While the concept of storing water in copper vessels arose centuries ago and has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine, it is increasingly gaining attention from the mainstream scientific community. In particular, recent studies have confirmed that water stored in a copper vessel can have very attractive health benefits.
One recent study concerning the health benefits of drinking water stored in a copper water pitcher was inspired by the reality that microbially-unsafe water is still a major concern in most developing countries. The researchers noted that although many water-purification methods exist, they are expensive and beyond the reach of many people, especially in rural areas.
In light of the fact that Ayurveda recommends the use of copper for storing drinking-water, the objective of the researchers’ study was to evaluate the effect of a copper jug on microbially-contaminated drinking-water.
In brief, the researchers began by contaminating drinking water with a significant quantity of various dangerous and potentially life-threatening bacteria, including e. coli, salmonella, and many others. Once the water was thoroughly contaminated by the bacteria, the researchers left it in a copper pitcher for 16 hours at room temperature.
Incredibly, following the 16 hour storage period, no bacteria could be recovered from the copper pitcher. In addition, recovery attempts failed even after the researchers attempted to “resuscitate” the bacteria by pouring enrichment broth into the water in order to “feed” the bacteria.
In that same study, the researchers also concluded that storage of water in the copper jug caused the pH of the water to increase. In particular, after 16 hours, the pH of the water increased from 7.83 to 7.93 while the other attributes of the water remained unchanged. Various other studies have shown that drinking natural alkaline water can have a wide variety of health benefits.
In another recent study, the same researchers poured water contaminated with bacteria into a copper jug as well as glass bottles and stored them for a number of hours at room temperature. Although no bacteria was later recoverable from the copper jug, bacteria was recoverable from the glass bottles.
In essence, the researchers concluded in both studies that the storage of the contaminated water in the copper jug had completely eliminated the bacteria. They also concluded that “copper holds promise as a point-of-use solution for microbial purification of drinking-water, especially in developing countries.”