There are so many beliefs, myths and legends about this life giving force, it’s not difficult to see why blood has taken on an extremely mysterious ‘persona’ about its capabilities!
Let’s demystify this rather incredible fluid.
- Human blood is 83% water.
- The average adult man has about five to six litres of blood in his body, while the average woman has about four.
- Your blood makes up about 7% of your total body weight.
- About 95% of the body’s blood cells are made in bone marrow.
- There are approximately 1 billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood.
- There are three types of blood cells: Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, all of which float around in plasma. The blood that you donate can be separated into these constituent parts.
- Whole blood has a shelf-life of 35 days. Red blood cells last 42 days, platelets only five days and plasma up to one year.
- The most common blood type is O positive, while AB negative is the most rare. People with AB blood can receive any kind of blood from a donor, while O negative blood can be given to anyone.
- Half your body’s red blood cells are replaced every seven days.
Think all blood is red? Not so.
Human blood is red. This is because of the iron content.
Crabs have blue blood. Not because they are crustacean royalty, but because their blood contains copper.
Leeches have green blood. This is from the chlorocruorin (a dichroic red-green respiratory protein).
Then there’s the other side of the coin (or platelet), fact and fiction mixed in:
The Ancient Greeks believed that the blood of the gods, ichor, was a mineral that was poisonous to mortals.
Blood was associated with air, Spring time, and with a merry and gluttonous personality in classical Greek medicine. It was also believed to be produced exclusively by the liver.
In many indigenous Australian Aboriginal traditions, ochre — particularly red — and blood, considered Maban, are applied to the bodies of dancers for ritual.
Blood is also used to fasten the feathers of birds onto people’s bodies. Bird feathers contain a protein that is highly magnetically sensitive.
Lawlor (Robert Lawlor, mythographer) comments that blood employed in this fashion is held by these peoples to attune the dancers to the invisible energetic realm of the Dreamtime. Lawlor then connects these invisible energetic realms and magnetic fields, because iron is magnetic.
Chinese and Japanese Cultures
In popular Chinese culture it’s often said that if a man’s nose produces a small flow of blood, it signifies that he’s experiencing sexual desire.
This frequently appears in Chinese-language and Hong Kong films as well as in Japanese culture parodied in anime and manga. Characters, mostly males, will often be shown with a nosebleed if they have just seen someone nude or in little clothing, or if they have had an erotic thought or fantasy.
The belief is based on the notion that a man’s blood pressure will spike dramatically when aroused.
Among the Germanic tribes – such as Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen – blood was used during their sacrifices. The blood was considered to have the power of its originator, and after the butchering the blood was sprinkled on the walls, on the statues of the gods, and on the participants themselves.
The act of sprinkling this blood was called ‘bleodsian’ in Old English, and the terminology was borrowed by the Roman Catholic Church becoming to bless and blessing.
The Hittite word for blood, ‘ishar’ was a cognate to words for ‘oath’ and ‘bond.’
Water is such an incredibly important, literally life giving external source to one’s life blood for a number of reasons:
- Our blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body.
- Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop working;
So, water and blood are inextricably linked in keeping you going, keeping you healthy and keeping your blood cells plumped up.
Remember – 8 glasses a day. Whether at home; at school; at the office or exercising.