The medical and cosmetic benefits of Surma or Kohl can be found since time immemorial. Since then it has been used for curing many eye diseases and improving eye health.
Surma has been defined as ultra-fine powder of “kohl stone” called galena. It also contains some therapeutically active ingredients such as pearls, gemstones, and herbs. Herbs such as neem, saffron, fennel extract, etc. are used which are beneficial for the protection and treatment of various eye ailments.
Modern researches also show that Surma or Kohl is beneficial in protecting the eye from the harmful radiation of the sun. Black and shining particles of galena in Surma form a thin layer on the eyes lens thus protecting direct contact of harmful UV radiation of the sun with the lens.
Nowadays, Surma is being used by both gender, men and women, as eye makeup. Besides, it is believed that Surma is of high quality if it causes a burning sensation.
It is generally found in black and grayish-black in color or white and grayish-white in color if galena has not been added with it.
Benefits of Surma:
- It is used to keep the eyes cool and clean.
- Increases the size of the eyes.
- Improves vision and strengthen the eyes.
- Protects the eyes from the harmful radiation of the sun.
- Treats watery eyes (fluxes), inflammation and pain in the eyes.
- Used for the eye make-up.
- Protects eyes from dust and snow.
- Used in an infant’s eye to ward off an ‘evil eye’.
- Used for the prevention and treatment of eye diseases such as blepharitis, trachoma, cataract, conjunctivitis, etc.
- Being germicidal, it kills germs which are collected as sludge on the sides of the eyes.
- It can be used to stop bleeding after circumcision for hygienic purposes.
Surma Application – Dangerous or Not
In research, it has been found that Surma is responsible for causing higher blood lead concentration, which may cause lead poisoning. This is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women.
The study revealed that the reason behind this is the use of lead sulfide in the Surma. Prolong application may cause excessive lead storage in the body. As a result, can affect the baby’s brain and the formation of bone marrow.
While at the same time, some studies have also been published negating the application of Surma in the eyes directly associated with lead intoxication. They stated that the negative effect of Surma is due to improper application.
These studies also supported that lead is not absorbed through the transcorneal route and thus should not be linked or blamed for the lead poisoning after its application.
Researchers assumed that the major route of entry is by ingestion. Lead might be absorbed by licking or sucking contaminated hands. Children generally rub their eyes and suck contaminated hands. Adults absorb Surma if they do not wash their hands or use utensils after the Surma application.
How to Apply Surma to the Eyes?
Being Surma a very fine powder, it is easily spread. So, it is advised to first dip Surma stick in olive oil or water, then in the Surma container.
Use Surma stick made up of wood, bronze or glass.
Before application, use the same side of the hand of the eye i.e. if applying to the right eye, hold the stick to the right hand. Hold the stick parallel to the eye then insert the stick into the inner point of the below eyelid. Close the eye and pull out by running parallel to the eyelids.
Note: According to Islam, Use Surma made up of ithmid on the eye.
Being having many benefits of Surma for eyes. Some research revealed the dangerous effect of the application of Surma on health. Besides, some research also revealed that the negative effect of Surma is due to improper application.
As always said, precaution is better than cure. So, properly washing hands after applying Surma to the eyes can avoid the dangerous effect of Surma.