Gangajal: People in India have a strong belief that water of Ganga River has extraordinary powers. Indian emperor Akbar called the Ganga water as ‘the water of immortality’. Even Britishers carry Ganga water during their sea voyages back to England because the Ganga water remains fresh over a prolonged period of time. Let’s have a look at the medicinal properties of Ganga water and why this water is considered holy.
Unique properties of Ganga water
Antimicrobial effect of Ganga water:According to the research of Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Ganga water containsBacteriophages (viruses which kill bacteria)due to which Ganga water has antimicrobial attributes. The scientific world has always been amused of the antiseptic properties of Ganga’s waters.In 1896, British physician E Hanbury Hankinobserved that cholera microbes died within three hours in its water, but thrived in distilled water.The Institute of Microbial Technology – Imtech(one of the laboratories of the CSIR) revealed that more than 20 types of bacteriophages are found in water of Ganga River which can fight microorganisms that cause diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera and urinary tract infection, among others. Scientists identified 20-25 interesting viruses, which can be used for treatment of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium), typhoid (Salmonella), pneumonia (Klebsiella and Acinetobactor), cholera (Vibrio), dysentery (Shigella), diarrhoea (Aeromonoas) meningitis (Cronobacter), etc.
Excessive Oxygen content in water: The water in River Ganga has high oxygen level. After numerous researches, this factor remains a mystery that what gives the water of Ganga to retain unusual content of oxygen. It is noteworthy that the Ganga water contains Oxygen levels 25 times higher than any other river in the world. This is one of the reasons of self-purifying attributes of River Ganga and high levels of oxygen in the waters of Ganga gives it the unique ability to remain fresh over a prolonged period of time.
Other Properties: The water samples contained metals such as silver and copper that are natural disinfectants against a broad range of bacteria. Phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) in the water has been linked to reductions in major chronic diseases.
The Ganges (Ganga) River is a sacred body of water to Hindus that begins high in the Himalaya Mountains and empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The surrounding river basin has a population of more than four hundred million people. More than four hundred million people in India live in the area that feeds the river, known as the Ganges River Basin. The Ganges River originates in the Himalaya Mountains at Gomukh, the terminus of the Gongotri Glacier. When the ice of this glacier melts, it forms the clear waters of the Bhagirathi River. As the Bhagirathi River flows down the Himalayas, it joins the Alaknanda River, officially forming the Ganges River. The Ganges River Basin is sometimes considered part of a larger river basin consisting of the nearby Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Known as the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) River Basin, it is one of the largest river systems in the world.
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