Indian culture is not built on any superstition but based on science, which millions believe and continue to perform. In this culture, every facet of life such as Indian women has evolved as a spiritual process, including daily lifestyles like breathing, eating, sitting, and standing.
The beauty of a woman has varied throughout the world with diverse cultures and traditions. Ideal beauty is an entity that admires if it is quiet and decent for the eyes. The beauty of a woman is also integral in our culture. Nothing could have become a tradition or custom without having significance. Have you ever wondered that there could be a scientific reason for these traditional rituals related to Indian women? I bring this article that sums quite nicely the top customs associated with women and the possible scientific reasons and significance they carry with them. After reading this article, you will come to recognize how our inherited traditions related to Indian women possess great scientific values.
WHY DO INDIAN WOMEN GROW LONG HAIRS?
Hair is an elongation of the nervous system. It is a type of highly evolving feelers or antennae and exteriorizes nerves. This nerve transmits vast amounts of important information to the brain stem, the limbic system, and the neocortex. The most sensitive spot is the centre of the head. The tying buns help in saving energy and boost this centre. So our grandmothers and mothers used to have this hairstyle most of the time.
WHY DO WE APPLY TURMERIC?
Turmeric is the best antiseptic natural herb that ensures the killing of all germs on the skin. Moreover, turmeric absorbs all dirt from the skin and provides radiance to the skin. An Indian woman holds a great tradition of applying turmeric added with oil on their body parts to bring a moistening natural glow. The Haldi ceremony is a part of Indian traditional marriages that is the applying of a paste of turmeric on the torso of the bride and the groom at their respective places. It is to bring brightness to the facial expression of the couple to glow radiantly.
The scientific understanding behind it is that turmeric is a wonder herb. On the external application on the entire body will receive the best medicinal advantages of turmeric because of its various medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties etc. Another myth behind it is to fend off evil spirits that cause any impairment to the couple. The practice of turmeric was widely spread in traditional Indian medicine throughout the centuries. So Indian women used this on their skin as they never had skin problems.
WHY DO INDIAN WOMEN APPLY KUMKUM ON THE FOREHEAD?
It is a belief that there is a spot on the forehead between the two eyebrows as the significant nerve point in the human body since ancient times. It is a feeling that the Tilak would prevent the loss of energy. There is a saying that red Kumkum between the eyebrows retain spirit in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying Kumkum, it automatically presses the points on the mid-brow region and Ajna-Chakra. It facilitates the blood supply to the facial muscles.
WHY DO INDIAN MARRIED WOMEN APPLY SINDOOR OR VERMILLION?
It is interesting to note that the applying of Sindoor by married women carries a physiological significance. The application of Sindoor was not just to indicate a married woman. It is a mixture of lime, turmeric, and mercury that helps to decrease blood pressure and also enhance the sexual drive. Hence widows do not use Sindoor. Mercury also helped to bring down feelings of stress and strain. For best results, Sindoor used to from the forehead right down to the pituitary gland – The seat of all thoughts and emotions.
WHY DOES A MARRIED WOMAN WEAR MANGALSUTRA?
Mangalsutra is a pious and auspicious thread tied by a groom to his bride on the day of marriage. Women expect to wear Mangalsutra until their husband’s death. It binds a woman forever with her husband. Gold or turmeric is used to make Mangalsutra, which is known to have bracing effects, and breathing the air around. It helps us to develop the immune system. Gold has Ayurvedic properties like improving heartbeat helps in the improvement of the healthy breast also regularize blood circulation. It is a belief that the wearing of the Mangalsutra with the hollow side facing the body draws the positive energies to the void of the cups.
As it is always a hidden perspective, there will be constant friction of the metal gold touching the body portion directly. So the effect will be more to gain the said benefits. It helps to keep the body and mind healthy. As Indian women tend to work hard, it also controls the body pressure levels. It is not only an ornament and symbol of marital status. Although, it is a device that empowers Hindu married women to keep their family hale and healthy.
WHY DO INDIAN WOMEN PIERCE THEIR EARS?
Piercing the ear has great importance in Indian culture. Ayurveda stated that piercing the ears and wearing earrings control several diseases like Hernia. It also helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and restrict Hysteria. The wearing of earrings also regulates The electric current within the body. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing of the ears and wearing earrings are part of the intellect, the thinking faculties, and the power of decision making would increase. It also helps to contain constant chatter. A process that would drain the body of all its energy assures that person was calmer and maintaining a specific dignity and decorum. The wearing of earrings also curtails the problems associated with the ear channels. This idea appeals to the western world as well. So they are getting their ears pierced to wear fancy earrings as a mark of fashion.
