5. Water: Is It Fit To Drink?
The importance of water in our diet has been well established. Although it is best for us to obtain our water from food sources, sometimes we need additional water.
For example, when a person works in the sun for several hours on a hot day, his need for water will be proportionately greater than the water content of most foods. When the need for additional water exists, what kind of water should be taken?
5.1 Tap Water and Its Processing
Most folks in this country drink the water that is easily available to them. Commercial “purified” tap water is easily available and is used for drinking water by the majority of people. Nevertheless, few of those drinking such water are aware of exactly, what constitutes the water they are drinking. At least in the United States, most people drink their tap water without giving it a second thought.
Any person who carefully considers the nature of tap water and its constituents will be unlikely to continue to drink it. Besides the barrage of chemicals added to the water at the “purification plant” (which we’ll go into later), in most cases the water must travel through an intricate web of pipelines before reaching its destination. These pipes pose the additional danger of adding even more unneeded materials to the water.
Through man’s continual disregard for the purity of his environment, almost all of the natural waters of the earth are contaminated by chemical pollutants. For instance DDT has been found in the far reaches of the North Pole area. Among the pollutants of our natural water are: soap, wood pulp, oil, sulfuric acid, copper, arsenic, paint, pesticides and even radioactive wastes! Among the most prevalent inorganic minerals in our waters, which are unusable by and toxic to the body, are calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine and sulfur.
It is unfortunate that so many pollutants are in our natural waters. What is even more unfortunate for the tap water drinker is that still more chemical pollutants are added to the commercially available water supplies. These chemicals are added supposedly in a effort to purify the water and kill its “disease-producing bacteria.” The chemicals are more harmful, though, than the bacteria they’re supposed to rid the water of!
Let’s take a closer look at the major methods commonly used in water treatment.
- Sedimentation: When water is allowed to stand still, its heaviest particles will naturally settle to the bottom. This principle can be easily illustrated by stirring some standing water. If you stir up the bottom and watch for awhile, its murkiness will dissipate and it will become relatively clear again in time. Particles that tend to sediment include sand, rocks and heavy particles that are not chemically bonded with the water itself.
- Filtration: Filtration is a process that strains out particles in the water that do not settle. Commonly, the water is allowed to pass through some kind of porous material, such as sand or diatomaceous earth. The porous material acts like a net and captures the particles in the water mixture. Water is sometimes put under pressure in the filtration process.
- Coagulation: Coagulation is a process that involves the use of jelly-like binding materials. These materials can include aluminium hydroxide, aluminium sulfate and activated silica. The theory goes that these chemicals will bind with impurities and cause them to settle out. However, there’s a great likelihood that at least trace amounts of these toxins remain in the water after this process.
- “Softening”: Many of the waters used for commercial water supplies in this country are originally “hard,” mineral-laden waters. In water treatment facilities, chemicals such as calcium hydroxide and sodium carbonate are added to the water. These substances form chemical bonds with the “hardening” minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. The resultant chemicals from the reaction are then filtered as much as possible.
Sometimes this filtering is done by a process called reverse osmosis, whereby the purer water is transported towards the area of least salt (mineral) concentration. This process is literally the reverse of normal osmosis and is done by artificial means of transport such as water pumps.
The idea of removing hardening minerals from the water we drink is in accordance with Hygiene. But we just can’t agree with this methodology. Anytime unnatural substances are added to the water, our chances of ingesting these chemicals substances are increased. Since it is true that our body can use only the water content of the water we drink, it is best to avoid water that has been chemically softened.
- Chlorination: With few exceptions, chlorine is added to the water supply of every large city in the United States. It is added at the rate of approximately one-half to one part per million. Theoretically, chlorine is added to the water in order to poison and kill the germs contained therein. However, we must only remember World War I to imagine the deadly effects chlorine produces in the body. Chlorine has, for instance, been found to be a contributing factor in atherosclerosis. From my own childhood experience, I can remember swimming in a large chlorinated pool, and to my chagrin, a bucketfull of chlorine was added to the water in which I was swimming! Fortunately, I was not seriously injured— it probably was not a strong chlorine solution. However, I can still remember the stinging of my skin and the feelings of nausea and disorientation I experienced from even such a short exposure. From this experience, I must question the advisability of taking any amount of a deadly toxin such as chlorine into the body! Even such a small amount as one part per million, which is considered “safe” by the scientific community, is actually harmful.
- Bromine and iodine addition: In lieu of chlorine, which is by far the most widely used germ killer added to commercial water supplies, bromine and iodine are sometimes added. Both of these substances are deadly poisons to humans and are best avoided.
- Fluoridation: Probably there is no more controversial additive to water than fluorine. These major reason usually cited in favor of fluoridation is its supposed value in the protection of teeth. Some studies have shown that, at best, fluoridation only delays decay. Others have shown no improvement at all in “dental health” from the use of this poison.
Reasons aplenty exist, however, for the avoidance of fluoride. If excessive fluoride consumption persists, teeth stains and mottling of the teeth, eventually resulting in brittleness, can ensue. The Mayo Clinic department of Orthopaedics wrote that, although fluoride administration has been shown to stimulate new bone formation, the bone formed thereby is poorly mineralized.
Fluoride is mainly stored in bones, and it increases skeletal mineralization. In tests with animals, it has been found that abnormal amounts of bone formation occurred in those animals to which fluorine was administered. Fluoride can contribute to the calcification of ligaments and tendons—even eventually contributing to the spine become a solid column of bone.
In addition to bone storage, fluorine can be stored virtually anywhere in the body, including the aorta, the main bloodflow artery of the heart. There is considerable evidence that fluorine impairs kidney function. In some studies, fluorine has been linked to genetic damage, birth defects and cancer. Fluorine can even react with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and turn to highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid. This acid can lead to hemmorhaging in the upper gastrointestinal tract!
