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Registered: September 2015
Water and Good Health
(Part 2 of 6)
USING WATER TO PRESERVE HEALTH
Water, so valuable for remedial purposes, is fortunately one of thethe most abundant elements in nature. The human body is composed of about two-thirds water. The fluid secretions and excretions are more than nine-tenths water. Perspiration and saliva are both close to 100 percent water, while blood is 90 percent and muscle is between 80 and 90 percent water.
A. CHARACTERISTICS OF WATER
The composition of water is represented by the chemical formula H2O, which means that it is composed of two gases, hydrogen and oxygen; proportionately two parts of the former to one of the latter. Both are odorless, colorless, tasteless, and burn readily. Oxygen is the greatest supporter of combustion in life. Hydrogen is one of the lightest gases known.
Water exists in the form of ice when its temperature is below 32*F. When it is at or above 212*F. (the boiling point) it is changed into vapor (steam). Between 32*F. and 212*F. it is a liquid. Water requires a greater amount of heat to elevate its temperature a given number of degrees than any other substance, and it absorbs more heat during temperature elevation than any other substance. When changing from the ice to the liquid state, it absorbs a great amount of heat from the objects it comes in contact with. Water conducts heat much more readily than air does, giving its heat to bodies with which it comes in contact; but it also removes heat when it is at a lower temperature.
Of any water attainable, rainwater comes the nearest to being pure. But even rainwater is often unwholesome because it gathers many impurities as it falls through the atmosphere. Filtered rainwater and distilled water are perhaps the purest forms.
When water is hard, it will not produce an abundant lather with soap. The hardness is due to salts of lime, gypsum, chalk, and other minerals, which make it less suitable for use both externally and specially internally.
Hot mineral spring water
This water contains solutions of the salts of magnesium and iron, as well as other chemicals such as iodine, arsenic, and sulfur, which give it a medicinal taste. Such water has been used extensively for cures of chronic ailments in the form of hot baths, etc., but it is absolutely unfit for drinking or cooking purposes. It contains no particular value for cleansing; therefore, one would naturally know that since it is unfit to cleanse the outside of the body it could not be of much benefit internally either.
B. WATER AND THE HUMAN BODY
With the exception of pure air, there is no other element in nature that is so important for sustaining life or that has such an important relation to the human system as pure water. A person can live a week or sometimes even much longer on water alone, but dies quickly if he is deprived of it. A large proportion of our food is composed of from 15 to 90 percent water.
Water undergoes no change in the body, but its presence is absolutely essential for the performance of the vital functions, as it enables various organs to perform their work so that life is sustained. The circulatory system is especially dependent upon water. Water composes a large percentage of the fluid portion of the blood that suspends the blood corpuscles as well as the nutritive and waste elements. With the aid of water, nutrients enter the blood and are conveyed to critical areas of the intricate human mechanism where repair and growth are needed.
There is no other substance that is so well adapted for this exact purpose as water. It circulates through the most delicate capillaries without friction, and even passes through membranes into parts of the body that are not accessible by natural openings. Water is continually passing out of the body through one or more of the organs of elimination skin, kidneys, lungs, or intestines. If the kidneys become obstructed, we all know there will be serious trouble. The dry air constantly entering the lungs during normal breathing absorbs moisture from the pulmonary membranes. Therefore, it is necessary to supply the body with an abundance of pure water at all times. The average person eliminates about five pints of water in twenty-four hours, and an equal new supply must be provided in order to preserve the fluidity of the blood. People who work hard physically and perspire profusely naturally require more water than others.
It should also be noticed that the diet has a great deal to do with the amount of water demanded by nature. People who eat largely of animal products and use salt, pepper, spices, and condiments freely, require considerable more water to dissolve and cleanse the system of these unhealthful things. On the other hand, people who eat mostly fruit, vegetables and grains, and avoid the use of stimulating foods and drinks, require less water, as a great many vegetables and fruits are composed of more than half water.
