Gold Water, Silver Water, Copper Water

Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper.

This Goldwater was real. Gold Water is not. It is an Ayurvedic fantasy.

From Kangen water to oxygenated water, there are enough pseudoscientific and quacky water offerings to fill an entire website devoted to water-related pseudoscience, fantasy, and quackery. That resource covers ionized water, alkaline water, oxygenated waters, energized water, structured water, magnetized water, and even weirder stuff. Well worth a visit. The crackpottery boggles the mind.It doesn’t seem to mention gold water. Or silver water. Or copper water. These are far from new, but I just recently became aware of them. It seems they are an old Ayurvedic thing. I didn’t know what Ayurveda was when I graduated from medical school. If I had gone to naturopathy school, I would have known: their major textbook devotes a whole chapter to it. They also teach homeopathy. I’m glad I chose medical school. I’m convinced reality is the best medicine.

The alleged health benefits

An Ayurveda website explains the “health benefits of gold water”:

Gold is not only beautiful but has divine properties that can assist in maintaining balanced health. It is also heating and so should be used in caution in conditions with excess heat. The health benefits of gold water:

  • Strengthens the nervous system
  • Improves memory and intelligence
  • Increases stamina
  • Beneficial in Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Breathlessness

It goes on to explain the health benefits of silver water:

  • Antiseptic properties
  • Increases strength and stamina
  • Beneficial in emaciation
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Useful in heartburn and fevers
  • Beneficial in Inflammation and Menorrhagia
  • Works as a Disinfectant

And copper water:

  • Obesity
  • Liver and spleen disorders
  • Joint issues
  • Polio
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress and mental tension
  • Paralysis
  • Benefits the nervous and circulatory system
  • Aids in bone health

Finally, it explains how to prepare these waters by boiling pure gold, silver, or copper with water and straining. It recommends taking two teaspoons of this water daily for maximum benefits. This couldn’t possibly work: these metals are not soluble in water, only in acid.

Another website explains that “The electronic energy of gold will enter the water during this process.” And it explains that “Milk can be preserved by putting silver coins in it since it kills pathogens.” And:

Copper makes the water ionic which helps to maintain body’s pH (acid-alkaline) balance. Ayurveda advises to keep drinking water in a copper jug in the night and drink it in the morning. This is called tamra jal. This tamra jal will prevent you from all the three doshas: Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.

All that is nonsense, and since those doshas are imaginary, I don’t think I need protecting from them.

The evidence

There is no scientific evidence to support the health claims for gold, silver, or copper water. There are grains of truth behind the myths. Silver ions kill bacteria in vitro but ingesting silver only creates smurfs. Gold was an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but only if it was injected. Copper is an essential trace element, but it is supplied by the diet; copper deficiency is rare and is treated by copper supplements, not copper water.

Conclusion: Superstition, not science

There is no reason to use gold water, silver water, or copper water. In fact, there is no gold, silver, or copper in them: these metals don’t dissolve in water. The whole idea is a fantasy. The recommendations are from Ayurveda and are based on ancient superstitions, not modern scientific evidence.

This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine Blog.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.