Copper is known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activities. Storage of water in a copper pot overnight, minimum of 8 hours and to drink it in the mornings is described to bring many health benefits.
It is known as Tamra in Ayurveda. It was widely used in the form of pure metal and as alloys of Brass and Bronze in ancient times. Copper pots and vessels are prescribed in Ayurvedic procedures for the preparation and storage of medicines.
In Ayurveda, Copper and its formulations are prescribed for the treatment of many health conditions related to microbial infestation, liver, respiratory system, anemia, and edema.
An active metal, Copper and its alloys should be used wisely to get the maximum health benefits. Similar to Silver metal, one should not put any sour and acidic food items such as lemon, yogurt, and tomatoes in a copper pot or vessel. This is because acidic food items react with the Copper metal to form compounds that act as toxins or produce toxins in our body.
Antimicrobial Effect of Copper Pot
Stored Water in Copper pot for 16 hours showed to have an antimicrobial effect against diarrhea-causing micro-organisms as Vibrio cholera and Escherichia coli. The copper pot retains this anti-microbial effect after 5 days.
Additionally, contaminated Water with Rotavirus stored in Copper pot showed to loss its infectivity. It is known that Rotavirus causes diarrhea in infants and is responsible for 45 % hospitalizations in developing countries.
Physicochemical Parameters of Water Stored in Copper Pot
The physicochemical parameters of water such as pH, total dissolved solids, alkalinity, and hardness were not changed.
Copper leach in Water is approximately 200 parts per billion (ppb), which is within the World Health Organization (WHO) Limits of Copper, i.e. 2000 ppb. This indicates that Copper pot is amenable for public use.
Also, the Water Quality Index (WQI) of Copper is 88.39 which indicates Copper as a good source for storage. While WQI of glass is 69.56 which is medium. While Plastic is 48 which is bad.
Note: WQI values: Good: 70-90, Medium: 50-70, Bad: <50
- Copper carries Astringent, Sweet, Bitter and Sour tastes or Rasa.
- It mitigates Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha.
- Its Vipaka or post-digestive effect on the body is pungent.
- It has a laxative and scrapping effect on the body.
- It has cold Virya or potency.
Functions of Copper in our body
- Copper is essential for the synthesis of Hemoglobin, hence to maintain proper iron levels in your body.
- Copper is also an essential component of many enzymes that promote metabolism and catabolism of the damaging byproducts of metabolism.
- It is also essential in cell development functions such as embryo development, mitochondrial respiration, and hepatocyte (growth of liver cells).
- Copper plays a vital role in the proper functioning of our nervous system.
Copper – An Ayurvedic View
In Ayurveda Copper is used in the treatment of many diseases related to the microbial infections, digestive system, and nutritional disorders. Copper is used in the form of “Bhasma”, obtained through the special treatment of metal or it is used in the form of pure metal as well.
- Copper is recommended to be used in the treatment of Pandu (anemic disorders) as it helps with the absorption of Iron in the body.
- Copper is used in conditions of gastric disorders as Arsa (piles), Amlapitta (Gastritis), and Sula (pain).
- It is also used in the treatment of Kustha (skin disorders) and Krimi (worm infestation) for its antimicrobial properties.
- It is used in respiratory disorders such as Svasa (Dyspnea), Kshaya (Pulmonary tuberculosis), and Pinasa (Coryza).
- Copper is recommended for the treatment of liver and lymphatic system disorders as Udara (Ascites) and Sopha (Edema).
- Copper is also prescribed for the treatment of eye disorders such as blurred vision.
- Water stored in a copper vessel helps to relieve Pitta Dosha aggravation.
Tolerable Doses of Copper
- Consume 2- 3 Liters of water stored in Copper vessels per day.
- Also, use nutritional supplements and copper from foods without exceeding the tolerable upper intake level of 10 mg/day.
Acute Copper Toxicity Symptoms
Gastrointestinal symptoms as nausea were observed at 4 mg/L of copper (delivered as copper sulfate) in women and at 6 mg/L in men.
Copper Device: An Alternative to Copper Pot
As Copper pots are expensive, the Copper device can be scaled up to purify Water. For treating one liter of water, Copper device would cost INR.500 – 600/- for a lifetime and can be used in a regular plastic pot or any other container used to store water.
Its functioning is not dependent on fuel, electricity, replaceable filters, the intensity of sunlight, etc. to operate or maintain it. It also reduces recontamination due to handling. It is simply passive storage of water.