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Copper Containers and Their Antimicrobial Properties- Let’s Explore The Science Behind

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East Asians have been using copper utensils since vedic times, much before we discovered what microbes were. Also known as “Tamra Patra”, copper vessels have prevailed through centuries, and even today, when the 5th industrial revolution is shaping the technical world, the importance of “tamra” has resurfaced with the increased practice of Ayurveda.

A great number of people have put their faith in Ayurveda and have started using copper bottles for storing drinking water. It's antimicrobial and other healing properties have helped a lot of people in fighting against anemia, waterborne diseases, pregnancy hurdles, digestive issues, and more. However, the constant delivery of just the benefits of copper without any detailed explanation of its working has led people to doubt it.

So, here we are with a simplified explanation on how copper kills the bacteria that float in your drinking water just waiting to attack your immune system! Here is a series of actions taking place when the surface of copper comes in contact with bacteria:

Copper’s 2 step process of attacking bacteria

According to the scientific studies conducted on copper’s antibacterial properties, the working involves a two-step process. The first phase occurs as soon as the copper surface comes in contact with the outer membrane of bacteria and ruptures it. The second step includes its after-effects following the rupture of the outer membrane. Let’s discuss these processes in detail:

  1. Transmembrane Potential and how it ruptures the wall

Transmembrane Potential is the stable electrical micro-current on the outer wall of the membrane which remains stable and maintains the body environment. The varying values of voltage between the outside and the inside of the cell membrane gets disturbed and causes a short circuit as soon as copper comes in contact with the cell. This process debilitates the membrane and punch holes in the outer wall.

  1. The final destruction

After the cell membrane is ruptured, the safety of bacteria is compromised. The copper ions which diffuses from the container enters through the holes and starts obstructing the regular cell activities such as metabolism. The enzymes responsible for the metabolism of bacteria are attacked by the copper ions resulting into a stoppage of the processes. As soon as the processes which are crucial for the living of any living organism is hindered, the bacteria can’t perform living activities such as breathing, eating, digesting, or reproducing.

The reason that copper utensils are found to be useful to destroy any kind of microbes is that the copper ions can bind to any type of enzymes; and enzymes being the sole element responsible for the functioning of all the living organisms, its destruction is synonymous with the organism’s destruction.

There! Now you know the scientific explanation behind copper’s antibacterial properties. You can easily answer anyone who asks you the reason for drinking water from your Ayurveda copper water jug. Available from Vasanti Health, the pioneer distributor of copper utensils that offers Ayurveda jugs and Lota at competitive prices.