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Rudraksha: Religious Significance and Scientific Research

Scientific view: Do Rudrakshas Really Work? Research on Rudraksha, Studies and Thesis Papers

While the prominence of Rudraksha bead thrives on its religious significance and scriptural authority, there is another side of the coin. There have been numerous research studies and projects on unfolding the mysterious powers and effects of Rudraksha on the human body.

Decoding Mysterious Rudraksha with Modern Science:

With the development of modern science, the scientists researched for evidences that support the ancient belief on the significance of Rudraksha bead. The merits of Rudraksha were evidenced in the late 1960s by a group of scientists lead by Dr. Suhas Rai, Institute of Technology University in Banaras India.

Rudraksha on Blood Circulation:

One of the best known research papers was published by Dr. Suhas Roy of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Banaras, India. Dr. Roy's research confirmed that the healing powers of Rudraksha beads flow from their electro-magnetic properties.  When Rudraksha beads are placed over the heart, they act to stabilize the heartbeat. Similar to magnets, the beads work on the principle of Dynamic Polarity.

Blood circulation and heart beat automatically induce a magnetic field around the body and particularly the heart region. Depending on the polarity and intensity of this induced magnetic field, Rudraksha beads transmit subtle electrical and inductive impulses with opposing polarity and intensity. Accordingly, a proportionate balancing force is exerted on the heart to regulate it if it starts beating above or below normal rates. This action helps to ensure ideal blood circulation in the body.

Another study by Dr Jayantha Kumar Sarma (Professor & HOD Department of S.J.G.C.H.S. Ayurvedic Medical College Ghataprabha Karnataka and his associates found that the Ethanol extract of Elaeocarpus ganitrus (Rudraksha) induces significant reduction in normal blood pressure when administrated intravenously in anaesthetized living beings. (Source: Study published in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Click  here

Rudraksha as Curing Agent:

Dr. S.P. Gupta, in the year 1985 have shown that consuming Rudraksha powder orally can cure high blood pressure without any side effects. Mr. Vasantrao Vaidya from Maharashtra has shown that when Rudraksha is dipped into water, the electrical property of water changes. Dr. Gode have proved that Rudraksha has sterol and polyphenolic compounds and does not have any alkaloid. The Rudraksha have been found to balance/neutralize any excess charge deposited on human body.

Composition of Rudraksha (Physical body and Ingredients)

Rudraksha contains carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and trace elements in a combined form. Percentage composition of gaseous elements in Rudraksha beads are shown in the figure:

Element (Ingredient) Percentage (%)
Carbon 50
Hydrogen 18
Nitrogen 1
Oxygen 31

Rudraksha tends to have positive effect on stress, anxiety, depression, palpitations and lack of focus or concentration. It even cools down the body temperature and calms down the mind which is even fickly and unstable. If you suffer from anxiety, you may keep a bigger five Mukhi Rudraksha with them. They the anxiety or nervousness hits you may hold them tight in your right palm for ten minutes. It would help you regain confidence and stability.  Rudraksha is best for pregnant women. Wearing Garbh Gauri Rudraksha greatly helps women who have issues conceiving a child and are prone to abortion.

If you are suffering from prolonged cough, you may use the paste of 10 Mukhi Rudraksha bead. When taken with milk, it relieves you of prolonged cough. It may be used as an effective cure for skin diseases, sores, ringworm, pimples, boils and burns also.

For a child suffering from frequent fever, a Three Mukhi bead is best. For curing smallpox, you may take an equal quantity of black pepper and powder of Rudraksha with water.

For mental diseases, milk boiled with Four Mukhi Rudraksha helps stabilize the nervous system.

(Source: A Reservoir Plant with their Pharmacological Effects)

Ayurvedic Medicinal Value and Biomedical Properties of Rudraksha:

As per the Ayurveda, Rudraksha has a positive effect on your heart and nerves. It relieves you from issues like stress, anxiety, depression, palpitations and lack of concentration. It is also known for its anti-aging effect and electromagnetic and inductive properties. People with high blood pressure have been found have benefited from the use of Rudraksha seeds. (Source: Learn Religions)

Rudraksha’s effect on the body (senses, skin and emotions)

The human body built of a bio-electric circuit has each body part connect with an incessant flow of blood from the heart to the various parts of the body. When you are calm, this circuit works flawlessly but as you run into stress, the circuit is disturbed. It weakens your body (mentally, emotionally and physically), inviting various ailments. Rudraksha penetrates and stabilizes your central system (nervous system). As a result it helps send calculated positive signals to the brain to act in its natural, productive way. Also, Rudraksha bead has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Just drink Rudraksha soaked water early in the morning, you will find yourself developing resistance towards various diseases as this bead is a rich source of Vitamin C. (Source: Soul Genie).

