Natural Health Q & A


Q Everybody always recommends drinking a lot of water. I find it to drink more than a few sips at a time. What is the point of drinking a lot of water? How much is a lot? What kind should I drink, spring or distilled? Why do I have such a hard time doing it?

A There are actually many opinions about water intake. In a macrobiotic diet, water is limited to small amounts of spring water: the bulk of your water is meant to come from grains and vegetables that are eaten in abundance.

Hulda Regehr Clark, Ph.D., M.D., in her book "The Cure tot All Diseases," recommends two pints of tap water daily -- not spring or distilled. "The cold water faucet may be bringing you cadmium, copper or lead, but it is safer than purchased water which inevitably has solvents in it. Let it run before using it. Filters are rather useless because water pollution comes in surges. A single surge of PCB contaminates your filter. All the water you use after this surge is now polluted, so you will be getting it chronically, whereas the unfiltered water cleans up again after the surge passes."

The definitive source on water is F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. His book "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" details an amazing account. Imprisoned by the revolutionary government of Iran in 1979, his execution was delayed so he could serve as a resident doctor among the prisoners. With no medication he used what he had, water. He prescribed two glasses of water to an ulcer patient with extremely severe abdominal pain. Within eight minutes, the pain disappeared and according to him a new era in medicine was born.

For the next twenty-five months, he was engrossed in clinical research of the medicinal values of water for stress reduction and in treating stress-related diseases in Evin prison, "a most ideal stress laboratory."
When his trial finally came, he answered the thirty-two fictitious indictments that carried the death penalty with a paper summarizing his research on water treatment of peptic ulcer disease. Sensing a public relations coup, the revolutionary government spared him. He voluntarily extended his prison stay to finish his research. Later, he escaped Iran to spread his discoveries to the rest of the world.

Batmanghelidj believes that chronic dehydration is our biggest health issue. Lack of water affects both the body and the brain. It can cause depression, stress, anxiety and physical diseases. "The human body is composed of 25% solid matter and 75% water. Brain tissue is 85% water. When we starve body' cells of water, they start to complain and set up many adverse reactions." Batmanghelidj has used plain old water to alleviate allergies, asthma, high cholesterol levels, headaches, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, angina and digestive pains such as colitis and ulcers. He believes that high blood pressure is a means through which tile body tries to hydrate cells. The attempt fails, however, because there is not enough water available.

How do we lose our thirst mechanism and become dehydrated to the point of chronic, unexplained pain? We use other fluids such as juice, soda, coffee and teas as substitutes for water. These beverages do not have the same effect as water. Many, particularly coffee, tea and soda, are actually dehydrating. People also tend to confuse thirst with hunger. Many people lose weight when they consume adequate amounts of water. In addition, as people age, they lose their thirst sensation and gradually become chronically dehydrated.

How much is an adequate amount? Six to eight eight-ounce glasses each day. Drinking with meals dilutes gastric juices. So, take one glass a half-hour before each meal and two hours after each meal. An extra glass of water should be taken before and after the heaviest meal or before going to bed. Batmanghelidj recommends using tap water, if it is not contaminated by heavy metals or other pollutants, because people who drink bottled water tend to not drink when the water they usually drink is unavailable. Chlorine will evaporate if the water is left standing in an open jug,

Six to eight glasses is a minimum. Every dehydrating beverage (coffee, tea, soda, alcohol) requires one glass of water to negate its effect. This use of water does not count towards the six to eight glasses. Water with a twist of lemon is weak lemonade and does not count. Ice water will work but it tends to shock the system.

Dehydration cannot be healed overnight by using large quantities of water. The body works like a sponge and must have ample and consistent access to water so it can saturate at its own rate. After several days of increased water intake, you may have to eat more salt. If you suffer from a heart or kidney condition that requires fluid restrictions, it would be wise to address these problems prior to consuming more water.

Some people may not improve because their bodies do not metabolize or utilize water properly. Essentially the water runs right through them. There are natural medical solutions to this condition. If you have a hard time drinking more than a few sips, you could be experiencing a copper toxicity. This would be the time to consult a natural medical practitioner.
Dehydration may not be your only health problem and drinking water may not be the only solution. But, our water balance always plays a role in how we feel and everyone should address the issue. Sometimes the best solution is the most simple. Drink water.

Article copyright Altnewtimes Inc.
By John O'Neill

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