Ancient civilizations, the Chinese, the Egyptians, and the East Indians used colours to promote health and well-being. Researchers are currently engaged in rediscovering colour therapy to relieve ailments such as stress, exhaustion, sleep and eating disorders and hormonal imbalances.
Here is a list of the most common colours and how they may affect moods and illnesses in humans:
Red is an intense colour. It is the colour of fire and blood. It stimulates breathing, raises blood pressure and makes the heart beat faster. It is unwise to wear red if you anticipate a difficult interview, or a confrontation with a hostile person. Red attracts attention. Stop signs, fire extinguishers and “Danger!” alerts are often in red.
Pink is a tranquillizer. It causes an energy drain. It signifies passivity and the feminine element. It also denotes romance, love and friendship.
Orange is a hot colour. It is associated with sunshine and the tropics. It increases the oxygen supply to the brain and promotes mental activity. It is associated with citrus fruits and healthy food. Orange elements in or around food will increase the appetite. It suggests creativity, enthusiasm, and stimulation.
Yellow is a cheerful, sunny colour. It speeds up metabolism and generates energy in muscles. It attracts attention; taxis and road signs are often yellow. However, it can be overpowering if used to excess. It may cause nervousness, anxiety and agitation. Babies will cry more when placed in a yellow room.
Green is a calming, refreshing colour. It symbolizes nature. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. It suggests security, harmony and growth. It is thought to possess healing power.
Green is used to denote safety and effectiveness in medical products. It is prominent in fliers promoting recommended ecological practices.
Blue has the opposite effect to red. It is peaceful, the colour of the sky and the ocean. It causes the body to produce calming chemicals. It is an appropriate hue for bedrooms. Studies show that athletes can lift heavier weights in a blue gym. Blue is often cited as the most popular colour, however blue food causes loss of appetite.
Purple is usually regarded as the colour of royalty, wealth and luxury and ambition. Because it is seldom found in nature, some people consider it to be artificial, but 75% of children under twelve will choose it as a favorite colour. For this reason, it is a good choice for children’s toys or clothing. It is also associated with wisdom, mystery and magic.
Brown is solid and reliable, the colour of the earth. It reminds one of leather or wood. Men may say brown is one of their favourite colours. It denotes masculine qualities and suggests stability.
White symbolizes innocence, purity, light and goodness. It is considered the color of perfection. It denotes cleanliness and sterility. Doctors often dress in white. White is often associated with low-fat, low-calorie food and dairy products.
Black is the colour of authority, power and formality. A black outfit can make a man seem aloof or evil, however, it is popular for women’s clothing because it makes the wearer look thinner.
Black often has a negative connotation as in black death or black humour. Black is a symbol of death and mourning. It is the opposite to white.
Modern practitioners of alternative medicine are only beginning to rediscover and document the benefits of colour therapy in the maintenance of health and treatment of illness.
Humankind are still plagued by many of the problems that beset the ancient Chinese, Egyptians and East Indian civilizations, and we’ve added a few more to the distasteful list. If these ancient civilizations have any forgotten wisdom to disclose, we’ll be more than happy to accept it.