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Chemistry of ThirumaN

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Sep 24 1995 - 05:48:23 PDT

Sreekrishna 's note indicated that ThirumaN is some salt of Calcium . I agree.
Chalk- Clay has many versions. Mostly , they are made  of Calcium carbonate,
Sulfates, Oxalates et al in admixture with salts of Magnesium , Barium ,
Strontium et al. For instance the Kimmergidian Chalk belt ( craie a Belemnites
extending from the white Cliffs of Dover in UK across the English channel to
Northern France and there on to Champagne district)  is said to contain 50
different kinds of Chalks  These Chalks are remains of the cephalopods,
crustaceans and shell fish that lived and died 600 million years ago, when these
regions were covered by sea water.The chalk- clay here is at places 600 feet
deep and drains subsurface  water and in dry times releases the moisture held by
them to the vines.Thus their role in draining of moisture , holding it and
releasing it has implications for the ThirumaN, which according to Tradition has
to be worn thick, so that the underlying skin is not seen. Thirunarayanapuram
and regions a round it might have been under the sea in earlier geological times
and the chalk origin might come  from that. Geologists specializing in Karnataka
can comment on that better.

As indicated by Srteekrishna, calcium salts have important  effects on
Circulatory and Brain functions. One can speculate on  the Osmosis of Calcium
thru the skin to surface blood vessels - and then on to main  arterries- during
the days, months and years of Thiruman wearing  Vaishnavites. It can be a
cumilative beneficial effect from the health point of view.

                        We  can connect the Calcium effects to Calcium"s role at
large as  a Calcium channel blocker  used im many modern day  drugs such as
Dilitazem, Nifedipine and Verapamil. These  drugs thru their Calcium  channel
blocking  activity gives  the benefits of (1) antiarrhthymic (2) anti anginal
(3) stabilizing of regular heart beat (4) control of high blood pressure (5)
increased flow of Oxygen to heart muscle (6) control of sasm of Esophagus (6)
check on Osteomalecia/Ricketts and (7) arrest of Osteoporosis .

It is interesting to observe that many of our ancestors and particularly our
revered 
Acharyas lived long lives,  the Vedic prescribed age of 100 or more. Ramanuja
lived for 120 years; Swami Desikan  lived for 101 years. Their dietary
restrictions, Sattvic way of life and observance of daily rituals such as Naama
Dharanam  ( Cumulative effect of Calcium) might be factors in it.

I doubt that our Thiruman dissolves quickly in acids (HCl, etc) and release
Carbon dioxide since  it may be not strictly Calcium Carbonate. In all
probability , it is  a Carbonate bound together with Silicates and sulfates. Our
Chemist friends can 
establish this analytically.

V.Sadagopan