Rudraksha beads are malas, 108 beads strung into a set of prayer beads. The beads are seeds from the Rudraksha evergreen tree. These particular malas have been used by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists as rosaries as early as the 10th century. They can be used as a meditation tool, as well as to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from "Rudra" (Shiva, the Hindu God of all living creatures) and "aksha" (eyes).
The Shrimad Devi Bhagwat says that one is benefited by simply looking at or touching a Rudraksha. They can be worn for health, wealth and spirituality. Asian Yogis and monks found that merely wearing the Rudraksha beads gave them a sense of tranquility and concentration, enabling them to meditate for prolonged periods of time. Rudraksha has also been said to help control onsets of anxiety.