Medicinal Properties of Rudraksha, The holy Beads

Published: 21st September 2007
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Rudraksha are beads that are considered by Hindus as the eyes of Lord Shiva. Rudra is another name of "Shiva" and "Raksha" is eyes in Sanskrit. The scientific name of the tree from which rudraksha comes from are called "Elaeocarpus sphaericus". The species are usually found in Javanese islands of Indonesia of which 70% are found there, 25% in Nepal and 5% in India (Large numbers in Bihar). Of these Nepali rudraksha are considered most auspicious and beneficial; most likely due to its large size and weight.

There have been many success stories about the wearing of rudraksha in the form of pendants and necklaces. Many have claimed good health and prosperity in their lives. It has brought educational success and spiritual upliftment to many. The "Puranas" i.e. the holy books of the Hindus have mentioned that one who wears a rudraksha becomes like Rudra himself. Up to 14 facets rudraksha have been mentioned in the holy books each one having special properties and providing various benefits. One who wears all 14 is considered very spiritual and achieves Rudra-hood and free from the recycle of Birth.

What did the holy men that wrote the Puranas knew about the rudraksha. They knew that there are health benefits to be taken from wearing the holy rudraksha. Today preliminary pharmacological and biochemical studies have shown that rudraksha indeed has proven medicinal and pharmacological properties. One such rare study used rudraksha extracts to investigate the effects on the permanence of mast cells. Mast cells are protective cells known for their role in allergy along with the involvement in wound healing and defense against pathogens. The results indicate that indeed extracts from the rudraksha make them more stable indicating a case for improving bronchial asthma. Similarly, another study reported extracts from dried "Elaeocarpus sphaericus" fruits (rudraksha) exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in animal models of bronchitis. Moreover, these extracts where able to illustrate noticeable antimicrobial action including Salmonella.

These results indicate potential pharmacological properties of rudraksha that require further investigation. Sources for this article include Phytotherapy research and Phytomedicine.

It is generally accepted by many Bihari that by performing for their departed ancestors they will obtain their blessings. According to the "Purans" there are five places where the can be performed. One such a place is Bodhgaya, famous for performing Pind Dan for ancestors on the bank of the river Falgu. A "Putrudosh nirvana" rudraksha mala is generally usually used by many while performing such a feat at Gaya. Wearing such a rudraksha mala helps the growth, eliminates family problems and helps increase affection within family members.

Bihar is the home of the best rudraksha trees in India. Biharis have always been fond of rudraksha. If you happen to be at in Bihar you will find many Yogis sitting cross-legged with rudraksha mala round their necks or using it to perform fixed number of jaaps (recitation of mantras).

There are several jewelers in Bihar that deal with rudraksha malas as there considered expensive and some relatively rare. However caution should be maintained as there are many fake dealers and offer high prices. If considering buying a rudraksha it is worth traveling to Nepal by crossing the passport free border where it can be easily obtained for a fraction of a price sold in India.

Many rudraksha trees are found in Bihar. Shalini Singh is a commentator from the state of Bihar, India.

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