Storing water in a copper vessel is an ancient Ayurvedic practice known for its health benefits. Learn the benefits of 'copper water', when to take & how to clean your copper vessel.
One of the most important health practice since ancient times in India was that of drinking water stored in copper vessel. This water was said to have many benefits and was to be best taken in morning. In this article, we look at what benefits it offers and how to take it for best results and how to take care of your copper vessel.
History of drinking water from copper vessels -
Ayurveda has clearly laid out the benefits of copper vessels and storing water in them overnight. Ayurveda has taught us that water from copper vessels can balance all three doshas (pita, kappa and vata). The water stored in copper vessel is known as 'tamara jal' - in Sanskrit, 'tamara' means copper and 'jal' means water. This 'tamara jal' is to be consumed minimum after 8 hours of storing in the copper vessel so that copper has enough time to leech into the water. This water benefits the body since copper has a positive charge. It is taken by yogis first thing in the morning - right before the meditation. Copper vessels are also used to store water in the temples - for prayers and purification ceremonies.
What is minimum & maximum hours to store water in copper vessel?
As answered above, you MUST store for minimum of 8 hours (the longer, the better) to reap full benefits and the good news is, there is no maximum time limit - you can store for days and even months! This is because water stored in copper vessels will never go stale or rancid - copper kills pathogens and therefore, your water will always taste fresh, crisp and just plain amazing, whether you drink it after 8 hours or months later!
So, what are the benefits?
How much copper to be consumed daily?
Copper water - that is, drinking from copper vessels, is an ancient Ayurvedic concept, one that has been practiced since centuries, literally. People, then, were not scared of natural cures and nor were they busy reading one scientific research after another on the net or otherwise. Common sense and listening to one's body was the key to all answers when it came to health. Copper water was consumed daily and there was no fear that one would have too much copper in the body due to this reason.
STILL, if you insist, here is World Health Organization recommendation of daily copper allowance - 2 mg per litre of water or FDA allowance at 12 mg per day. Since water stored in copper vessels absorbs much less copper (about 1/20th), you can safely consume it without worrying about too much copper getting in the body!
What kind of copper vessel should I buy?
You can buy copper water bottle if your lifestyle involves going and being out of home most of the day. This way, you can take your bottle with you after sipping some copper water in the morning and then throughout the day. If you stay at home a lot or work from home, then even a good cooper water jug would do so you can just pour it in glass and enjoy! So, that is my recommendation according to your lifestyle.
What quality issues I need to look for when buying my copper vessel?
Make sure the company selling the copper vessel or bottle clearly declares that it is made of 100% copper ONLY - nothing else. Also, take note that some sellers will sell under the disguise of 'copper bottles' or 'copper jugs' and so on.. but in reality, it is just steel and plated with copper - not the same thing as a vessel made with 100% copper.
Another aspect of copper is that it is a very soft metal - so that means, your copper vessel should NOT be perfectly crafted. Look for those made by skilled artisans using traditional methods - this way, your piece will not only be unique but true to 100% copper. Alternatively, if your piece is perfectly crafted, then, more than likely, it is not 100% copper.
What is patina? And how is it related to copper & lacquer?
Patina is the blue-green layer that develops on the surface of copper and is a natural aging of copper utensils and products. To prevent this patina, many companies will use toxic substance called lacquer on copper utensils. Now that you understand the basic relationship between the 3 words, continue to next question...
What's the deal with lacquer and copper?
Many sellers coat the interior of their copper products with lacquer - this is known as lacquered copper. Lacquer is a coating done on copper products to prevent tarnishing and normal corrosion that would take place on copper. Lacquer coating also enhances the looks of copper products by giving them shine and gloss. The problem is that lacquer is toxic to human body. Therefore, make sure to only buy 100% copper and make sure to ask the seller whether there is any lacquer coating or not.
Great! How do I clean my copper water bottle or jug?
Copper water bottles or jugs are very easy to clean - all you need is a natural and acidic substance. Lemon, vinegar, tamarind, salt, ketchup, and baking soda all can clean copper very well and keep your copper kitchenware looking nice.
Here are the simple tips to help you with cleaning your copper vessel/kitchenware -
1. Use salt or baking soda and add little bit of vinegar or lemon juice and gently rub on copper vessel with a soft cloth or sponge for a minute or so till it cleans. Then, rinse in regular water and let air dry.
2. Many people also bring some water to boil and add some salt and vinegar to the water. Then, put all your copper utensils in the mix and once the tarnish is off, bring out the copper vessels from the water mix. Let cool and then wash with water and let air dry.
3. Tamarind or ketchup will also work to remove the tarnishing stains from copper as they both are acidic in nature. Simply rub some ketchup or tamarind or tamarind juice on copper utensils and then rinse with water, air dry and you are done!
4. Last but not least, DO NOT use some hard scrub or harsh soap to wash your copper vessel as it will scrape off the copper.
How should I store my water in copper vessel?
Simply put water in your copper jug and cover and let sit overnight on the counter. DO NOT PUT IN FRIDGE. This is because the alkalinization of the water will be faster at room temperature or if slightly warmer.
Can I store other drinks, teas, coffee, juices or lemon water in my copper vessel?
NO - no, you cannot. This is because copper will react with acidic nature of these foods and you don't ever want that. Instead, you can mix your copper water with other drinks in separate glass or use in recipes like teas, coffee, etc.
So, this is it for today! Another powerful and affordable 'tool' in your health cabinet that you can start right away and reap so many benefits. Ref (1). Ref (2). Ref (3).
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To 'The Tastiest, Crispiest, Healthiest Water - Tamara Jal, The Sacred Copper Water' - till next article.
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