Belief in copper’s healing properties didn’t begin with modern medical applications. The ancient Indian health system known as Ayurveda utilized copper for healing, and particularly focuses on the balance between mind and body. Ayurveda singing bowls make a soothing droning sound when played with a mallet. Similar bowls, often used for water storage, show up in various cultures throughout history, including: ancient India, Mesopotamia, Korea and even show up in biblical passages in the old testament.
Ayurveda, the Indian health system developed thousands of years ago, established a connection between health of the mind and body. It not only provides guidance for treating illness, but more importantly, serves as a guide to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Its teachings assert that the connection between the mind and body is inseparable and provides a number of instructions for a healthy mind and body.
In essence, Ayurveda promotes living a balanced life in harmony with nature. One Ayurvedic treatment involved the use of singing bowls. When these bowls are struck with a mallet or the mallet is rubbed around the rim of the bowl, it creates a long bell-like tone similar to a drone. This sound can be incorporated into meditation and yoga, and reportedly has calming, healing, soothing and therapeutic properties. Different bowls are made of different materials including copper, and are made in various sizes.
Singing bowls forged in Mesopotamia up to 5,000 years ago used also copper as one of the main materials. The vibrations created when struck have calming, healing and therapeutic properties. These bowls continue to appear in traditional Tibetan and Indian ceremonies, as well as being used for meditative and medicinal purposes throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
The bible also makes several mentions of copper in the Old Testament. According to 1 Chronicles and 1 Kings, King Solomon ordered that the temple be outfitted with copper. This included a large washing basin for priests. The ancient use of copper and its connection to sterilization and spirituality is a common theme.
Ayurveda practices also recommended the use of copper in water storage. According Ayurveda, drinking water from a copper vessel balances something called dashas :vata (air), kapha (water) and pitta (fire) in your body. This is said to help digestion, aide in weight loss, slows aging, kills bacteria and help wounds heal faster, among other benefits.
Interestingly, similar bowls made of copper called Yugi/Bangjja were created in Korea. These bowls were used by the aristocracy for water storage. Techniques for making Bangjja have been passed down and Bangjja is still used today–known for its durability and sterilization. This shows that belief in copper’s usefulness transcended cultures and geography.