Indian household, teaches this custom from childhood. Touching elders’ feet is the way of showing respect to them. Also, by doing so, youngsters get knowledge, fame and intellect. This is not just a belief or mere practice, there is a scientific reason behind this gesture. Moreover, it is mandatory to touch the feet with crossed hands. This is because, human body is a circuit of positive and negative energies. Positive current flows in right part of the body and negative current flows in left part. When we touch the elders’ feet by keeping our ego aside, it creates compassion in them. The positivity associated with heart and soul enters the one who touches the feet. Furthermore, the nerves emerging from cerebrum are spread all over the body.

So, when we touch the contrary feet, it creates energy convergence of two bodies. The palm and fingertips of the one who touch feet becomes receptor. And the toes and feet of elder becomes provider of energy.

Why we should not sleep facing north direction:

Sleeping is the most prominent routine to fuel up our body. Same way, sleeping in the right direction is also as important to re-energize our body. We know, earth and human body have their own magnetic fields. Also, that, earth’s magnetic field is higher at the north and south poles. So, when we sleep while pointing our head to north direction, the magnetic field of our body and earth come in contact with each other. This causes fluctuation in blood pressure, heart needs to work harder in such situation. Hence, it causes heart problems. Elderly people and heart patients may have risk of getting stroke and haemorrhage. In addition, this practice also leads to the magnetic pull of iron in blood to the brain causing after-sleep headaches.

Eating betel leaf after meal:

Just imagine having a flavourful paan or betel leaf with areca nut after a scrumptious meal! The imagination itself activates our salivary gland, right? It’s become a habit for many to chew betel leaves after meals. But most of them says it’s not a good habit. Debates aside, eating betel leaves is as good as it is. These heart shaped glossy leaves offer a lot of health benefits to humankind as they are a rich source of calcium. In addition, it also has vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, carotene etc.

Firstly, betel leaves produce warmth in the body with a great potency. The alkaline properties of these leaves neutralize the pH imbalance in the stomach, thereby improving digestion. This also relieves constipation as it’s a good source of antioxidants that remove radicals from the body. The phenolic compounds in the betel leaf stimulates the release of catecholamines which helps in enhancing good mood. Thus, chewing betel leaf also works as antidepressant. Not only oral intake, but external application of this leaf also helps curing several conditions. It acts as anti-inflammatory product due to its analgesic property. Boiling this leaf in water and drinking it helps to relieve respiratory related problems like cough, chest congestion etc. 

Significance of applying sacred ash / vibhuti:

The sacred ash is of two types, the one which yogis apply is collected from cremation grounds, this is what bhasma is. On the other hand, vibuti, which the spiritual seekers apply is made from dry cow dung or rice bran. Applying vibhuti energizes the body and activates 7 chakras. In general, the holy ash is applied on the forehead. Other than this, some people also apply it on other energy points like, on the soft tissues behind ears, on the chest, under the rib cage. These points are where agna, anahta and manipura chakras are present in the body. According to acupressure science, the point between the eyebrows is where the nerves converge. Massaging this point relieves stress. Also, applying vibhuti on forehead, especially at this point helps to relieve headache due to exposure to sun. Alongside, the ash also absorbs moisture in the body and prevents cold.

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