Kajal or Kohl, is a cosmetic used all over Asia, Africa and Arabia since ancient times to accentuate the eyes. It is believed that Queen Cleopatra painted her eyes with Kohl before sailing down the Nile to meet Julius Caesar. Kohl is known by different names in different cultures and has been acknowledged as very effective in adding to the beauty of the eyes and making the eyes look brighter. In fact, regular use of kajal was thought of to prevent eye diseases.
Positive Effects Of Kajal Or Kohl
Ancient cultures also believed that kajal was effective in preventing the evil eye. In India especially, kajal is applied to the eyes of infants from the first week of birth. The very act of applying kajal is beneficial in massaging the eyes and opening them up. New mothers and grandmothers fondly apply kajal to the eyes of infants hoping the dark kajal would help in protecting the child from evil.
Kajal is a part of the everyday body care regimen for most South Asian cultures. Kajal is often made at home with natural ingredients and mixed with clarified butter before use. The application of Kajal is believed to cool the eyes and clean them. Camphor and sandalwood in kajal act as coolants and help in cooling the eyes. Regular use of kajal helps in preventing eye diseases and sharpening eyesight.
Negative Side Effects Of Kajal Or Kohl
There have been a lot of adverse reports on use of kajal. Commercially made kajal is thought of to have a very high lead content which is harmful for the eyes. The lead is thought of to cause eye infections and allergies. People suffering from sinusitis find that their condition worsens when kajal is used. This is because the kajal passes into the narrow opening between the eyes and nose and worsen a sinus infection.
The lead content in kajal accumulates in the body , causing complications like anaemia and developmental disabilities. The container in which kajal is stored may be prone to infections if not properly sterilised and may cause serious eye infections. Homemade kajal is often applied with a fingertip, which is another source of infection. Hence, most paediatricians today strongly advise against using kajal for infants.
The marvel of modern production techniques has ensured that kajal is now manufactured commercially in controlled, hygienic conditions and packaged in easy to apply tubes, so there is minimal chance of infection.
It is advisable not to use kajal for children up to the age of 15.After that age, a good brand of kajal may be used.