Water is the only substance that really quenches the thirst. Other beverages will relieve thirst only in proportion to the amount of water they contain. Most of these drinks are unwholsome because of the injurious substances that are added.
The skin, which is the largest organ in the body, performs several important duties. One of the most important is excretion. This fact could be easily demonstrated if a coat of paint or varnish were applied all over the body, for a person would die almost as quickly as if a dose of poison had been given. The millions of little sweat glands, located just beneath the surface of the skin, are constantly engaged in separating impurities from the blood, which if retained would cause disease and eventually death.
The skin is also an organ of respiration. It absorbs oxygen and eliminates poisonous gases, although by far most of this work is done by the lungs. In some of the lower animals, all the work of respiration is done by the skin. The skin not only absorbs oxygen but it also absorbs liquids to a great extent. Absorption through the skin is increased when it is warm and moist. If a person stays in a warm bath for some time, the weight of the body may be increased. Seamen, when adrift on on the ocean and deprived of fresh water, have been known to wet their clothing with seawater, since the skin will absorb some of the water without absorbing the salt.
The skin is a great help in the regulation of body temperature. It is nonconducting and dense, which prevents to a considerable degree the escape of essential body heat. When the body becomes overheated from strenuous vital activity, fever, or external heat, the skin relieves the tissues by favoring the escape of heat. This is exactly what happens in fever when you drink plenty of water or do anything to produce perspiration. The moisture passes from the sweat glands out onto the skin surface where it evaporates, resulting in a powerful cooling action.
The skin is also an organ of touch; in fact, it is the largest organ of sensitivity in the body. Through an extensive network of nerves, the skin is very closely connected with all the great nerve centers in the body. That is why water treatments applied to the body surface are so beneficial and have such a good effect in diseases affecting the nervous system.
The tiny nerve ending that come to the blood vessels in the skin also have a direct connection with the blood vessels deep inside the body. Thus, if either hot or cold is applied to the skin there will be a reaction in the deeper organs also. For example, placing an ice bag over the right lower abdomen in a patient with acute appendicitis will cause a constriction of the blood vessels in the appendix and in this way help to relieve the congestion and inflammation.
Every opening of the body leading to the surface is lined with mucous membrane. Mucous membrane lines the air passages and lungs, the urinary and genital organs, and the whole intestinal tract from the mouth to the rectum. Mucous membrane resembles the skin in that, like the skin, it is made up of several layers. It also secretes and excretes. It excretes foul material (as the exudation in diphtheria) and secretes useful substances when they are in a fluid state.
The importance of the skin as an organ of elimination is made obvious by the offensive odor of perspiration, which will have the distinctive odor of tobacco if the person uses it in any form. This shows that the skin not only eliminates normal body wastes, but may eliminate poisons from the body as well. Urea, sodium chloride [salt], lactic acid, and potassium are some of the substances that are lost in the sweat.
Every movement we make destroys a tiny portion of the living tissues. These dead tissues have a poisonous effect on the body and must be removed. Some of the substances that are normally excreted by the system can be ver deadly under certain circumstances, such as some of those contained in the urine, bile, gallbladder, etc. They must be eliminated as quickly as possible and here the marvelous properties of water are again exhibited. Pure water dissolves these poisons whenever it comes in contact with them. Then, after being brought by the circulatory system to the proper organs liver, skin, kidneys, and lungs the poisons are expelled.
The skin has millions of pores, from which constantly flows a stream of poisons from the disintegration of body cells. As we perspire, these dead cells or poisons are left on the skin. As time passes, more and more accumulate there. If the skin is normally active, it takes several days for these dead cells to form a layer, which could be compared to a thin coating of varnish. Unless a person bathes properly and often, these dead cells and poisons continue to accumulate and increase until they start to undergo a process of decomposition and subsequent re-absorption into the blood, thus placing an additional load on the organs of excretion.
