For years the idea of consuming water has been sold as a panacea for all kinds of diseases starting from prevention to cure. But the most important question is do we also pay heed to the health of the water that ensures our health? Most often the answer is No!
As per the National Geographic Society, only 0.007 per cent of the planet's water is drinkable that goes into feeding its 6.8 billion people. Of this, more than 785 million people do not have access to even the basic water service and more than 884 million people do not have safe water to drink.
All these facts are horrifying but what is more horrible is that the ones who feel privileged to have access to the drinkable water are also not consuming healthy water. Yes, the water they are drinking is almost demineralized due to advanced filtration processes. For this, let’s have an insight over demineralization.
What does demineralization of Water actually mean?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), minerals in water must contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids such as Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, iron and zinc.
Well, the available drinkable water does contain these essential minerals but it also encapsulates a lot of contaminants that need to be filtered out. According to the market surveys, the most effective at-home water filtration method is reverse osmosis (RO) that removes more than 99.9% of the total dissolved salts from a well or city water source. This not only robes off the contaminants and makes the water safe and drinkable but also removes important minerals from the water; deficiency of which causes various health issues in the long run.
How does demineralization of Water affect one’s Health?
The filtration process makes the water imbalanced and devoid of its vital components such as fluorides, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium et al. With the low levels of fluorides, the incidence of dental caries increases whereas its elevated levels cause mottling of the teeth as well as skeletal fluorosis. The decreased levels of calcium cause brittle bones and teeth; the deficiency of magnesium causes fatigue as it helps in converting food into energy. Potassium, as an important mineral in water, balances the fluids in the body whereas the sodium component in water balances the salt content in the body. Overall, the loss of all these minerals in water disrupts the blood’s delicate osmotic pressure leading to an electrolyte imbalance.
So consuming RO demineralized water subsequently deprives the body of necessary nutrition ultimately leading to debilitating symptoms such as headache, tiredness, weakness, muscular cramps, impaired heart rate and also leaves a negative impact on hormone secretion, kidney functions and bone mineral density. So, in the blind run of making water healthy for a healthy life we are heading towards making our drinking water - lifeless, ineffective and non-contributory.
How to make your life & water – Healthy?
Your life would be Healthy, if your Water would be Healthy. The health of water has always been a matter of concern therefore in different eras different techniques were used to make it drinkable and healthy. According to the research paper “An overview of principles & practices of Water consumption in Ayurveda” authored by Deepak Londhe, Ashwin Chandra Chiluveri, U. R. Sekhar there are various methods of purification prescribed in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine system) such as:
Mechanical Purification: This method recommends purification by clean & neat cotton clothes. This is effective over contamination like mud.
Thermal Purification: This method suggests purification of water by means of boiling, sunlight or by dropping heated solid in the water. This is effective over microorganisms and bacteriological contaminants.
Herbal Purification: This method has various ancillaries. Two of those are listed below.
One is purification via scenting the water with Ayurvedic Herbs like Delphinium Denudatum, Strychnous Potatorum & flower of Mesua Ferrea, Michelia Champaka & Nelumbo Nucifera etc. This is effective to destroy unwanted foreign elements in the water.
Another is purification of water via Vishanashak (Anti-Toxic) Herbs – Anogessus Latifolia, Diptereocapus Turbinatus, Pterocarpus Marsupium, Erythrina Variegata, Stereospermum Suaveolens, Vitex Negundo, Casia Fistula, Acacia Catachu. These should be burnt into ash and then spread on the water from reservoirs like lakes. A handful of this ash can also be put into the pot containing drinking water.
- One is purification via scenting the water with Ayurvedic Herbs like Delphinium Denudatum, Strychnous Potatorum & flower of Mesua Ferrea, Michelia Champaka & Nelumbo Nucifera etc. This is effective to destroy unwanted foreign elements in the water.
- Pure Packaging: The most ideal containers to store purified drinking water are those made of pure Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze or Devine stone.
These ancient methods used for centuries by dwellers of various countries had kept the society a bit safe against the deadly attacks of viruses and bacteria. But with the advent of technology and on the pretext of busy life schedules, we replaced the ancient methods with modern water purifiers, advanced filtration processes, highly developed taps and water treatment processes. And we are where we are – diseased, physiologically as well as psychologically. It’s time to catch the link between the Health of the two: Water and Humans!