So addicted to technology, we have forgotten that nature has an answer to just about everything – including water purification. Douglas Schauer, Ph.D has shown that cilantro – a leafy herb used in Middle East cooking – can clear toxins from contaminated water.
Eschewing the current activated carbon method of water purification, Dr. Schauer from Ivy Tech Community College has been working with what he calls biosorbents to clean contaminated water.
Less costly than typical water purification methods, biosorbents are low-cost alternatives such as microbes and plants that are readily available in nature.
While presenting his findings at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that closed yesterday, Schauer said that cilantro, which is also known as coriander or Thai parsley, can remove toxic heavy metals with ease.
“Cilantro may seem too pricey for use in decontaminating large amounts of water for drinking and cooking,” Schauer said.
“However, cilantro grows wild in vast amounts in countries that have problems with heavy-metal water pollution. It is readily available, inexpensive and shows promise in removing certain metals, such as lead, copper and mercury, that can be harmful to human health.”
The structure of the other walls of Cilantro’s microscopic cells have the ideal architecture to absorb heavy metals, Physorg reports. Parsley and culantro have similar properties.
Schauer proposes to pack the cilantro into packets that are similar to tea-bags, or the herb can be packed into water filter cartridges.
With so many people without clean drinking water throughout the Middle East, a dedicated awareness campaign could go a long way to informing them of natural methods of purifying one of our planet’s most necessary and increasingly precious resources.