We all know that a person who does not bathe often has a very unpleasant odor about him, but this offense is not equal to the evil done to oneself. This accumulation obstructs the work of the millions of little pores, and some of the poisons are reabsorbed, thus contaminating the system. Frequent cleansing with water will keep the skin wholly free from poisonous elements. It can easily be understood why so many people have torpid skins, because it is not uncommon to find those who have never taken a real, general cleansing bath in their lives, and most people do not practice it often enough.
A cleansing bath should be taken every day if possible. You wash your face and hands daily, why not your entire body? A cleansing bath taken daily will keep the skin supple and clean. The bath should be as indispensable to a woman as her mirror. Many refined and fastidious people who spend hours in dressing, including women who use creams, lotions, and makeup to beautify the portions of the skin exposed to view, would be quite shocked to learn the true condition of the unwashed skin. Of course, we do not say that this is true of everyone, but it is true of a great many.
Inactivity of the skin due to improper bathing is one of the main causes of skin disease, especially if coupled with an aggravated condition caused by wrong dietary habits. The relation between the skin and kidneys is very close, and inactivity of the skin is often associated with kidney disorders.
The value of water in preventing disease was recognized by ancient peoples, and baths were used by them to a far greater extent than in modern times. Moses, the great Hebrew lawgiver, required his people to be scrupulously clean, and made bathing a part of their religious duties. His example was followed by Mohammed, who ordered his people to bathe before each of their five daily prayers. Thus, many have believed that cleanliness is next to godliness.
The Greeks regarded the bath as a very essential means of securing physical health. Daily baths were practiced by them, from the youngest to the oldest. The Romans also made a luxury of the bath.
The most renowned physicians from Hippocrates down to Galen, Celsus, Boerhaave, and others such as Sebastian Knieppe and Melville C. Keith, believed that bathing was an invaluable means of preserving health. Nevertheless, as people have become more "enlightened" and "civilized," bathing for health has been more and more disregarded.
During the dark ages in Europe, the bath was unknown. Michelet, a noteworthy historian, tell us that in his opinion, this accounted for the terrible plagues and pestilences of that period.
Mankind then felt the need for something new and started using poisonous drugs. Bathing is a natural instinct, and all nature shows the importance of baths. Rain is the natural shower bath. The influence of it is shown in the fresher, brighter, and more erect appearance of all living plants. Birds and animals do not neglect their baths. If man's instincts had not been perverted by the habits of modern civilization, he would value the bath highly and bathe frequently, as do the more humble creatures whose instincts are still true to nature.
Man's intelligence has made it possible for him to become grossly perverted in almost everything food, appetite, bathing, etc. Man does not go astray from nature because he lacks intelligence or instinct, but because he wishes to gratify his own desires.
Many are afraid to use one of God's greatest blessings pure water because they have never experienced its beneficial effects.
C. AMOUNT OF WATER NEEDED DAILY
The average person does not drink enough pure water. At least six to eight glasses must be taken daily. More is better, depending upon the kind of food eaten. Cool water is good, but ice water should not be taken. Babies and delicate patients should be given water as carefully as food.
When one drinks an abundance of pure, fresh water the blood and tissues are bathed and purified, thereby being cleansed of all poisons and waste matter. Water is also an essential constituent of the tissue cells and all body fluids, such as the digestive juices etc.
Water dissolves nutritive material in the course of the digestion, so that it can be absorbed into the blood and carried to various parts of the body to repair and build tissues and remove waste.
Water keeps all mucous membranes of the body soft and prevents friction of their surfaces.
Water aids in regulating body temperature and body processes.
Make a special effort to obtain the purest water available.
Recent scientific evidence suggests that elderly people may not feel thirsty even when their bodies are actually in need of water. It was also found that, despite the body's need for more fluid, the kidneys of older people do not tend to conserve fluid as would be expected under these circumstances. These factors may lead to the formation of kidney stones and contribute to constipation, an all-too-common problem in the elderly. Therefore, as you grow older, it is even more important that an adequate supply of fluid be obtained every day.
Your brother in Christ
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