Egyptian Eye Makeup
There’s more to the eye makeup that gave Queen Nefertiti and other ancient Egyptian those stupendous gazes and legendary beauty than meets the eye. Scientists in France are reporting that the alluring eye makeup also may have been used to help prevent or treat eye disease by doubling as an infection-fighter.
In a new study, scientists found that the substances in the eye make up boosted production of nitric oxide by up to 240 per cent in cultured human skin cells. Modern scientists recognize nitric oxide as a key signaling agent in the body. Its roles include revving-up the immune system to help fight disease.
Egyptians wore eye makeup, believing that the gods Horus and Ra would protect wearers of the makeup against several eye illnesses and skin ailments. The new data fully supports that ancient Egyptians associated with this makeup and particularly with its laurionite component was real and effective.
Whether or not the manufacture of these lead chlorides was deliberately connected to preventive health care by Egyptians, it is clear that such intentional production remains the first known example of a large scale chemical process.
It is no wonder that ‘kemezj,’ the Egyptian word that referred to the Egyptian land and to the black earth of the Nile valley, was handed to us via the Greeks and then the Arabs to eventually coin our present word ‘chemistry’.