Scientific Contributions[or glories] of Ancient Tamils"/Part:11:

"Science Behind the Ancient Tamil's Traditions & Customs":

Thiruvathira: Thiruvathira Festival - Learn About Festivals in Kerala 
Bathing:We find that in olden days people took bath in rivers, mountain pools, waterfalls and the seas. This habit is in vogue even to day. Pulanadal or river bath is described as a significant act in all Tamil Classics. The Tamil proverb " Even if it be the humble gruel to consume, have it after a bath." Summarise the significance attached to the daily bathing.Bathing is an integral part of daily routine in every tamil's life.The practice of regular oil bath, men taking on Wednesdays and Saturdays and women folk on Tuesdays and Fridays has been in vogue In Tamilaham from ancient period. Its origins are unknown. Yet its significance can be understood by the advice of Avvaiyar's statement that one should is regular in Saturday's oil baths. (Athi-16.)  ஆத்தி சூடி 16:சனிநீ ராடு.That a bath keeps us healthy through personal hygiene is a well known fact. But there are other aspects as well that are not well known. Polygraphic studies proved that water enhances electro-magnetic activity. In the context of this finding, the practices like washing hands and feet before entering temples and taking bath everyday, worshipping with wet clothes and offering prayer standing in the middle of water chest-deep in rivers and tanks etc., seem to be more scientific than a mere act of cleanliness. Human body is centre of electric currents and impulses. A continuous process of generation and consumption of electric energy takes place in the human body.   More energy is generated in our body whenever we are excited and battle various emotions as well as indulge in intense physical activity.However, at night when we retire until the next morning this generation and consumption level of power drops drastically. This is the reason why we feel so lethargic on waking up in the morning.We are neither active physically non mentally.Washing our face immediately clears the cobwebs of drowsiness.A bath certainly freshens up completely and puts us in our best shape.This happens due to the fact that water consumes the electricity in our body.This is known as Electro-magnetic activity.Therefore, taking bath has more to do with such scientific reasoning than merely cleanliness.There’s an old Malayalam saying that emphasizes that if you see someone taking bath immediately after having had a meal, you should kick that person. Though this is an old saying, it is based on scientific backing that if a person is immediately taking bath after a meal, the digestion process gets slowed down by a great deal as cold water activates certain chemicals in the body that rushes the blood to the skin to keep it warm and the digestion process takes a backseat.So, it was always advised by our ancestors to take food after having a bath.Bath will increase blood flow to the hands, feet and body that causes the amount of blood around the stomach will continue to decrease.This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach.
South Indian meals 
START ALWAYS WITH SPICY FOOD AND END YOUR MEAL WITH SWEETS:
If you have ever eaten a traditional meal in weddings or festivals, you will know that the staple dal, vegetables,rice and pickles are served in the beginning and sweets are served at the end. Our ancestors stressed upon the fact that every meal should start with spicy foods and end with something sweet. But did you ever wonder why do we not eat the sweet first and then move on to other things spicy? It is not for nothing that our ancestors emphasised on the fact that we should end our meals with something sweet and it has a scientific reasoning to back it up.You know that when we eat spicy foods, the body secretes digestive juices and acids which enhance the digestive process  goes on smoothly and efficiently.On the other hand sweets contain are full of carbohydrates which lead to sluggish digestion or  pulls down the digestive process. At the same time, the intake of sugar enhances the absorption of amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is associated with the increase in the levels of serotonin a neurotransmitter which is linked to the feelings of well-being. That is the feeling we need to experience at the end of a full meal. This is the rationale behind the tradition that you should start every meal with something spicy and end it with sweets.
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CONSUMPTION OF JAGGERY IN DIET AND IN SWEETS:
jaggery is essentially unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw, concentrated sugar cane juice. It is prepared by boiling sugar cane juice till it solidifies and then put into blocks.According to nutritionist , ‘Jaggery is the closest substitute to white sugar and is healthy too. It can be used exactly like sugar as you get in powder, solid and liquid form and  Not only this better than white sugar which only adds empty calories to your body, it also has a number of health benefits. It is an excellent remedy for respiratory diseases. The benefits of jaggery includes its ability to cleanse the body and act as a digestive agent. Jaggery also is full of minerals. Jaggery effectively cleans respiratory tracts, lungs, food pipe, stomach, and intestines. It pulls out dust and unwanted particles from the body. It also helps in giving relief from constipation.In India, it is recommended to take a small amount of jaggery after having had a heavy meal. Jaggery facilitates the digestion process. Jaggery activates digestive enzymes and speeds up digestion. Unlike sugar, jaggery is very rich in minerals, especially iron with traces of other minerals. While most of the iron in it comes through processing in iron vessels, the other minerals come right from the sugar cane juice, since this juice does not undergo refining or bleaching of any kind. So, jaggery is a very good source of minerals for the body,

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]                             PART 12 WILL BE NEXT WEEK ...     

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