Total solar eclipse: Decoding health aspects behind popular beliefs!

Let's just say that some things that make no sense to you, might, in reality, have a sensible explanation behind them.

By Udita Madan | Last Updated: Mar 09, 2016, 07:51 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan

New Delhi: Your mothers and/or grandmothers must have given you many tips or literally forced you to do certain things after an eclipse.

At that point, you must have felt that these were simply superstitions and didn't give them another thought.

However, the same rituals do have certain health factors at work behind them. Let's just say that some things that make no sense to you, might, in reality, have a sensible explanation behind them.

So, with a total solar eclipse taking place in India tomorrow, we bring to you a few of those recommended desi rules, also explaining why you should follow them.

1. Do not store cooked food during an eclipse:

Strange as it may seem, it has a very logical explanation. During an eclipse, the bactericidal ultraviolet and blue radiations are unavailable to the Earth, triggering bacterial growth, which in turn leads to bacterial accumulation. Therefore, if you store cooked food during an eclipse, it elevates the risk of food contamination, which might lead to food poisoning and stomach infections.

2. Avoid food consumption during eclipse:

The reason you were given for this was probably “for purifying reasons”. The actual reason is that lack of sunlight during the eclipse period strengthens the bio-magnetic fields of humans, which cause excessive disturbance in the functioning of the stomach. Therefore, to avoid chemical reactions in the body, consumption of food should be avoided during the eclipse. Simply pretend to be on a fast.

3. Put Durva grass in water containers and food:

You must have seen your mother using this grass during puja's and other religious rituals, again for purifying reasons. However, an article published in BioNanoScience in 2015 supports this belief, stating that the disinfecting properties of durva grass is due to the micro features present on the grass surface. Lack of sunlight during a solar eclipse causes the bacteria to multiply, which prevents spoilage of food.

4. Take a bath post the eclipse:

Although the Rahu-Ketu angle that most astrologers follow, the actual reason is quite different. Once again, lack of sunlight during an eclipse aides the multiplication of microbes, therefore, taking a bath eliminates possible bacterial and viral accumulation and also helps you get rid of toxins.

In India, the solar eclipse will occur tomorrow, March 9. The partial phase of the eclipse will be visible in most places, except in north-west and western parts of the country. The total eclipse will begin at 5.47am (IST) and will continue till 9.08am, although the partial phase will end at 10.05am (IST).