Use of Rudraksha in Ayurveda:

A study conducted by the Department of Pharmacognosy at Tarawati Instituite of Biomedical and Allied Sciences (Uttarakhand, India) showed that Rudraksha successfully used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries may be effective when given in combination with other healing herbs or drugs. The study was an effort to normalize the leaves of Rudraksha to access its potential. The data in the research may help prepare the crude drug’s monograph and make use of it in various pharmacopoeias. (Source: Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Elaeocarpus sphaericus i.e. Rudraksha Leaves click here to access the research paper)

Best Capacitance and Inductance:

A Rudraksha bead is a plant product made of AluminiumChlorineCopperCobaltNickelIronMagnesiumManganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Silicon, Silver and Gold. These elements account of the presence of electromagnetic properties of the bead. As a result it helps bringing stress, blood pressure under control and improves blood circulation in your body.

Human body generates electrical impulses (bio-electricity) because of the continuous heart beats, blood circulation, and conduction of sensory. The body is filled with motor impulses in the nerves, contractions and relaxing of muscles.

When the body's energy levels have a functional difference, the electrical impulses or bio electricity start(s) flowing. There are times when psychosomatic stress interrupts and breaks this flow of electricity which in turn creates uncomfortable feelings, emotions and ailments. Rudraksha works on redoing and restoring the flow. With its electrical strength, this bead causes a precise ampere of current flow in coordination with the heartbeat. It further gets streamlined to create specific impulses sent to the brain and that in turn create certain positive bio-chemical in the brain. This chemical instils a sense of good or positive mood.

With the electromagnetic properties, Rudraksha beads are capable of storing the bio-electric energy. When you are too stressed, your body harbours an increased level of activities. This causes your heart to beat faster than its natural speed, hormonal activities to shoot up and other body parts to go beyond the normal. When you wear Rudraksha bead, it absorbs or stores an excess in bio-energy and puts an end to the abnormality of overall activity in the body. As an inductance, Rudraksha creates inductive vibrations owing its unique magnetic properties. These vibrations are the reason why you feel good even if the bead is not in contact with your body.

Religious view: Mention in Ancient Scriptures, Shiva Purana, Upanishads and Vedas

When you visit northern parts of India especially the Himalayan regions, one would be surprised to see the renunciates (the holy men or the sages) wearing Rudraksha beads or chanting on the same. Rudraksha has traditionally been associated with religion especially Lord Shiva. Wearers or those having cultivated faith in it believe that there is no other ornament on this planet which is as auspicious and potent as Rudraksha on the human body. Rudraksha has been used by saints, sages, royals and the achievers, since time immemorial for spirituality, good health and to achieve success in life.

When it comes to religious significance of the bead, one is prompted to look into the scripture of ancient India. Those scriptures contain a voluminous amount of Rudraksha. One of the most prominent and authoritative scriptures on Rudraksh is Shiva Purana. It mentions everything about this mystic bead (Origin, history, significance, powers etc.). It mentions that Lord Shiva once went into deep meditation for a long period for the well-being of all living beings. After waking from the state of meditation, He opened His eyes and instantly tear drops fell on the earth. On reaching the ground, these tear drops took the form of seeds which later grew into Rudraksha trees.

Apart from the Shiva Purana, there are other scriptures substantiating the significance of Rudraksha Bead. Brihajjabala Upanishad mentions that Rudraksha became glorious by that name because initially, it emanated from the divine eyes of Rudra. Just by touching and wearing this Rudraksha, one is blessed with the results of giving in charity one thousand cows.Another scripture Rudraksajabala Upanishad mentions a pleasing conversation between Lord Kalagni Rudra and the sage Sanatkumara about the glory of Rudraksha bead. It is told as a conversation between Kalagni Rudra, a form of Shiva and Sage Sanatkumara. It mentions that wearing Rudraksha rids the wearer of all the sins and guilt.

Shiva Padma Purana


सर्वेषामपि वस्त्राणा धोरणे यो समो भवेत||
तस्मा त्सर्व प्रयत्नें रुद्राक्ष पुत्र धाराय||


A person who wears Rudraksha becomes like Me. So, a human being should try from all levels to wear Rudraksha.

