Water Water Everywhere!

glass of water

"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" is a line from the epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the poem, the mariner is stranded in a becalmed sea. He is surrounded by water on all sides but is dying of thirst because the salt water is undrinkable. He might as well have been in a desert! 

In our modern society, we have easier access to water than any people in the history of the world. A simple turn of a knob brings clear, cool water to drink any time we want it. But what are we really drinking? 

Municipal water sources vary widely in the levels of contamination they contain. Fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, arsenic, bacteria, pharmaceuticals and chemicals used to remove or neutralize contaminants can often be present in the water we drink. We are told the levels of such contaminants are "considered safe".  Until recently, most plastic water bottles contained BPA, a chemical that can play havoc with the endocrine system and is a carcionogen. Yeah...they told us that was safe too. 

All of this water contamination information seemed academic to me until recently. I have a client that has suffered with terrible abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting almost daily. I have used various herbal approaches with this wonderful lady and have had some success decreasing the symptoms but I haven't been able to completely eliminate the attacks. 

A few months ago, she and her husband were puttering around Costco buying groceries and were waylaid by one of those pesky home water cooler salesmen...You know, the guys that tell you your water is bad and that you ought to drink theirs instead because it's from a natural spring up in the mountains somewhere. Well This lady decided to get on the program.

The day after the new water arrived, her symptoms stopped completely.

She had no episodes whatsoever for months. After a while, in a forgetful moment, she had a glass of tap water at a church function. The next day her pain and nausea were back. She's back "on the wagon" now and has been symptom free ever since. 

 There are, in our modern world, some individuals that serve as "canaries in the mine". Their bodies are more sensitive to toxins and insult and they serve as a reminder to the rest of us that there are things in this world that can cause us harm. Lack of symptoms does not equate to lack of harm and we would all do well to pay attention to things that cause our modern canaries to suffer. 

When working with clients these days, water is one of the first things we talk about...and we talk about it a lot. It's astounding to me that I have, for so long, failed to emphasize the importance of water quality as one of the most important cornerstones to good health.

So, drink a lot of water..but make sure the water you're drinking is wonderful. It could make all the difference.

Dr. Patrick Jones is a traditional naturopath, clinical herbalist and practicing veterinarian. He is founder of The HomeGrown Herbalist School of Botanical Medicine and author of The HomeGrown Herbalist. Dr. Jones is available for personal consultations in person or by telephone. 

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