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Copper: the next “fountain of youth”?

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For centuries people have been using copper products to combat the effects of aging. Legend has it that Queen Sheba was gifted copper by King Solomon and from it created a paste which she applied to her face and body for rejuvenation. Similar legends exist invoking Queen Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti, both known for their great beauty and vitality. So, is copper the fountain of youth we’ve been ignoring?

What we do know is that the benefits of copper are endless. Ancient Yogis and Rishis have been telling us that for centuries. In Ayurveda, copper is one of the most widely used metals. Many therapeutic treatments incorporate copper’s antimicrobial properties, including ushapan- morning water therapy using a copper vessel, daily tongue-scraping with copper scrapers and copper basins for Shirodhara therapies.

Copper is an essential micronutrient, an antimicrobial, and an antioxidant. It helps synthesize keratin and produce collagen, which reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes while boosting skin regeneration. Furthermore, copper aids in the production of melanin which prevents premature graying, sunburns and vitiligo ( the loss of skin color in blotches). The beauty industry has already embraced the benefits of copper for skin rejuvenation. Look closely at many anti-aging products, even the latest shapewear, and you will find trace amounts of copper in their ingredients and materials. But, do you really want to spend hundreds of dollars to get a ‘trace’ of copper?

One sure way to get sufficient, safe amounts of copper in your diet is to incorporate the age-old ayurvedic practice of drinking water from a copper vessel (tamra jal). This daily, mindful practice will provide the body with a great boost of copper micronutrients.

You can also find copper in a wide variety of foods, although normally present in small amounts. Couple those healthy, fresh foods with your daily tamra jal and you’ll surely reap the benefits from the inside out.

Some great sources of dietary copper include:

  • Seafood
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Leafy greens
  • Spices like: mustard powder, chilli powder, cloves, celery seed, cumin, saffron, anise, spearmint, coriander leaf, dill, mace, curry powder and onion powder.
  • Fresh and dried herbs such as: chervil, marjoram, tarragon and thyme.

Remember, the fountain of youth is not going to be a shortcut at the bottom of a makeup bag. It is a journey requiring a mindful lifestyle with proper hydration, a balanced diet, appropriate exercise and a restful mind.

This post originally appears at  Everyday Ayurveda - see the full article here.