Clearly, the harmfulness of fluorine in our waters is abundant! Surely the dubious benefit of “protection of the teeth” cannot compare to the known health detriments of fluoridation.
Fluoride, as it is added to water, is in an inorganic, unassimilable form. Although fluoride can be found in the bodies of people with healthy teeth, it is also sometimes found to be absent. What has been stated above is ample cause for the avoidance of fluoride and its concurrent pathological effects.
We’ve not even discussed all the possible problems to be found in tap water. Its toxins include lime, soda ash, fluorine, chlorine and sulfur. Some city water supplies have been found to contain many other substances thought to be carcinogenic. Perhaps the most important thing to remember about tap water is this: It’s more than just water! The chemicals added to the water are unusable poisons; the inorganic minerals in that water are little better! Let’s relegate our tap water to uses other than for drinking, and our health will benefit immeasureably.
It is our hope that this discussion of tap water has convinced you of the merits of its avoidance! Let’s continue our discussion of other types of water you might consider drinking.
5.2 Salt Water
Lots of folks are proclaiming the health benefits of sea water and sea salt. They say the complement of minerals in sea water is similar to our blood. Yet sea water is not a food; its drinking occasions vomiting and can produce death. Sailors will die of thirst before drinking it. All its elements are in an inorganic form (see the next section on mineral waters) and are unusable by and toxic to the body. Its salt content requires extra pure water to keep the salt in solution away from body tissues. We’re best off avoiding sea water as well!
5.3 Mineral Water
A huge controversy exists concerning the beneficence of mineralized water in the diet. This subject is fully discussed in the book The Great Water Controversy by T.C. Fry, Herbert M. Shelton and others. Some of the most important things to remember about mineralized waters are:
- As was discussed in Lesson 10, minerals cannot be used by the body unless they are in their organic unfragmented form. The body must expend considerable energy to expel these unneeded materials from the body before the water itself can be cured.
Let’s go into this subject a bit more fully. Minerals are only usable to the body as they are found in organic forms of life such as plants. Only plants form the link between the earth-minerals and animal life! We cannot digest rocks. Although inorganic minerals may have the same chemical composition as the organic minerals, they differ in structure and in the relative position of the component molecules. This difference is crucial, for it determines the usability of the substance by the body.
How does a plant transform earth’s inorganic minerals into usable forms? First, the plant takes in sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and elements from the earth. By the process of photosynthesis, the plant’s chlorophyll captures the sunlight and forms carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide. In the process of the growth of the plant, the minerals from the earth become organically part of the plant itself. Then, and only then, can the minerals be considered assimilable by the body.
- The inorganic minerals found in mineral water are deposited by the body in tissue structures and bones. Mineral deposits can lead to kidney stone and gallstone formation, hardening of the arteries, ossification of the brain, arthritis and heart disease. Inorganic minerals excreted through the skin can cause tissue degeneration.
- When harmful substances enter the body, they are encountered by the white blood cells, which are a part of the body’s inherent defense mechanism. Continued ingestion of harmful substances, including inorganic minerals, can result in an over-proliferation of the white blood cells. This condition is called leukocytosis.
- It has been suggested that the different stages of life—from infancy to old age—are just differences in the state of ossification of the body parts. The major difference in body tissues between youth and old age is the greater rigidity and toughness of tissues in advanced age.
What can be more refreshing than a soothing summer shower? Rainwater was once a prime choice for drinking. However, we must begrudgingly recognize that the “waste products” of all the technological boons of mankind have befuddled our waters. Our atmosphere is polluted badly, and rainwater tends to absorb and wash these toxins out of the air.. Although that’s great for the air, it makes rainwater drinking unfeasible in most circumstances. If you have a heavy rainstorm and begin collecting water several hours into it, chances are the water will be good (unless you live in an area where the. air is severely polluted). Otherwise, rainwater is, best avoided for drinking.
Most well waters are heavily laden with inorganic minerals. When this is the case, well water is best left in the ground or used only for cleaning, swimming and bathing.
5.6 Spring Water
Some spring waters are heavily mineralized; others are fresh and soft. When you buy spring water from the store, there’s little way of knowing just what you’re getting. Soft pure spring water can be good to drink—but unless you know it’s soft and pure, pass it up!
5.7 Distilled Water
Distilled water is the purest water available. Nothing but water is in it. When the need for additional water other than what we get from our diet exists, distilled water is unequivocally the best choice for drinking.
Perhaps the most prominent objection to the use of distilled water, is that distillers are not to be found anywhere in nature, although the process is a natural one. For great health, it is necessary that we partake of foods, air and sunshine as they are found in nature. To the great discredit of exploitative humankind, our natural waters have been fouled to the point of toxicity with the waste matter of our so-called “advanced” civilization. It is for this reason that it’s dangerous to drink even rainwater! Distilling water is perhaps our only real choice in insuring the purity of our drinking water. Nevertheless, it is a shame that we must use unnatural mechanical procedures to make pure water available to our bodies once more.
The proponents of hard water drinking have claimed that distilled water is dangerous to drink because it leeches out minerals from the body. There is some truth in this statement, but not the way they mean it. Distilled water does aid the body in removing harmful, disease-producing inorganic minerals from the tissues and bones where those not eliminated are stored. However, distilled water does not leech out the organic minerals that have become part of our cellular structures. We must remember that the body chooses what it does with the water that is ingested. The water does not act upon the body. It is the body that acts upon the water! The body will relegate the proper usage of the pure distilled water it receives.