Egyptians used it for sterilizing drinking water, for healing headaches and skin infections; the Greeks used it; the Aztecs used it for medical reasons like curing sore throats and infections by gargling copper-infused water; in India copper came to be used for treating the various type of infections; all the way to the Roman era when physicians recommended it for the purpose of digestive detoxification, healing ulcers, eye infections, and mouth sores. Even during the 19th century, scientists found that as cholera spread, the use of this reddish-brown metal supported peoples’ immune systems. In fact, French scientists found that people who worked in copper mines were immune to cholera while their neighbors contracted the disease. In 1939, German scientists even found that people who worked in the copper mines did not get arthritis when they worked there. Given the antimicrobial and antibacterial action of copper, more recently in the US, several medical centers decided to install copper devices on high-touch surfaces in 2015. The use of copper was also necessary to stop the spread of bacterial strains that were resistant to all antibiotics. Widely recommended in the ancient healing system of Ayurveda for its dosha balancing benefits, the use of copper is not limited to hospitals and nursing homes anymore but has made a comeback in the form of copper utensils such as copper bottles, jugs, and even copper straws. Drinking copper infused water or copper water (called Tamra Jal in Ayurveda), that is water stored in copper utensils is said to be healthier, due to its antimicrobial properties; ability to neutralize toxins; ability to aid digestion and reduce wound healing time, and for balancing the three doshas or bio-energies. Check out this beautiful Copper collection that includes copper straws, copper jugs, copper Neti Pot & Copper tongue cleaners! (For those who wish to know, at the end of this article, we share ways to clean and maintain copper vessels.)
Copper in your body
Even as a trace metal (found or needed in very little quantity, a requirement that can be met by drinking water from copperware), copper is essential for many bodily functions. It helps produce energy; it is needed for the growth and health of connective tissues and is needed for metabolic function and the development of the brain.
How to use it?
Water stored in copper vessels overnight allows enough time for copper infusion into the water. This is called copper water which is safe for drinking or carrying around at your workplace or workout.
But what are the benefits of it?
Copper, as we discussed above, has been in use for its antimicrobial and germicidal properties for centuries. Perhaps it is due to this reason that even physicians in ancient times would recommend the use of this metal in treating patients undergoing certain infections of the eye or stomach, ulcers, and sore throats.
Copper is now registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a solid antimicrobial material. In fact, the term that has come to be used is ‘contact killing’ since yeasts, viruses, and different bacterial strains quickly die on copper surfaces. This has made it a popular metal to be used in the healthcare setting where pathogenic risk is very high.
Even for commercial and residential water sterilization purposes, copper is now being widely recommended. If the water is contaminated or not sterilized, it can contain disease-causing bacterial strains like E Coli, V cholera or Salmonella T. Storing water in copper vessels can ensure these strains do not survive. The use of copper on a bigger scale can also ensure billions of people have access to safe drinking water.
Copper for immunity
Our immune system needs copper to carry several of its functions properly. “Some of the recent research showed that interleukin 2 is reduced in copper deficiency and is likely the mechanism by which T cell proliferation is reduced,” research published by scientists at Florida University showed, “These results were extended to show that even in marginal deficiency when common indexes of copper are not affected by the diet, the proliferative response and interleukin concentrations are reduced.” Interleukins are proteins that regulate the activity of white blood cells, that fight foreign pathogens.
Balances the three doshas
Having copper-infused water first thing in the morning is said to balance all the three doshas in the body, according to Ayurveda.
The way copper does this is that it makes the acidic environment inside your stomach slightly alkaline while doing a good job of killing harmful disease-causing bacteria that can affect the digestive system. It also supports the process of peristalsis, the process of breaking down and assimilation of food in the digestive tract.
Heals wounds in a shorter time
Given its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, copper is known to aid the faster healing of wounds and injuries, going by primary research in this area.
Weight loss? Perfect digestive detox
Drinking copper water is said to be a great way to cleanse your body of toxins, as it helps to cleanse the stomach and improve metabolism. A robust metabolism also helps lose weight faster by improving digestion and breaking down fat.
Copper comes packed with antioxidants that help you fight off rogue radicals and maintain the production of collagen to slow down aging.
Managing arthritis and inflammations
Copper is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, something that came to light prominently when at the start of the 20th century German physicians found that copper mineworkers had been resistant to arthritis or joint diseases. Copper has been in use for dealing with joint inflammations and arthritis for several centuries now.
Research shows that for best sterilization, water must be stored in copper pots or jugs for 7-8 hours. Once you have stored it for long enough, you can take it to work/school or gym, and enjoy copper-infused water.
Meeting the minimum copper needs
Our body does not make copper on its own. So even the trace amount must be had from external sources, which can be either dietary like seafood, lentils, meat, or simply drinking copper infused water can provide enough copper for your body.
How to clean and maintain copper vessels?
Now that you are convinced about making copper a part of your life, a very common question that we have pre-empted is how to clean and maintain the copper vessel. Here are a few quick ways to clean copper bottles or jars- Lemon and salt Cut a lemon into two halves, and place one half in a bowl of salt. Now with this half, start rubbing the copper jar. Squeeze the lemon while you are rubbing the insides of the jar, so it mixes with the salt. Make sure you have scrubbed the entire surface with lemon and salt. And now you can simply wash it off with a regular dishwasher. To clean a copper bottle: Let us tell you how you can clean the insides of your copper bottle with the same ingredients. Squeeze one-half of the lemon into the bottle. Pour 1 tablespoon salt into it. Pour half a cup of water. Now shake shake shake the bottle! Make sure the lid is tightly closed. And now, pour out the saltwater. You can also use vinegar instead of lemon and follow the same process above. Another decent cleansing option is replacing salt with baking soda in the above preparation. Published by Ruchira Roy
This content on the Sri Sri Tattva blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any links to third party websites is provided as a convenience only and the Sri Sri Tattva Blog is not responsible for their content.