Drinking Water Out of a Copper Vessel? Here’s What You Should Be Careful ofLuke Coutinho
In most Indian homes, drinking water from a copper vessel is a common household practice. Many of us grew up with our parents and grandparents diligently storing and drinking water in copper kalsi, handas, and matkas. This simple tradition has existed in our culture for civilizations and is part of many Ayurvedic texts. The simple lifestyle change of drinking copper-enriched water on an empty stomach after waking up was said to balance the three doshas – Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.
Let us dive into some of its benefits first.
Why is copper good for us?
- Copper has antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and make the water fit for drinking. Our ancestors drank water out of copper vessels to safeguard and naturally purify it.
- When several villages were struck by cholera, people who worked at copper mines did not record a single case because of the amount of copper in their systems. So, storing water in copper vessels kills most of the most dangerous bacteria that make us vulnerable to gut inflammation and other problems. It is a cleaner way of consuming water, especially when you have food poisoning, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.
- It aids digestion, cleanses, and reduces inflammation in your stomach, which is why it is used as a natural remedy for ulcers, indigestion, and infections.
- When consumed the right way, it can cleanse/detoxify and enhance the function of your liver and kidneys, aid the elimination of waste, and improve nutritional absorption.
- Copper is anti-inflammatory. Today, science is showing its impact on relieving arthritic and joint pain and strengthening bones. It makes your water more alkaline naturally. Now, this does not mean that if you have arthritis, you go on drinking copper water. Remember, arthritis is multifactorial. But copper water can help.
- Copper is essential for breaking down fat cells and converting fat into energy. It may thus aid fat loss.
- Because it is antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory, copper can speed up wound healing.
- It can strengthen your immune system and aid the production of new cells.
- Did you know copper and its extract is used in several skincare products? Yes, it has a role in maintaining collagen and elasticity. Packed with antioxidants, it fights free radicals and is linked with reducing fine lines and wrinkles and slowing down aging.
- It also plays a key role in melanin production, the pigment that determines the color of your hair, skin, and eyes.
- Copper helps maintain heart health by managing blood pressure, regulating heart rate, and lowering bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Did you know copper is essential to absorb iron in your gut? Low levels of copper can lead to less iron absorption resulting in anemia.
Drinking copper water: Useful or harmful?
We must remember that copper is a trace mineral that our body needs in small quantities. Yes, it is essential for various purposes from forming RBCs, cellular health, immunity, collagen production, protection from cellular damage, iron absorption, energy production, and maintaining brain function, kidney, liver, and heart health. But one big mistake that most people make today is overdoing copper water.
If we have too much copper in our bodies, it makes us vulnerable to copper toxicity. Yes, if you cross the daily limit of copper required in your body, it becomes toxic for you. This is true for most vitamins and minerals. For instance, vitamin A toxicity can cause liver damage and vitamin D toxicity can affect your entire hormonal imbalance and your bones. This is why even supplements should only be taken under medical prescription and managed the right way.
Copper toxicity can affect our liver function, make us susceptible to various health issues, and in extreme cases, even cause death.
The connection between copper and zinc
Zinc and copper have an inverse relationship. It means that when you have excess copper, your zinc levels automatically fall. We all know about zinc’s role in fortifying our immune system, DNA creation and repair, healing, recovery, hormonal health (especially testosterone levels among men), and so on.
Just because copper water is good for us doesn’t mean we consume more and more of it.
What is the right way to go about it?
- Buy a copper vessel, jug, cup, or flask.
- Once you have brought it home, store water in it for 24 hours.
- Flush or throw that out.
- Wash the vessel gently. There’s no need to use soap. Let it dry.
- Once ready, every evening just before sunset, fill it with water.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Have 1-2 glasses of copper water on an empty stomach the following morning.
There are many people today who drink copper water throughout the day. This is unnecessary. Overconsuming it can end up in copper toxicity. You can also opt to space it out. One glass in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. But don’t go on chugging it through the day.
When you travel, you can carry portable copper flasks. Keep it in the hotel, fill it with water, let it sit overnight, and have it the next day. DO NOT overdo it. Remember, less is more, maintain quality, and have it at the right time.
How can drinking out of a copper vessel also be harmful?
Copper plays a vital role in maintaining your reproductive system, glandular health, and nervous system. If you have a deficiency or toxicity, it can affect each of these.
Estrogen dominance and copper
We are living in a world where most people around us struggle with estrogen dominance. We have excess estrogen in adulterated milk, plastics, floor cleaners, cosmetics, polluted air, and more. We know how excess estrogen leads to ER-positive breast and endometrial cancers, ovarian issues, PCOD, and other reproductive lifestyle disorders. When you have more estrogen than required in the human body, it retains copper and can worsen your existing health issues.
When copper and heavy metals enter the thyroid gland, they decrease the t3 to t4 conversion impacting your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Yes, excess copper can block your conversion and lead to thyroid issues, delay healing, and create more toxicity in your blood.
