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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ancient Indian wisdom-WATER STORED IN BRASS VESSEL GOOD FOR HEALTH


Ancient Indian wisdom-WATER STORED IN BRASS VESSEL GOOD FOR HEALTH

Ancient Indian wisdom that drinking water should be stored in brass vessels for good health has now been proved scientifically by researchers.

Microbiologists say that water stored in brass containers can help combat many water-borne diseases and should be used in developing countries rather than their cheaper alternatives, plastic containers.

Rob Reed, a microbiologist at Northumbria University in Newcastle, who led the brass study had on a visit to India witnessed villagers storing water in brass vessels. He also heard an interesting piece of local wisdom: people believe that traditional brass water containers offer protection against sickness. The idea intrigued Reed, who was in Asia investigating the anti-bacterial effects of sunlight on water.

Reed has now found that bacteria are indeed less likely to thrive in brass water pots than in earthenware or plastic ones. "It's one of the traditional ideas of water treatment and we were able to find a microbiological basis for it," he was quoted by Nature as saying.

Reed, with his colleagues Puja Tnadon and Sanjay Chhibber, carried out two series of experiments. In Britain, the researchers filled brass and earthenware vessels with a diluted culture of escherichia coli bacteria, which can cause illnesses such as dysentry. They then counted the surviving bacteria after 6, 24 and 48 hours. A similar test was carried out in India using naturally contaminated water.

"The amount of live e-coli in the brass vessels dropped dramatically over time, and after 48 hours they fell to undetectable levels," Reed told the Society for General Microbiology's meeting. Reed said pots made of brass shed copper particles into the water they contained. The amounts that circulated in the brass water vessels could not harm humans, he explained. 

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