After ionization: what are the uses of alkaline and acidic waters?
As we've noted in another article, ionizers divide a single stream into two different flows through electrolysis; the positively charged minerals such as calcium, sodium and magnesium are drawn to the negative electrode, while negatively charged minerals (phosphorus and chlorine, for example) move to the positive electrode. While the alkaline flow gains electrons, the acidic one loses them.
Depending on the ionizer, the process has the potential not just to create two streams, alkaline and acidic, but several flows with different pH values. The benefit of this is that the different pH values can be applied usefully in the home for everyday purposes such as cleaning.
Since the more acidic flow has lost electrons, it has a high ORP value. High ORP values, as has been discussed in previous articles, can also be described as high in free radicals. These free radicals strip electrons from other molecules, a vital part of your body’s own activity when it comes to destroying threats such as bacteria, fungal invasions or viruses.
Naturally cleansing acidic water has so many uses
This knowledge makes it clear that the more acidic flow has the potential to work as a potent disinfectant. Since it contains no synthetic antibiotics or toxic substances, it’s safe to use for cleaning worktops, chopping boards, foodstuffs and even as a skin cleanser.
This is also great news for those who want to cut down on the use of potentially harmful cleaning products in the home. Acidity helps to keep glass and china fresh and deposit free without any of the chemicals that commercial household cleaners rely on. Here are some suggested uses for the various acidic pH values:
• Strongly acidic water (with a pH of 2.5 and an ORP greater than +1,100mV) is a proven anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and antifungal product that’s used in hospitals in Japan both for general cleaning and for treating patients. It should not be used for drinking but makes a good mouthwash for the treatment of minor gum and mouth complaints. Use a neutral pH to rinse your mouth afterwards to complete the process.
Add it to the bath for a naturally tonic bathing experience, or to wash small cuts and abrasions; try it for foot issues such as fungal toenails and athlete’s foot. Keep a bottle to spray on surfaces regularly or use it as a handwash.
• Mildly acidic (with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5) is rightly referred to as “beauty water,” since it can be used for skin and hair cleaning, with beneficial results. It can be used in cases of many different skin problems, from eczema and psoriasis to insect bites and itchy rashes. Many people use it to assist with dry skin or cold sore problems. Again, this is best used for specific hygiene and beauty purposes, not for drinking. And once again, keep it in a labelled spray in a dark, cool place. It can make a great refreshing spritz for hair and skin.
Both strongly acidic and mildly acidic waters are good for washing some highly coloured fruits and vegetables such as cherries, strawberries, plums, red cabbage and eggplant. Keeping their brightness adds to their appeal when cooked.
What about neutral and more alkaline water?
• Neutral (pH value around 7) is simply known as clean water and can be used for drinking. This is the liquid of choice to be drunk at meals, rather than at other times of the day.
• Mildly alkaline (pH 8.5) is the recommended pH for drinking for those who want to adopt a more alkaline intake. This should be drunk first thing in the morning and about twenty minutes before a meal. Recommended intake is around ½ to ¾ of your body weight in ounces. At this pH, most people experience signs of body cleansing as toxins are flushed away. Coffee and tea are found to be less bitter and retain more of their flavors when made with mildly alkaline water.
• More alkaline (pH 9.0 – 9.5) is often suggested for drinking if signs of cleansing and toxin removal are not apparent after adopting the pH 8.5 regime for some time. Some people use it for sunburn and skin issues. One of the most popular uses of alkaline water (pH 8.5 – 9.5) in Japan is soaking meat, game and fish to remove strong or bitter flavors. Fruit and vegetables can be soaked and washed in it too.
• Strongly Alkaline (pH 11 and up; ORP value of -700mV - 850mV) is not for drinking but has its own cleaning powers to complement those of the strongly acidic water. Many people use it in their washing machines to reduce or remove the need for detergents. It’s also an excellent cleaner for hardwood floors, doors and similar surfaces.
Does ionized water offer better hydration? And why?
One fascinating aspect of ionization is that it causes changes to the molecular structure of water. That means, it changes the way the molecules are organised. This results in a dramatic affect on the way water hydrates your body and here's why.
Waters basic molecular structure is polar: one side is positively charged and the other is negatively charged. When water is put into an electrical field, the molecules adopt a very distinct crystal form. The new hexagonal crystal-like shape keeps some of its form and properties even when the water is removed. Subsequent research led to a new idea in 1986 that the altered crystal form had improved hydrating capacities. Interestingly, the crystal structure resembles that of crystalline quartz, which is used for computer circuits.
This structured water, it's suggested, is able to carry signals more efficiently through tissue, thus providing better hydration right at the level of the DNA, assisting enzyme activity and leading to many other benefits. And future research may lead to new knowledge too.