Birth control, copper IUDs, contraceptives, hormone therapy, and xenoestrogens (fake estrogen that mimics the actual estrogen), also increase estrogen in your body which means your body is likely to retain more copper. By now you have learned how keeping excess copper in the body for too long can affect your reproductive, glandular, and nervous systems.
Copper and ADHD
In one of my consults with a client in Canada, a lady discussed her child’s ADHD. When we were narrowing down the root cause, we made an observation. This child had been drinking water from a copper bottle throughout the day. All of the water he was drinking had copper in it. We asked her to do a heavy metal to check the amount of copper in the blood.
It took me back to some research that connected copper toxicity to ADHD and even the autism spectrum. Science shows you that even a little bit of copper toxicity can affect your nervous system.
Depression, anxiety, PMS, panic attacks, and more
Studies also link copper to depression and anxiety because excess copper lowers dopamine (often called the feel-good hormone). Dopamine works with your brain’s reward system when you achieve something. It is linked with an overall sense of well-being, pleasure, learning, memory, and more. Low dopamine levels create a feeling of depression and anxiety. If you are already feeling these, it can make it worse. So you could be trying everything in the world. But sometimes all you may need to do is reduce the amount of copper in your system so that your dopamine production automatically goes up. Copper toxicity is also linked with panic attacks, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, and hair loss.
Copper toxicity and SIBO
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a problem that millions of men and women face. It means that your microbiome is out of whack and can lead to digestive issues, malabsorption, leaky gut syndrome, and autoimmune disorders. Some people call it candida overgrowth. We are witnessing more research today on how excess copper in the human body promotes the growth of bad bacteria or candida. Candida overgrowth makes it difficult for you to gain or lose weight, can cause thrush/vagina infections/ vaginal discharge among women, bad breath, a yellow coating on your tongue, headaches, migraines, joint aches, and more.
Now of course we are not saying that reducing your copper is going to solve all these problems. But if you are looking to heal holistically and address the root cause, take the effort to look at your copper levels.
How to naturally reduce excess copper?
You see the human body has this fantastic mechanism when we have a little bit or too much, it can detoxify itself. But sometimes, when this mechanism isn’t functioning right, it can lead to an overload or storage of vitamins and trace minerals, creating toxicity.
For instance, vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble which means your fat stores these vitamins. This makes it very difficult to get it out of your system. On the other hand, the entire vitamin B spectrum is water-soluble. So if you go into toxicity you can flush it out by drinking more water and cleansing your system.
You may wonder if there are ways to reduce excess copper in your system. Delve into these here:
Address and fix constipation
When you are constipated (women especially), the excess estrogen that your body needs to push out of your colon is automatically reactivated in your liver leading to the vicious cycle of estrogen dominance. Avoid constipation at all costs and follow cleanse plans that are simple and well-balanced for your body. It can help you get rid of some of the excess copper. Know more about our 14-Day You Care Wellness Rejuvenation and Cleanse Program here.
Prioritize rest and recovery
These are of utmost importance. Sleep is magical because when we are in a state of complete rest, our body activates its inbuilt intelligent mechanism to detoxify us.
Add cruciferous vegetables to your meals
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and so on, which are rich in sulfur can bind onto copper and move it out of your system. So add them to your meals.
A beautiful supplement called milk thistle has antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This popular herbal remedy is easily available and has hepatoprotective properties that can help detoxify copper out of your system. Keep your professional expert in the loop before adding this to your lifestyle.
You could do a B complex under your doctor’s supervision if you have copper excess in your body.
Add zinc to your meals
Foods rich in zinc or supplements prescribed by your medical professional can help flush out more copper because we know that the more zinc you have, the less the copper levels. Some zinc-rich food sources include nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, whole grains, dairy (if it suits you), dark chocolate, and so on.
Sweat it out
When you move and engage in adequate exercise, you sweat. There is nothing more natural than sweating to automatically detoxify toxins, excess copper, and heavy metals from your body.
Stop taking multivitamins if you do not have a deficiency
Many people around us pop multivitamins like candy. It is unnecessary unless you have a deficiency or poor diet. If you are already someone with estrogen dominance, taking a multivitamin that contains copper will only add to more problems. Take a multivitamin only if you have a deficiency or if it is prescribed by a medical professional.
How do I get copper into my system if I do not drink copper water?
You don’t necessarily have to get your copper through drinking water from a copper jug or filter throughout the day. You can get your daily requirement of copper from a balanced diet. If you already have unsalted nuts, spirulina, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, lentils, meats, eggs, mushrooms, and so on, you are already meeting your copper requirement.
The bottom line
We must respect the wisdom of our country and go back to our roots. But overdoing anything without the correct guidance or knowledge can be detrimental to our health. Choose traditional wisdom and simplicity, but ensure you do it the right way.
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