Boosts immunity, fights cancer and inflammation

Copper vessels filled with water for drinking (Photo: Pixabay)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Step into a traditional house in India and you will find that the kitchens still contain copper and brass utensils.
  • These are expensive metals and therefore one wonders why these metals were preferred for storing water or cooking.
  • There is a scientific reason why Ayurveda is prescribed and our ancestors followed the practice of storing water in copper vessels.

Our ancestors were quick learners and when something benefited human health physically, mentally or both, they found ways to incorporate the usage into daily life under the guise of a festival or religious belief.

American viewers were pleasantly surprised to learn that copper drinking vessels have historical roots that date back thousands of years. USA Today cites Bill Keevil, director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, as saying that the practice of “tamra jalin India has existed for thousands of years. The water is stored in brass or copper containers overnight and drunk the next morning. It might be a novelty for people outside India, but in India it is more of a norm.

It’s just that we don’t blindly follow something just because it was followed by our ancestors. But if science or experience proves that our ancient civilization did indeed possess practical wisdom, we should gladly embrace the fact and the practice.

Drinking_water_bottle_in_copper
Drinking water from a copper container – fad or serious health benefit?
One such practice is to store water in huge copper handis (pots), to use copper for puja prasad, and to drink at least one glass of water every day from a copper vessel, little doesn’t matter if the rest of the day you drink water from a glass bottle.

The practice of storing drinking water in copper vessels does not only exist in one part of India, but in ancient pan-India. The idea was to rid the water of bacteria – and it worked well in an era when there were no water filters or chemical agents to kill germs.

  1. Scientific proof of the antibacterial properties of copper vessels became available in March 2012 when an article in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition found that water stored in copper containers for 16 hours killed pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and cholera causing Vibrio cholerae O1 and Salmonella species. Studies have shown that copper surfaces completely kill pathogens. A study published in the Journal of Health Population and Nutrition involved researching the antibacterial activity of copper pots on drinking water inoculated with enteric pathogens. In the control glass bottles, on the other hand, the number of inoculated bacteria either remained the same or increased slightly, but the bacteria. E. coli inoculated on copper coupons were completely killed.
  2. Trace of metal that the body needs in a minute quantity: The second reason is that our body needs a tiny bit of copper. Although copper oxide is an excellent antibacterial agent, it can be toxic if the concentration of copper in the water exceeds 1.3 ppm (WHO standard). A study cited in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrated “higher fecal free radical production, fecal water cytotoxicity, and alkaline phosphatase activity when consuming low dietary copper,” all of which are thought to be contributing factors. risk for the colon. cancer. USA Today states that appropriate amounts of copper may therefore have a positive effect on health, but also states that further research is needed.
  3. Have we abandoned metals: These days we seem to be cooking more in stainless steel, glass, and even plastic containers. Home chef and food writer Debjani Chatterjee Alam told The Times of India that it is advisable to incorporate metal utensils into our daily lives as they help us improve our health and immunity. “Thakurer bhog (prasad offered to God on auspicious occasions) is mostly cooked in brass utensils, and this practice has proven health benefits. Certain metals like iron help increase hemoglobin levels and also improve skin health. Having water from a copper vessel is extremely good for your health and aids in digestion. It is also the best metal for cooking rice, as it has antibacterial properties,” Denjani told TOI.

It reminds me that in my childhood, the water heater was a huge copper tank with a tap to draw hot water. The fuel was wood lit below as the ship was held on the stand. These days you are more likely to find it as an artwork on display or in a museum.

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Old copper water heater for bath

Deployment of the virtues of copper in modern appliances:

Now researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru have developed a water filter membrane with copper ions to make drinking water safe, reports The Hindu. The results were published in the journal Nanoscale. IISc researchers have developed a method of coating copper oxide with a biocompatible polymer (polyphosphoester or PPE) for a controlled release of copper ions. A copper oxide gel-like porous structure coated with the polymer was used to coat the membrane. The polymer used for coating the copper has anti-fouling properties, said Professor Suryasarathi Bose of IISc’s Department of Materials Engineering. The Hindu.

The SMA polymer coated on the membrane, which partially hydrolyzes upon contact with water, interacts with the outer membrane of bacteria to produce disc-like structures. “It solubilizes the membrane protein but does not kill the bacteria. But the interaction with the bacterial cell membrane leads to the release of a particular enzyme (phosphatase and/or phospholipase)”, explains Professor Bose.

A word of warning:

Copper is needed:

The human body needs copper to survive. The recommended copper dietary allowance for men and women over 18 is 900 mcg, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Based on animal and human studies, the effects of copper deficiency include anemia, hypopigmentation, hypercholesterolemia, connective tissue disorders, osteoporosis and other bone abnormalities, abnormal lipid metabolism, ataxia and increased risk of infection. Dietary copper deficiency is believed by some experts to play a role in the etiology and pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia, due to several reports of low copper levels and low activity. copper-dependent enzymes in the brains of people with the disease.

But too much copper can be toxic:

Although copper in water can be helpful for people who don’t consume enough copper, high concentrations of copper can be dangerous. Copper can leach into foods that are acidic in nature and therefore should never be used to store foods or beverages with a pH below 6. The US Toxic Substances Registry warns that ingesting high levels of copper could cause harmful effects, from “nausea, vomiting and diarrhea” to kidney and liver damage or even death, in extreme cases.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional if you have specific questions about any medical topic.