Sunlight can offer more for good health than just Vitamin D. Read on to find out more about solar medicine
Posted On Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It's March and the temperature's touching 40 degrees. You curse the sun for it makes you sweat. But hold on, it can't be so bad. Light breaks where no sun shines. While most of us are well aware of why we need to bask in the sun to make vitamin D in our bodies, sunlight can help in other ways as well.
Take for example the solarium in Jamnagar, Gujarat (the only one of its kind in the world) where sunlight is used to treat patients suffering from skin diseases or how Sidha, a form of traditional Indian medicine, encourages use of solarised water to treat fever and colds. The sun can help combat chronic depression and can even help in weight loss. So don't shun the sun. Just use it to your advantage.
Window into the solarium
The solarium on the M P Shah Medical College campus in Jamnagar was built on the initiative of the ruler of Nawanagar state, cricketer Ranjitsinghi who happened to have got the idea after a visit to the solarium in Paris. It was designed by a French engineer, Dr Jean Saidman, and was operational from 1934.
Known as the Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy, the solarium is 40 feet tall and the 10 treatment rooms are located in the rotating top section, which is 114 feet long and takes an hour to rotate fully. Maximal light exposure can be ensured by rotation.
"Some of the treatment rooms were equipped with filters which allowed through only rays of wavelengths considered suitable for the various diseases treated here. The lenses concentrated the light to two and a half times its natural intensity. The patients had to stay in the room for a stipulated period of time to get the full benefit of the treatment," says radiologist Dr Neela Baxi, whose father Dr K Baxi was the first Indian radiologist employed at the solarium.
A detailed photographic library provides before and after views of people treated for various conditions including, tonsils, sty, lymphoid hyperplasias, tuberculosis, leprosy and several skin conditions.
"The solarium no longer works because most of the lenses and concentrators were broken during the Gujarat earthquake in 2001 and we haven't been able to find replacements," says radiologist Dr N A Patel, who is in-charge of the managerial affairs at the solarium.
Rainbow healing and solarised water
According to Indian traditional medicine, solarised water is the cure for all ills. Water, when exposed to sunlight in a coloured container for at least an hour becomes irradiated and takes on some of the vibrational energy of that particular colour. This is called solarised water. The seven colours of sunlight (VIBGYOR) can be divided into:
1. Violet, Indigo, Blue (Cold Spectrum)
2. Green (Neutral Spectrum)
3. Yellow, Orange, Red (Warm Spectrum)
Green solarised water helps build up muscles, strengthen nerve centres and purify blood. It used for treatment of fever, typhoid and malaria, liver diseases, indigestion, small pox, boils, pimples, skin trouble, eczema, nightly seminal ejaculations, diabetes, boils, ulcers, headache, nervous trouble, dry cough, cold etc.
Blue, indigo, violet charged water is a good antiseptic. It is used in treatments for skin diseases, high blood pressure, old ulcers, dysentery, arthritis, over fatigue deafness, migraine etc. It helps ease childbirth. It is effective in treating tonsillitis, swelling of gums, toothache, pyorrhea and other aliments of the throat. However, it should not be used in case of paralysis, colds and anaemia.
Red solarised water can help treating anaemia and asthma.
Heliotherapy for cure
For skin: Dermatologists use heliotherapy (medical therapy involving exposure to sunlight) for the treatment of acne, psoriasis and other skin disorders.
For muscle: Heliotherapy is a chiropractic treatment used for muscular stimulation and relaxation and is the only known cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder, a cyclic mood disorder caused by sun light deprivation during winter.
For AIDS: Scientists at the Baylor University Medical Center have successfully used heliotherapy to destroy the AIDS virus and are developing heliotherapy to decontaminate blood for transfusions. Currently, AIDS research clinics use heliotherapy as an effective tool for boosting the body's immune system.
For cancer: Heliotherapy is used in cancer treatment too. Within hours, cancer cells begin to die leaving the normal tissue unharmed. Heliotherapy is used for irradiating blood of cancer patients.
In hospital wards: Heliotherapy used in hospital operating rooms reduces the bacteria count by a much as 50%. As a result, patients have been found to recover faster and have fewer post-operative infections. The maternity wards of most major hospitals use heliotherapy for the treatment of hyperbilrubinemia (neonatal jaundice), a condition found in over 60% of prematurely born infants.
While long-term overexposure to the sun and burning can result in skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkling, the science of heliotherapy supports that the sun also offers many benefits.
The story has been published in Times Wellness