Sunlight: Your Miraculous Medicine and Life Force
Recently, one of my friends narrated his amazing experience. His daughter, a tenth standard student, became extremely moody and tired. She lost her enthusiasm for studies. She showed no interest in doing anything. She was expressing symptoms of depression. So she was taken to a psychiatrist who happened to be their relative. After a consultation, he advised testing vitamin D3 level in her blood.
The blood test revealed that vitamin D3 level was low. The doctor asked her to walk for at least half an hour in the morning sun regularly. She began to follow the doctor’s instruction sincerely. An amazing improvement was noticed in the condition of the girl within one month. She became energetic both physically and mentally. Her vitamin D3 level increased to normal after two months and she became enthusiastic and happy again.
Lack of Sun exposure: Cause of Concern
Vitamin D3, also known as Cholecalciferol, is the only vitamin that is produced by the human body itself on exposure to the sun. So, it is often known as ‘sunshine vitamin’. Another form of vitamin D is vitamin D2, also called as ergocalciferol and received from foods and supplements. Vitamin D has a pivotal role in our health.
Nowadays, people tend to become afraid of sunrays and try to avoid exposure to direct sunlight even in the mornings and evenings. They fear that the radioactive rays will tarnish and harm their skin, even causing skin cancer. Many beauty conscious people are using sunscreens, masks or umbrellas on sunny days to protect their skin complexion and beauty.
Modern lifestyle compels people to be confined within doors during the daytime. Many people stay in air-conditioned houses and commute to AC offices in AC cars. Such people naturally are in the danger of not getting enough exposure to the sun. Modern scientific researchers have proved that exposure to vital natural sunlight is absolutely essential for our health and wellbeing. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin through photo-synthetic reaction activated by exposure to UVB rays of the sun. So exposure to sunlight is the natural and easiest way for you to get abundant vitamin D.
Alarming scientific studies
Many scientific studies reveal that Vitamin D deficiencies are widespread in various populations causing a wide variety of health problems. According to a recent report by Assocham 80 percent of people in Delhi suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. It is not possible to get adequate amounts of this vital nutrient from your diet alone. According to a recent study by Dr. Adet Ginde, a famous epidemiologist at the University of Colorado, a large number of people fall short of vitamin D and suffer from serious health hazards. He found that individuals with inadequate levels of Vitamin D have double the risk of heart attack compared to those with no such deficiency.
Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California found that getting enough sunshine-vitamin lowers the risk of cancers of breast, prostate, colon and even skin. Different studies show that these types of cancers are less prevalent in places where people are exposed to sunlight more frequently.
Michel Melamed of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City found in a 12 years study of 13,000 men and women that adults who do not get enough sunshine-vitamin are 26 percent more likely to die early.
Sunlight activates endocrine glands
Sunlight contains seven rainbow colors (VIBGYOR). Each of these colors activates each of the seven chakras of the body from the crown chakra to the root chakra and the various endocrine glands. This will help to restore the hormone imbalance in the body and maintain holistic health.
Colour Chakra Endocrine glands
Violet Crown chakra Pineal
Indigo Third eye (Ajana) Pituitary
Blue Throat (Vishuddha) Thyroid
Green Heart (Anahata) Thymus
Yellow Solar plexus (Manipura) Pancreas
Orange Sacral (Swadhisthana) Gonads
Red Root (Mooladhara) Adrenal
The Hira Ratan Manek effect
An Indian, named Hira Ratan Manek stunned the world by showing that he could live without food for years by absorbing energy from the sun through his eyes. In an experiment by NASA scientists in 2003, he lived without any food for 130 days under the strict supervision of the scientists. He was allowed only to gaze the sun for one hour every day. Even after such a long period without any kind of food, he was perfectly healthy and energetic. During sun-gazing sun rays passing through his eyes activated the brain cells and the pineal gland, subsequently influencing other endocrine glands. He could really receive energy from the sun. This amazing effect was named as Hira Ratan Manek effect or HRM effect by the NASA scientists.
The Vedic literature also highlights the miraculous healing powers of sunlight. Rig-Veda says that the rays of the sun are very powerful for curing common diseases like heart problem, jaundice, anemia, cholesterol etc. and also for prolonging the lifespan.
The Atharva Veda states that sunlight is the elixir of life.
Nowadays there are many people who regularly practice sun yoga. They mainly do sun gazing in the early morning along with other exercises. Surya Namaskar is another popular exercise in yoga.
Factors hindering the production of sunshine vitamin
It is understood that a number of factors are hindering or influencing the natural Vitamin D production during sunlight exposure.
