Lunar Eclipse 2018: Pregnancy myths and beliefs

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018 Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018: Pregnancy myths and beliefs (Photo: Getty Images)

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018: Go for light, easy to digest food two hours before an eclipse, and wait for two hours until after an eclipse before eating, according to Ayurveda.

By Samhitha Gomatam

The longest eclipse of the century is coming, and so is a host of well-meaning advice for pregnant women, around eclipses. How much of it is true? Is it worth following any of them? Dr. Mitali Madhusmita, Senior Doctor, Sri Sri Tattva Panchakarma breaks down some of the beliefs and traditions that pregnant women are advised to follow during an eclipse.

Unriddling the fasting riddle

Certain early studies have found that there’s a drastic decrease in surface ozone concentration and UV rays for up to two hours after an eclipse. A lot of traditional eclipse food practices revolve around cleanliness.

Some Food Do’s and Don’ts:

* If you are a believer, you can eat light, easy to digest food two hours before an eclipse, and wait for two hours until after an eclipse before eating.

* Turmeric can be added to your food for its disinfecting properties.

* Avoid non-vegetarian or other heavy foods on the day of the eclipse as it can take very long to digest.

* Light foods such as dry fruits are recommended to give some strength to the expecting mother.

* You need to stay hydrated, so it’s advised to drink plenty of water two hours prior to an eclipse! However, if you’re thirsty, you may drink water that’s been boiled and cooled, mixed with a couple of Tulsi Arka drops which are antiviral, and can help prevent infections.

* It’s advised to dispose of leftover food cooked before an eclipse, as harmful radiation during the eclipse may be absorbed by the food.

* Darbha grass is an effective disinfectant and can be used as a natural preservative in stored foods as opposed to harmful chemical preservatives. In fact, artificial surfaces that mimic hierarchical nano patterns of Darbha are being created for use in places where sterile conditions are required.

Om, not omnomnom

Eclipses are said to be an auspicious time for meditation and chanting. Eclipses are not, in fact, inauspicious times. You can meditate to get rid of some of the stress and anxiety caused by this myth. While the merits of meditation are well-known, recent studies have established that chanting is great for the body and mind too! Chanting Sanskrit mantras has been found to increase the size of brain regions associated with cognitive function, and even listening to chants can increase overall happiness!

Get rid of the germs!

Taking a cold water shower can stimulate the Vagus Nerve, which activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (or the “rest and digest” part of the nervous system) relaxing the body and mind.

Hum along to some soft tunes

Doctors recommend listening to gentle flute music during this celestial phenomenon as it is important for expecting mothers to keep calm, over and above everything else.

Eclipse Timing

The upcoming lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018 is visible from all parts on India, and will last for a total of 103 minutes, beginning at 1:01 am, and ending at 2:43 am.

(With inputs from Art of Living wellness experts)