Our tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, and different amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorides, sulfates, and bicarbonates. It can also contain iron, manganese, copper, aluminum, nitrates, insecticides and herbicides.
Additionally, according to a report by the Associated Press, that’s the conclusion from a study of 24 municipal tap waters – yes, small quantities of pharmaceuticals – including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs – are in our drinking water supplies.
The problem with heavy metals is that they accumulate in the body, causing numerous health problems that can seriously impact literally every major organ in the body. Studies show that heavy metals in the body may be implicated in everything from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease, from behavioral problems to kidney dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and even paralysis.
Fortunately, the popular herb cilantro has now been found to be an excellent water purifier, absorbing harmful chemicals and heavy metals such as lead and nickel.
Chemical agents in cilantro bind to toxic metals, wresting them free from tissues and flushing them out of the body.
The secret to cilantro’s purifying power lies in the structure of the outer walls of the microscopic cells that make up the plant. The architecture of these walls make them ideal for absorbing heavy metals.
According to a research team led by Douglas Schauer from Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, Indiana along with a group of Mexican researchers, cilantro leaves is a cheaper way to filter water especially poorer regions where water is not clean.
The team tested various samples of plants and determined that cilantro is the most prevalent and powerful bio-absorbant material in the Tule Valley in Mexico City where water is heavily contaminated with lead and nickel. The cilantro bio-absorbant is replaced by the typical charcoal, which is more costly, in order to capture metal toxicity.
Schauer says, “The organic toxins we can take care of pretty easily with a number of different methods, but the only way to really get rid of those heavy metals is to treat them with filtering agents like activated charcoal, but those types of materials are kind of expensive. They are a little expensive for us to use, but they are very expensive for the people living in that region.”
How to use cilantro
Just a handful of cilantro will clean a pitcher (about 2 liters) of highly contaminated water.