Padma Purana


रुद्राक्षधारणादेव रुद्रोरुद्रत्वामाप्नुयात ||
मुनयः सत्यसड़्कल्पा ब्रह्मा ब्रह्मत्वमागतः||


Even Rudra attained Rudrahood only after wearing Rudraksha beads. Saints achieve the ultimate truth and Brahma attains Brahamatva. Thus there is nothing higher than wearing Rudraksha beads in this world

Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam


पुरुषाणा यथा विष्णुर्ग्रहाणा च यथा रविः।
पदीना तु यथा गङ्गा मुनीना काश्यपो यथा।
उच्चैः श्रवाश्रक्ष श्वाना देवनामीश्वरो यशा।
दैवीना तू यथा गौरी  तद्वच्चेष्ठमिद भवते।
नातः पर स्तोत्र नातः परपरं वृतम
अक्षय्येपु च दानेषु रुद्राक्षस्तु विशिष्यते


Just like Vishnu amongst men, Surya amongst all the planets, Ganga among rivers, Kashyap among human, Shiva amongst all Gods, Parvati amongst all Goddesses is Highest and Praised. Similarly Rudraksha is the Highest amongst All. Hence there is no Sloka or fast above Rudraksha.

Shiva Purana: Chapter 25, Verse 2 of the Vidyeshvara Samhita section


शिवप्रियतमो ज्ञेयो रुद्रादतः परवानः
दर्शनात्स्पर्शना जाप्या त्सर्वपापहरः स्मृतः


Rudraksha isa favorite bead of Shiva. It is highly sanctifying. It removes all sins by sight, contact and Japas.

Shiva Purana: Chapter 25, Verse 16 of the Vidyeshvara Samhita section

बदरीफलमात्रं च यत्स्यात्किलम महेश्वरि ||
तथापि फलदं लोके सुखसौभाग्यवरदम||

ENGLISH: Even the Rudraksha which is only of the size of the fruit of the jujube accords the benefit and heightens happiness and good fortune.

There are various scriptures of ancient India that shed light on the mysteries of Rudraksha bead. It attracts the mind of those who have cultivated faith in it.

Shiva Purana: Chapter 25 Verse 13 of the Vidyeshvara Samhita section

वर्णेस्तु तत्फलं धार्यं भुक्तिमुक्तिफलेप्सुभ ||िः
शिवभक्तिर्विशेषेणा शिवयोः प्रीतये सदा ||


If they desire their benefit, namely worldly pleasures and salvation and if the devotees of Shiva wish to gratify Shiva they must wear Rudraksha.


A list of Research paper and articles:

"A note on rudraksha, Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn.) K. Schum" by (- Krishnamurthy, T.) (1964), Indian Forester 90, 11, 774-776

"Action of a fraction of Elaeocarpus Ganitrus on Muscles" - Bhattacharya S.S. Sarkar, P.R. G. Kar, (Medical College Calcutta)

"Anticonvulsant activity of the mixed fatty acids of Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb. (Rudraksh)" by Dasgupta A, Agarwal SS, Basu DK., Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1984 Jul-Sep; 28(3) : 245-6.

"Anti-inflammatory activity of Elaeocarpus sphaericus fruits extracts in rats" by R. K. Singh and B. L. Pandey Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, India

"Antimicrobial activity of Elaeocarpus sphaericus" by Singh RK, Nath G., Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005, India., (Phytother Res. 1999 Aug;13(5):448-50)

Rudraksha in Religious Texts (Wikipedia)

Echoes of Ancient Indian Wisdom” pp. 224–6. Shantha N. Nair (1 January 2008). Pustak Mahal.

‘Rudraksha Bead’ in Hindu Symbol by  Hinduism Facts Organization

‘The holy Rudraksha Super Seed’ – Learn Religions

‘Shiva Maha Purana’ – Sacred Rudraksha

‘An Experimental Evaluation Of The Effect Of Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb) In Adrenaline And Nicotine Induced Hypertension’ –Dr Jayantha Kumar Sarma, Dr G.C. Bhuyan, Dr (Mrs) Jyotika Koley, L. N Maity, and Dr V. B. Naikwadi  in PMC, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

‘Elaeocarpus Ganitrus (Rudraksha): A Reservoir Plant with their Pharmacological Effect’ –Swati Hardainiyan, Bankim Chandra Nandy, and Krishan Kumar. Click here to access the article

‘Detailed study on Elaeocarpus ganitrus (Rudraksha) for its medicinal importance’ - A review Iyyappan Arivu and Minnady Muthulingam Department of Zoology, Faculty of science, Annamalai University.

‘Science behind the Beliefs of Rudraksha’ – Soul Genie

‘Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Rudraksha) Leaves’— Devesh Tewari, Pranay Kumar, Pankaj Sharma Department of Pharmacognosy, Smt. Tarawati Instituite of Biomedical and Allied Sciences Roorkee, Hardwar Uttarakhand, India. Click here to access the research paper.

‘’Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus Ganitrus), Benefits & Uses’ – Ayurtimes

‘Know Your Plants - The Mystical Rudraksha Tree’ -C.P.R. Environmental EDUCATION CENTRE (CPREEC)

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