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Traditional Indian bride adorned in jewellery

Indians are known for their exaggerated use of jewellery. The ancients of Indian culture designed a system to regulate overall physical health by apportioning jewellery patterns to men and women, which controlled certain vital functions. Modernity has done away with most of these traditions, but it is interesting to understand the scientific reasons behind Indian jewellery traditions.

The tropical climate and the rich traditions of India ensure that the woman is always kept busy. She is either tending to the household chores, cooking, or looking after her family. Most pieces of jewellery that she wears, act as a source of energy on her body. The anklets that she wears on her feet, create a jingling sound with every movement. They are usually made of silver, and the metal is believed to have properties of earthing. Excess heat produced from walking too much or working is directed towards earth to prevent fatigue. The bangles worn on the hand perform a similar function, except that they are made of materials like glass, gold, ivory, and lac. They don't necessarily radiate heat away from the body, but they retain the energy required for working by preventing loss of circulation. As the woman moves her hand up and down, the bangles move with it and ensure good blood circulation.

Photo by Sonuj Giri on Unsplash Women wearing ankletsUnsplash

Rings form an important part of many cultures, and the style, size, and quality of the ring denote various meanings. The style of the matrimonial ring signifies the linguistic culture one belongs to, while the choice of stone denotes wealth. Wearing rings on the ring finger are believed to regulate the emotions of a person as it connects to the radial artery in the heart. The ring is usually worn on the left hand to signify marriage. Wearing rings on other fingers places emphasis on supplementary neural functions.

The armlet is not a very popular piece of jewellery in modern India, but people still tie sacred threads and amulets to their arms. This is to signify good luck and protection, but scientifically it also regulates the saturation of fat in this area. The kamarband, or waist band is also worn to serve a similar purpose. It prevents the accumulation of fat in the torso.

South Indian women wear armlets for all auspicious occasions Image source: Photo by Jignasa on UnsplashUnsplash

Married women wear toe rings made of silver, which regulate their menstrual flow, and prevent gynecological problems. They also pierce the left side of their nose, as it is believed to regulate the pain levels in the uterus. Childbirth is considerably less painful in women who wear a nose ring. The maang tikka is also considered to be an important marital ornament that signifies union of the spouses.

In today's culture, men and women still wear necklaces, chains, and earrings. Wearing a chain is believed to regulate the flow of blood near the heart and the brain. Earrings are associated with acupuncture. Men who do not want to wear earrings, or those who belong to linguistic cultures where earrings are not permitted for male members, usually just pierce their ears in childhood. This is believed to improve concentration, and prevents kidney problems. Wearing heavier earrings keeps a woman alert.

Raja Ravi Verma's depiction of a typical Indian woman Image source: wikipediawikimedai

Apart from these health benefits, wearing jewellery beautifies the body, and the weight of the metal aligns the body symmetrically. Despite the advent of globalisation and the use of makeup to beautify the body, opting for jewellery is a healthier choice.

Keywords: Jewellery, Health Benefits, Tradition, Science


Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

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