THE HISTORY OF ALKALINE WATER
by, Dr. Linda Posh
The story of alkaline water ionizers is like a river with two major streams feeding into it. The first stream is the inspirational paradigm, the idea that has led so many on a quest for a superior form of water. The second stream is the development of the process itself, the technology of the ionization of water.
In a sense, the development of the process arrived first, before the paradigm was known to the wider world of research. It came through Michael Faraday, who invented the magneto and dynamo and was one of the great pioneers of electrical energy. One of his inventions that never achieved any practical use in his lifetime was a device for creating electrolysis, the electronic separation of water into its two principal constituents, hydrogen and oxygen. Later on, a form of electrolysis was used in the creation of the alkaline water ionizer.
It would take more than a century for scientists throughout the world to find the inspiration they needed to move forward with their quest to find perfect, healthier water for use by mankind. There were probably a wide variety of people who felt this inspiration. However, the full story of the development of the alkaline water ionizer has yet to be accurately traced.
One of those early researchers, Dr. Henri Coanda, was a renowned Rumanian scientist and Nobel Prize winner. He is known primarily for his study of fluid dynamics and its application to aeronautics. What is less known was his lifelong obsession with the structure of water, an obsession no doubt fueled by the stories of longevity that surfaced regarding the people of Hunza. As far back as the 1930’s, Coanda journeyed to that remote land to confirm his speculations that perhaps the water of Hunza had unique properties that contributed to their longevity. His conclusion was that, indeed, the water was different. When its temperature was lowered and the Hunza water assumed a crystalline, snowflake formation, it revealed a structure similar to the venal system in humans and additionally to the vascular structure in plants.
As far as the history of alkaline water ionization goes, all roads lead to Hunza of the Himalayas and to the Andes Mountains, the Shin-Chan areas of China and the Caucasus in Azerbaijan. Remote places to be sure, but places where longevity is the rule, not the exception.
Long before attempts were made to restructure water through ionization, various scientists found the Hunza water and diet to be a matter of special interest. After all, did the Hunza not have the longest lifespan in the world? Did they not bear children when they were comparatively older than their brethren in the rest of the world? Where was their cancer, their cavities, their degenerative diseases? What caused this phenomenon of health, vitality, and an overall body balance to originate and blossom in such a far away place?
The impetus of Hunza water was and is the common denominator of research into the water of longevity. And since most of the world could not recreate the unusual glacial conditions and mountainous terrain from which this water sprang, scientists looked at the structure of the water to see if it could be created. Could they recreate this special water’s high alkaline terrain? Could they simulate its active hydrogen content? Could they infuse it with this special form of hydrogen with the extra electron? Could they match its negative Redox potential? Could they take ordinary water and create this life giving water with its remarkably high colloidal mineral content?
The history of this search and that of others for a more perfect, more healing water, and the subsequent invention of the alkaline water ionizer, has perhaps yet to be told in full. Part of what is written here has been surmised from verbal accounts. The true story of this adventure has never been accurately recorded.
Although the account seems somewhat murky, it is believed that sometime after World War II, there was an attempt on the part of a number of Russian and Japanese researchers to investigate these same waters that Coanda had investigated. It is not clear exactly what inspired them to go forth, but by the 1940’s, certainly many more knew about Hunza than had known before. Its reality, in fact, had led to the romantic novel, Lost Horizons, about a mythical kingdom called Shangri-la, where people lived forever. Lost Horizon’s adaptation to film, in a blockbuster movie directed by Frank Capra, projected the story of the secret wells of life secluded in the mountainous regions of the Himalayas. By the end of the 1940’s, although no one claimed true immortality for the inhabitants of Hunza, there was a fever to find and understand the secret source of the longevity of the people of Hunza. The majority sensed that it lay in both diet and water.
The story, which has proliferated in an undeveloped form, is that the Japanese tapped into the new methods of electrolysis experiments being done by their Russian peers which had no doubt been inspired by the original technology of Faraday.
Alkaline ionic water is made by using a water ionizer to split electrically filtered tap water into alkaline ionic water and acid water, each of which then feeds into a separate chamber. One chamber contains the alkaline water that has been found to be so enriching to human health and wellness. The second chamber contains the acid water, which has remarkable uses as well.
The first water ionizer, whose technology conformed to this description, was developed in Japan in the early 50’s, probably as a result of probing into the Russian system of electrolysis. The experiments were first conducted on plants and animals. Full-scale development started in 1954 Several Japanese agricultural universities began looking into the effects of alkaline ionic water, and especially the effects of acid water on plants. Today nursery farmers that supply cut flowers use acid water to keep their flowers fresh for a longer period of time before delivery to the flower shops.
It took longer to gather data on humans, certainly a much more complex effort. However, doctors in Japan finally collected enough data to confirm not only the non-toxicity of the alkaline water, but its beneficial effects in eradicating certain disease conditions. The new methodology was called functional water technology, a term still used in Japan to this day.
The first commercial alkaline ionic water ionizers were available in Japan in l958. At first, only very large units were used in hospitals. In l960, a group of Japanese medical doctors and agricultural research scientists, formed a special medical and agricultural research institute to investigate ionized water. Annual meetings were held to report their findings. Finally, in January 1966, the Health and Rehabilitation Ministry of the Japanese Government acknowledged the alkaline ionic water ionizer as a legitimate medical device for improving human health.
Japanese-made alkaline ionic water ionizers were first introduced to Korea in the 70’s, and today are also approved as medical devices by the government of South Korea. In 1985, the Korean-made household unit was introduced in the United States. A successful toxicity test was conducted by an independent testing laboratory in LA utilizing FDA standards the next year. The results proved that there was no toxicity in the alkaline ionic water generated by the water ionizer.
Despite the success of the testing, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the market for ionizers began, principally through Japanese and Korean companies, who are still continuing their research and development now. The advent of the millennium brings a recent resurgence and growth in the alkaline water ionization, with good reason. People are sicker than ever. For all of our modern technology, medical procedures, and prescription drug use, disease rates continue to skyrocket in the majority of developed nations. The biggest common denominator amongst these nations is the fact that almost everyone drinks “dirty water.”
Over the last forty years, it is estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 million Japanese citizens have used these devices. This could very well help explain the fact that Japan has the number one health care system in the world as reported by Dr. Barbara Starfield in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Japan reports higher cancer survival rates and other disease recovery rates as well. Unfortunately, the United States ranked a miserable number thirteen in this report. Could a partial answer to what plagues you lie in life giving and life sustaining ionized water? We think so.
Dr. Linda Posch MS SLP ND: Has an eclectic clinical approach and strongly advocates the use of ionized water coupled with whole food liquid vitamins and whole food vitamin supplements.