WHY DO INDIAN WOMEN WEAR BANGLES?
Think of Indian women, the images of beautiful bangles in different hues and colours immediately flash before the mind. It is a belief that the tinkling of Bangle in a house kept the negative at bay. Ancient Ayurveda stated that the bones of the women are weaker than those of men. Traditionally, gold and silver were used to make Bangles. These metals help to absorb energy that is transmitted to the body, improving the physiological functioning and the pulse that is felt at the wrist area and used to diagnose several ailments. The constant friction between the bangles and the wrist area ensured good blood circulation. The skin releases the energy that was adopted by metals in the bangles returned to the body. So now we know that bangles were not just new ornaments but also served as good scientific reasons.
WHY DO WE APPLY HENNA ON HANDS & FEET?
When we talk of Indian marriages, we immediately think of the Mehndi Ceremony. Besides lending colour to the hands, Henna is a powerful medicinal herb. The drawing of the beautiful Henna is too intricate patterns on the hands and feet of the bride. Apart from the fact that it looks pretty, there is a very scientific reason behind this. The application of Henna cools the body and brings down fever and headaches. It acts as a cooling agent. Traditional Indian marriages are long driving affairs.
As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixes with nervous anticipation and creates a lot of stress and sometimes fever. The applying of Henna on the hands and feet brings down a fever and reduces tension in the cooling body. It is a natural relaxant. Henna is also a significant antiviral and antifungal agent that helps to keep rashes down and brings down fever and other elements.
WHY DO WE NOT ALLOW PREGNANT WOMEN TO GO OUTSIDE DURING ECLIPSE?
It is a belief that a pregnant woman with an unborn child in her womb should not be allowed to go out. The sun can swallow the abdomen and can affect the unborn child badly. Merely, one must avoid going out during eclipse to keep away from the harmful UV rays. We suggest avoiding causing harm to the eyes or loss of eyesight during the eclipse.
WHY DO INDIAN MARRIED WOMEN WEAR TOE RINGS?
Traditionally, Indian women wore toe rings. The wearing of toe rings is not just the significance of married women. There was a scientific reason behind wearing toe rings. The wearing of Toe rings is mainly on the second toe due to a particular nerve from the second toe that connects the uterus and passes to the heart. It is a belief that the wearing of the toe ring on this finger ensures good circulation of blood and also strengthens the uterus. It also regularises the menstrual cycle and ensures speedy conception. Silver is known to be a good conductor. It also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes them on to the body and also rejuvenates the entire system.
WHY ARE INDIAN WOMEN NOT ALLOWED CERTAIN THINGS WHILE MENSTRUATING?
It is a belief that a woman during her menstruating time was impure & unclean. So, she is not allowed to enter the kitchen or in the temple. Although, the fact behind it was a woman lost so much blood that she became weak and stressed and thus not allowed to do any work to save her from any burden.
WHY DO INDIAN MARRIED WOMEN WORSHIP THE GANESHA UNDER THE PEEPAL TREE?
The Ganesha sitting beneath the peepal tree is a widely popular deity of worship among women. There is a common belief that women who are unable to conceive will be able to do so. It is a saying that if they visit this Vinaaygar every day in the early hours of the morning with wet clothes after a shower and walk-in circles around the tree. The secret behind the miraculous success of this practice is the People Tree.
This tree is known to give out a high amount of oxygen and a very minimal amount of carbon dioxide throughout the day. Oxygen is said to be the best cure for hormonal imbalances in the body and naturally bring undernourished organs back to normal. Gradually the hormones in the uterus start functioning routinely, and the woman can conceive. Wet clothes help in better absorption of oxygen, thus ensuring the maximum benefit of the ritual. The motive behind placing the Pillaiyar there is to convince people to follow it in the name of God as it gives them a reason to pursue it.
AUTHOR’S LAST WORDS
We are thrilled and feel happy to know the real intention of the customs followed in our day to day lives. We have listed a few Indian Customs/Traditions along with the possible scientific reason which we got convinced. In this article, all the reasons are applied. It is solely our understanding and some reference from my parents and grandparents. We conclude with an intention that our ancient customs or traditions have the grandeur of living. So it is our responsibility to pass on this inheritance of rituals to our future generations for a blissful life. In our analysis, traditions should follow to establish the legitimacy of a particular set of values.
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Composed By: Abhay Ghanghas