Naturally Purified Water
In this modern age, we often choose convenience over a healthier living. Drinking bottled water, for example, is not only harmful for the environment but also poses health risks. Isn’t it better to follow the old practice instead?
Ayurvedic texts recommend drinking water stored in copper, because copper is believed to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an essential mineral for our body and medical studies have proved the benefits of drinking water stored in copper jugs. According to microbiologists and research studies carried out at the Trans Disciplinary University, Bangalore, jugs or water containers made of copper can combat many water-borne diseases. It is suggested that developing countries use these vessels instead of the cheaper plastic containers.
Modern Drinking Water Storage System
In these days of modern technology, we rarely, if ever, would dare to drink water directly from the tap or a pond as we are aware that it is unsafe due to the presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, etc. In order to make water fit enough to drink, today we have UV filters and RO water purifiers. However, the conventional water-treatment methods such as chlorination, filtration and energy-intensive boiling are impractical in the rural areas and urban slums of developing countries. In such a world, storing drinking water in copper vessels might sound old-fashioned.
Science behind use of Copper Vessels
The science behind storage of water in copper vessel and its benefits might be as follows:
- Water Purification – Ancient Ayurvedic texts suggest that storing water in copper vessels would naturally purify it by ridding it of many harmful viruses and bacteria. This is why copper-ware such as copper lotas were, and should be used to store drinking water overnight and had first thing in the morning.
- Killing of microbes in water – Storing drinking water in copper vessels is reported to destroy diarrhea-causing bacteria, such as Vibrio cholerae, enteropathogenic E. coli and Salmonella. It is also effective against many other disease-causing bacteria such as Shigella flexneri and Salmonella paratyphi, thus making water fit for drinking purposes.
- Stored water: An ideal source of copper – Copper is an essential micronutrient required by our body at a level of about 1mg/day. Though it is a trace amount, it has to come from our food. Although there are several food items containing copper such as whole wheat, beans, green leafy vegetables, honey, etc., the best method of meeting the body’s need for copper is by taking water stored overnight in a copper vessel. 2 liters of the water can supply 40% of our daily requirement of copper.
Health benefits of drinking water stored in a Copper Vessel
Ayurveda texts suggest that water stored in a copper vessel has the ability to balance all the three doshas in your body (vata, kapha and pitta). Drinking a glass of water from a copper vessel (at room temperature) has the following benefits:
- It helps flush the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract.
- It is a good tonic for the liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.
- It helps in maintaining digestive health.
- Stimulates the brain.
- Produces melanin (pigmentation of eyes, hair and skin) in our bodies.
- Helps in absorption of iron in the body.
- Kills harmful bacteria in water.
- Regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Relieves aches and pains caused due to swollen joints like in the case of arthritis.
- Slows down ageing.
- It helps to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and lowers one’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Heals wounds faster.
Water stored in a copper jug is good in many ways for our health and well being. To experience the incredible results of using copper vessels, you simply need to pour water in a copper jug, keep it overnight and drink the positively charged water early morning or 2-3 times in a day, that is more than enough to reap its benefits. Do not refrigerate that water. Wash the copper pot regularly with fresh lemon or a paste made out of salt and tamarind.
Copper vessels have been used from ancient times.
The use of copper by human civilization dates back to around 5,000 BC. The Smith Papyrus, the Egyptian medical text written around 2,600 BC, describes the application of copper to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water. Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs used the metal or its compounds for the treatment of chronic infections and for hygiene in general. Ancient Indian ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita (300 BC) mentions how copper kills fatal microbes, including its role in the purification of drinking water.
The use of copper as an antimicrobial agent was quite prevalent until the arrival of antibiotics in the 1930s. Now antibiotic-resistant superbugs are ubiquitous in hospitals, nursing homes, food processing plants and animal-breeding facilities. This has spawned renewed interest in copper which is believed to be the first metal used by mankind. Today, copper’s stellar role in killing dangerous microbes has been rediscovered by modern science.
How does Copper help in killing disease-causing microbes in Water?
When water is stored in a copper vessel for about 16 hours, copper, in very small quantities, gets dissolved in water. This process, known in scientific parlance as the “oligodynamic effect” has the power to destroy a wide range of moulds, fungi, algae and harmful microbes due to its toxic effects on living cells. Studies have indicated that the disease causing E.coli bacteria gets completely killed within 12 hours of inoculation into water stored in copper pots.
The copper content of water which reaches levels of about 190 µg/L is well within the permissible limits set by the World Health Organization and, thus, remains safe for drinking. After 16 hours, a slight increase in the pH of water from 7.83 to 7.93 occurs in copper pots due to which the taste of water might change a little while the physicochemical parameters remain unchanged.
A low-cost device for Safe Drinking Water
Since copper pots may not be affordable to many, viable contraptions were designed using copper to provide a cost-effective, decentralized purification method to the rural and urban population. Copper coil device was developed, which costs a fraction of a copper pot but works equally well. This handy device has the flexibility to be used in any container, is durable, easy-to-use, and maintained. Research evidence suggests that it works well under laboratory conditions and is safe. Seven villages in Ramanagara district, Karnataka, were identified as study sites since the microbial quality of the source water (borewell) was of poor quality, with coliform and E. coli contamination.