The ancient Indian practice of piercing babies' ears (karna vedha) is done for health benefits. Read the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of ear piercing health benefits.
Karna vedha (ear piercing ceremony) is an ancient Indian practice that is well explained in Ayurveda and is practiced even now.
It is mentioned as one among the 16 samskaras or sacraments, sacrifices, and rituals done to mark the various stages of human life and to signify cultural heritage and proper upbringing.
Though Karna Vedha is done to facilitate the wearing of ornaments, this ancient practice is said to improve the health of the intestines and cure the swelling of testicles in males, a condition that affects 1 in 10 baby boys.
When I planned to pierce my daughter’s ears at six months of age, I got a lot of questions regarding the pros and cons of this procedure at such an early age. Here’s some information on Karna Vedha.
Karna vedha should be done either on the 10th, 12th or 16th day; or in the 6th or 7th or 8th month, or in odd years from the year of childbirth.
According to the ancient Ayurvedic text Susruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana chapter 16, 3rd verse, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are considered auspicious days for this procedure.
It’s also mentioned that for male child karna vedha should be started with the right ear first and then the left. In females, the left ear should be pierced first and then the right.
While the custom looks like a terrible process to put your child through, there are some health benefits mentioned in Ayurveda which correlate with Chinese acupressure.
If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda and how you can incorporate it into your daily life, check out Cate Stillman’s course below.
1. Reproductive Health
Acharya Sushruta, the ancient Ayurvedic scholar, explains that the lobe of the ear possesses an important marma point found right in the middle of the lobe.
This point is regarded as one of the most important areas for the health of one’s reproductive organs. For this same reason, Sushruta believed that piercing the ear also maintains a healthy menstrual cycle in females.
2. Brain Health
The concept of early piercing in children also ensures proper brain development according to Sushruta.
The ear lobes contain meridian points that connect to the left and the right hemisphere of the human brain. When this point is pierced it helps activate these parts of the brain.
This theory can also be found in the principles of acupressure therapy, that states that when these meridian points are stimulated, it helps in the quick and healthy development of the brain and enhances memory.1
Ayurveda also believes a flow of energy will be maintained if one wears earrings. Almost everything in Indian culture and traditions are majorly based on Ayurveda.
Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying the recommendations mentioned in this article.
1 Gori, Luigi. “Ear Acupuncture In European Traditional Medicine.” ResearchGate.net, Research Gate GmbH, Oct. 2007, www.researchgate.net/publication/5623784_Ear_Acupuncture_in_European_Traditional_Medicine.
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