SUNLIGHT AND HEALTH
By His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati
This article is an extract from the book Health and Happiness, authored by His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati and first published in 1950.
The electronic publication of this article on this webpage is with the blessings and kind permission from The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh.
HEALTH TIPS > SUNLIGHT AND HEALTH
- Today Sunlight has been scientifically studied, its properties have been investigated and its effects tabulated, and its use has been standardised. It stands now as one of the foremost agencies in the prevention and treatment of diseases.
- Sunlight is the best masseur. It heals diseased bones, builds up weakened muscles, clears up infected tissues, and restores crippled bodies to health. The Sun treatment (Heliotherapy) must be continued for months.
- The Sun is the source of life. A Hindu worships the Sun as a God. For the ancient Aryans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, the Sun was the source of life. They also adored the Sun as God.
- The Sun is great nutritional factor. He is also called "Pushan" in the Isavasya Upanishad. Sunlight is an essential factor for maintaining health.
- Sunlight is a food. You can make vitamin D by exposing your naked body to the Sun. The skin and nerves will absorb the energies of Sunlight. The Sunlight provides sufficient heat that may be needed to sustain life.
- Sunlight induces the production of vitamin D and E by its action on the skin. Sunlight cannot manufacture vitamin Aby its action on the skin, but it produces some changes by which the least amounts of vitamins can maintain growth and health.
- Sunlight is the great vital stimulant and preserver. Sunshine is just as necessary for animal and human life as for plant life.
- Ultra-violet rays are short chemical rays. They have powerful effects upon living tissues. They kill the germs on the surface, increasing resistance to infection, improve the function of glands, stimulate the circulation of blood. They convert a substance in the skin known as ergosterol into vitamin D.
- The ultra-violet rays increase calcium and phosphorus, affect the constituents of the blood, promptly cure certain bone-diseases such as rickets, increase the alkalinity of the blood and so remove acidosis, increase the iron content and blood, are also useful in anaemia. They increase formation of antibodies which fight infection and so build up body resistance to disease.
- The ultra-violet rays cure certain skin diseases as ringworm, cane, boils, etc. They stimulate the healing of wounds and aid the union of fractured bones. The rays are absorbed into the blood stream. The alter the composition of the blood and influence the general health.
- Infra-red rays are the long heat waves of Sunlight. The produce healing of the tissues and bring more blood to the parts on which they impinge and aid the absorption of the ultra-violet rays in the Sunlight.
- Ultra-violet rays should not be confused with the violet rays, which are a form of electric current.
- Ultra-violet rays prevent the developing of ricket. Expose your body to the ultra-violet rays of te Sun in the morning and attain good health and vigour.
- Sun-bath is highly beneficial. Expose your body to the rays of the Sun, for a short time. Lie down on the ground on a blanket or lie on a cot. Expose your back to the rays of the Sun. If the rays are very hot, cover the back with a green plantain leaf. Remain this for fifteen or thirty minutes till you perspire freely. This will prove useful in lumbago and rheumatism and diseases of the skin.
- Expose the body to the morning or evening Sun for ten minutes. If you want to take a Sun-bath at 11.a.m., lie down; cover the body with a thin wet cloth or plantain leaf. Cover your head also with a plantain leaf or any green leaf or a piece of folded cloth. The bath may last for 10 to 20 or 30 minutes. After you get u from the bath, wipe the body with a dry clean cloth.
- Bask in the Sun. Have a good Sun-bath in the early morning and evening. Allow the ultra-violet rays to pass through the skin. Absorb vitamin D into the system and enjoy good health.
- The action of the Sun on the skin is due to light rays and not to heat. Therefore, avoid the hot rays of the Sun and avail yourself of His cold rays.
- The best time for having exposure to the Sun is the morning. Too much exposure to the Sun should be avoided.
- The rays of the Sun possess the best and potent antiseptic and germicidal properties. Expose your clothing to the Sun daily and your blankets, bed-sheets, pillows and mattresses once in a fortnight.
- Injurious germs on the skin are rendered harmless by Sunlight. Those who take Sun-bath are free from parasitic skim diseases. They are endowed with great power of endurance and resistance.
- Sunlight produces pigmentation on the skin, which increases the capacity of absorption of the ultra-violet rays of the Sun.
- Children need plenty of Sunlight everyday so that they may grow into healthy and robust boys and girls. If you do not have enough light growth is interfered with and the blood becomes pale. You get anaemia or poverty of blood.
- The Sun is the great sterilizer and life-giver. You cannot have good health and nutrition without the appropriate dose of Sunlight to your skin.
- The rays of the Sun are absolutely essential to the health of every human being.
- Let the Sun’s rays fall on the closed eyes for two or three minutes every day. This will improve your eyesight.
- In the rays of the Sun, you will find a cheap and an easily available tonic, a disinfectant, and an antiseptic and a potent germicide.
- The skin readily absorbs Sunlight. The rays of the Sun get filtered down through the skin to the layers beneath.
- The Sun’s rays cause many changes which are beneficial to the growth and well-being of the individual.
- Sunlight is a healer of leprosy and various other skin diseases. If plenty of light falls on the skin, there is good blood circulation.
- Loose clothing of white fabrics allows freely permeation of the Sun’s rays into the skin. Therefore, wear loose clothing of white fabrics.
- The ground glass, of which some windows are made, exclude the important ultra-violet rays. Therefore, remove this.
- Lamps are manufactured which produce artificial infra-red rays, and they are extremely useful in healing painful inflammatory conditions.
- Thick clothing shuts the Sun’s rays from the skin. Use as little clothing as possible. This is hygienic and healthy.
- Do not shut yourself up in dark rooms. Let in every ray of Sunshine possible. You will enjoy good health.
- Dark places where Sunlight does not penetrate breed consumption, rickets, etc. Therefore live in well-ventilated rooms where Sunlight penetrates freely.
- Modern civilization has forced man from his natural outdoor environments to a life within closed dark rooms that shut out the warm, life-giving beams of the Sun. He sits behind glass-windows and doors that filter out the most beneficial rays. On account of the shut-in, Sunless life he has lost his vim, vigour, vitality and health. O Man! Take Sun-bath and regain your lost health and vitality.
His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati, served as Dr. Kuppuswamy in the rural rubber estates in Malaya between 1913 to 1922 prior to his monastic calling, bringing not only cures for ailment but also unsurpassed love and attention to the sick and needy.
His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati is the Spiritual Guru and Guide of His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati, who founded SivaSanta Medical Services in 1981 as a charitable project of The Temple of Fine Arts. SivaSanta Medical Services took on the name to institutionalize the wisdom and contribution of her founder, His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati and his Master, His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati.