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Ayurvedic Copper Practice Supported by Superbug Infection Research

Ayurvedic Copper Practice Supported by Superbug Infection Research

Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina have confirmed that using copper metal surfaces at hospitals significantly reduces hospital-acquired infections. What the study didn't mention was that copper cups and devices have been used for wellness in Ayurveda for thousands of years.

This study, published recently in the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, studied two types of superbug infections among selected internal care facilities in three hospitals. The researchers tracked infection rates from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) - two of the most hardy and difficult to treat infections known.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The three hospitals tested were the Medical University of South Carolina, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

Probiotic and Microbes course

Over a period of nearly a year, 650 patients were studied. They were placed in 16 hospital ICU rooms – half of which had copper-surfaced objects placed inside. The rooms were tracked for infection rates among the patients.

The research found that the rooms with Copper-surfaced objects had more than half the infection incidence than those rooms without Copper. Infection rates for MRSA and VRE in the copper rooms were also significantly lower in the copper-containing rooms as compared to rooms without copper.

"Patients cared for in ICU rooms with Copper alloy surfaces had a significantly lower rate of incident Hospital Acquired Infections and/or colonization with MRSA or VRE than did patients treated in standard rooms," the researchers concluded.

According to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly 100,000 people die a year from hospital-acquired infections.

Another study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that copper alloy surfaces reduced the "microbial burden" – the bacteria counts (colony forming units) found on surfaces - by 83%.

Ayurvedic doctors have known that copper had purifying and anti-infective properties for thousands of years. For this reason, copper cups, plates and tongue cleaners have been used to help maintain wellness.

One ancient practice is to place some room temperature water into a copper cup overnight and drink it in the morning. Another is to utilize a copper tongue cleaner. The copper tongue cleaner is scraped from the back of the tongue to the front on a daily basis.

Ayurvedic practitioners believe copper therapy has three general benefits: First, copper surfaces are considered cleaner and less toxic. Second, trace levels of copper ions become infused into water or onto the skin via contact. This is called the oligodynamic effect. These copper ions are thought to stimulate immunity and wellness. Copper is also considered as Vayasthapak – which means it helps a person age with wellness (some interpret this as anti-aging, but Ayurvedic wisdom accepts the aging process as a welcomed stage not a stage to avoid - a time when seeking wisdom becomes ones central focus).

While inhibiting superbug infections was probably not within the Ayurvedic purvey, modern research has once again proven that the ancient science of Ayurveda - dating back over five thousand years - maintains a level of efficacy not well understood by conventional medicine.


References

  • Salgado CD, Sepkowitz KA, John JF, Cantey JR, Attaway HH, Freeman KD, Sharpe PA, Michels HT, Schmidt MG. Copper surfaces reduce the rate of healthcare-acquired infections in the intensive care unit. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 May;34(5):479-86.
  • Schmidt MG, Attaway HH, Sharpe PA, John J Jr, Sepkowitz KA, Morgan A, Fairey SE, Singh S, Steed LL, Cantey JR, Freeman KD, Michels HT, Salgado CD. Sustained reduction of microbial burden on common hospital surfaces through introduction of copper. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Jul;50(7):2217-23.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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"more than half"??



It sorta looks as though you mean less than half, doesn't it?

-dlj.

point o consideration



Great article on the Benefits of Copper and Ayurveda. One point, for awareness, perhaps, I miss-read, or interpreted it, but in Paragraph 5, it reads, "had more than half the infection incidence than those rooms without Copper." Should that be 'less', instead of more? Just thought to make you aware of it. I will have to get some Copper Cooking equipment now. Perhaps, you could Post a Link on this website, to a place that has good quality Copper Pots and Pans, without any alloys that might 'taint' them?

Namaste`

point o consideration



Thanks Sterling for your comment and readership. I can see how the "more than half" with regard to reduction can sound confusing. The plate count for hospital acquired infection-type bacteria went down from .081 to .034 in the rooms with copper. This would appear to be a reduction of more than half - as half would have been a reduction from .081 to .0405, for example. This means that if the results were .045 would have been less than half and .034 would be more than half. Hope that makes sense?

Great points on copper pots and pans. I should note that the Ayurvedic method of steeping water in copper or using a copper tongue cleaner does not engage copper with high heat, however. As I am not aware of the effects of using pure copper under heat with food (e.g., pots and pans), I am not so comfortable commenting upon it or recommending it. Have you used pure copper to cook with? 

Here is some wisdom for you from an old person...



The people who make anti-MRSA and anti-VRE drugs will NOT be real happy about the healing qualities of copper.  They will do what they can to make this information disappear.

Here is some more wisdom.  I am currently suffering intense nerve pain because of a sacrum subluxation that has lasted for 45 days.  Here is some of the wisdom that I have acquired from this suffering:  If handled properly, suffering in redemptive.  I feel more compassion and caring for others, for my dogs, for my family, for complete strangers.  I feel more love for God.  And I am really blessed because of this, but I will be getting rid of this pain as soon as possible.  I think that if one did not want to get rid of the pain as soon as possible, then it wouldn't "work".  So don't go hitting your thumb with hammer or watching reality TV to see if it works.

copper as anti-bacterial



We fail to appreciate, in regards to ancient medical practices, is that the longevity of a practice is tangentially related to outcome.  If a practice never worked, it would have extinguished itself.  The principle is the same as in the psychology of organized gambling and slot machines.  If there was never a pay-out, or it occurred too infrequently to maintain interest, no one would use slot machines.

 

Blood letting release vasopressin, mineral baths worked on joint pains by the transdermal absorption of minerals. Honey works for wounds as an antibacterial (as does table sugar or sucrose because it exerts a high amount of osmotic pressure on pathogens, leaving them with collapsed protective walls. Trepanning of the skull (practiced by ancient Egyptians) released intra-craniail pressure instead of demons.

Practices that never work are extinguished.  More respect for the intelligence of ancient medicine would improve modern medicine. Especially recalling that the premier portion of the Hippocratic Oath is "Primum Non Nocere" or "First do no harm."

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Sayer Ji
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