Use of sunscreens:
As I have stated earlier, a large number of people nowadays are using sunscreens to protect their skin from U.V. radiation from the sun. But it is found that Vitamin D production will be hindered by the use of sunscreen. Also, the chemicals in the sunscreen may harm your skin. So it is recommended to avoid the use of sunscreens as far as possible, especially if you are in need of Vit. D. Remember that the sunrays in the morning and evening are not harmful to your skin. However, it is necessary to avoid direct sunlight during the noontime especially in the hot summer to avoid excess UV rays and the incidence of sunstroke.
Skin color: Individuals with fair skin need only lesser exposure to the sunlight than the person with dark skin. It is found that African – Americans in North America have a much higher rate of cancer than other ethnic groups with fair complexion.
Obesity: Researchers have found that excess fat in the body of an individual impairs Vitamin D utilization. It is estimated that obese people need about twice as much Vitamin D as required by non-obese individuals to maintain proper health. So, fatty individuals require much more sun exposure than others.
Age: It is found that enzyme in the skin that helps to produce vitamin D, decreases with the advance of age and hence elderly people are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. So elders should deliberately increase the duration of sun exposure. They may also consider taking supplements of vitamin D to avoid the risk of deficiency.
Sunlight: A miraculous medicine
Sunlight therapy is an ancient healing art. From very ancient times sunlight was used for healing infections and killing bacteria by several societies. Sunlit hospital wards have fewer bacteria in them compared to other wards. Also, patients in the hospital wards where enough sunlight is available are seen recovering faster. In the pre-antibiotic era, sunlight was commonly used as an antibiotic and antiseptic medicine.
Sunlight boosts the immune system
George Town University Medical Centre researchers have found that sunlight activates key infection-fighting immune cells by increasing their movements. The white blood cells (lymphocytes) are activated by sunlight exposure and it helps the body to guard against infections.
Maintains bone health
Our body’s calcium absorption is adversely affected by the Vit.D deficiency. So, sufficient levels of Vit.D is essential for our bone health. It is found that the major cause of osteoporosis, a bone crippling disease, is the shortage of Vit.D. So, sufficient sunlight exposure can help us prevent bone diseases and maintain bone strength and health.
Sunlight: A mood elevator
It has been found by researchers that exposure to sunlight can increase the levels of serotonin in your brain which is associated with lifting your mood and inducing tranquility. Lack of sun exposure can cause a dip in serotonin level which can lead to a higher risk of depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Better cognitive function
Studies show that people deficient in vitamin D3 have a poorer cognitive ability. Hence elders need larger amounts of this vitamin and so, longer periods of sun exposure to boost their declining mental abilities.
It is found that more exposure to sunlight during daytime will help to produce more sleep hormone, melatonin, in the night resulting in better and deeper sleep.
Dr. Harry Benjamin, the famous German- American endocrinologist and writer, recommends sun gazing for improving eyesight and healing the common diseases of the eye naturally.
Other benefits of sun exposure
Researchers have found that sufficient sun exposure can improve your health in several other ways also.
- Lowers high blood pressure.
- Accelerates the growth of babies and children
- Helps to reduce cholesterol and excess fat
- Improves brain functions
- Helps to heal skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis etc.
- Improves the functions endocrine glands
- Helps to solve infertility problems
- Reduces the symptoms of asthma, cold and cough
- Improves the neuromuscular functions
- Helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus
- Helps to delay aging of the brain and reduces the chance of dementia.
You can make sunlight your miraculous medicine and priceless tonic as the well-known poet Charles Reznikoff who said; “I will walk by myself and cure myself in the sunshine and the wind’.
Vit. D Supplements
It is not easy to get the adequate amount of Vit. D from food alone. One source of Vit. D is cod liver oil which can be used as a supplement. One teaspoonful per day or equivalent no of capsules of cod liver oil may be enough for most people. But, an overdose of Vit. D can cause toxicity. So it is better to check the Vit.D level in your blood before using supplements.
Why Sunshine is the best option?
One important thing to bear in mind is that there is no possibility of getting Vit. D – toxicity, even after too much exposure to sun because of the self-regulating mechanism of the body. The body will generate only the required amounts of Vit.D from sunlight. That is why Dr. Joseph Mercola, the Director of the optimal wellness center, Chicago, suggested that getting enough sunlight is the simplest, safest and cheapest way of getting enough Vit.D. and keeping yourself disease free. Sunlight is the life force of earth and all its living organisms.
Let us always remember what the famous American poet and novelist Roman Pyne loved to sing;
‘O! Sunlight, the most precious gold to be found on earth’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. JOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer, and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course co-ordinator of MHRM.
He is a columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV. He is the author of five best-selling books:
- ‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
- Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
- Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(CSS, Thiruvalla)2ndEdition
- Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
- Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)
As a trainer, he has conducted more than a thousand seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha.
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