The Gift of Water

By Scott Emerson, MD

“Just when I think it can’t rain any harder or longer than this; and I can’t get any wetter than this; it does, and I am.” — personal log, Bagua Mountains wilderness, Peru, July 8, 1978

The most powerful experience I’ve ever had with water occurred in the months I spent as an expedition physician in the Bagua Mountains wilderness, located where the Andes drop off into the lowland Amazon Basin. The torrential rain for weeks on end—the area receives over 20 feet of rain annually—the cold, the lack of sun and ability to make a fire, and being continuously wet beat my body, mind and spirit into complete submission to water’s power.  However, the forests and the life it made possible were magnificent—and that rainwater was the best water I have ever tasted.

Water comes to our planet in a variety of ways (comets, accretion discs and nebulas during star formation) after being created in inter-stellar molecular clouds dense in oxygen and hydrogen.  Within the Orion Molecular Cloud, 1,500 light years distant, the equivalent of all the water on Earth is being created every 24 minutes. Despite the extreme rainfall of the Bagua Mountains, the area of Earth with the richest concentration of fresh water is the Great Lakes of North America—our home.

Although 66 percent of our total body weight is composed of water, on a molecular basis, 99 percent of all the molecules in our body are water. Our bodies partition our total body water into water within the cells—our reservoir (two thirds)—and water outside the cells—the body’s flowing streams (one third).  The innate intelligence of life balances our dry streams by taking from the reservoir and giving to the area outside the cells when we are dehydrated and giving it back to the cells when we are rehydrated. The kidney also plays a role by conserving water when we are dry and eliminating water when we’re not. This automatic hydration balancing act by the body occurs long before the sensation of thirst arises, meaning that by the time we are thirsty we are already well down the road to dehydration.

Through the millennia, among many ancient healing traditions, water was thought to be the primary and most potent of all the other primordial elements of nature—over the earth, air, fire and space elements.  These healers knew that water was the most powerful and precious resource on Earth.  Now, scientific advances are confirming what the ancients knew.

Water is a special substance compared to all others, and is capable of existing in a fourth phase beyond the usual solid, liquid and gaseous forms.  Water changes form into a raw-egg-white-like consistency, as well as its physical and chemical properties when it comes in contact with living surfaces.  Most of the water in our cells is in this gel-like phase or liquid crystal form, where it is thought to play a central orchestrating and organizing role in all cell processes.  Water is not a passive solvent in our bodies for our macromolecules (DNA, enzymes, structural proteins), cell structures and their functional relationships that science has so thoroughly focused on in the past. Instead, water’s fourth phase is actually dancing with and, in some cases, directing our biological molecules, playing a dominant role in turning genes on and off in our DNA, causing proteins to change their conformational shape, keeping the inside of each cell with a healthy negative charge, improving energy efficiency by acting as a battery, creating “ intracellular wiring” for electron and proton flows, and enabling electro-magnetic energy information transmission at the speed of light.  Recent advances in medical science have enabled the investigation of the quantity and quality of this fourth phase of water in living healthy, and unhealthy, cells like cancer, or Alzheimer’s-affected neurons. This frontier of research is indicating that our degree of robustness, health and resistance to diseases may be directly related to the status of the fourth phase of water within our cells.   

What can we do to help achieve a healthy water status in our body?  First, maintain adequate hydration by drinking before you are thirsty.  Second, remember the genius of the Finns and spend some time in the sauna, especially during our dark winters.  That heat energy enhances the formation of the gel state of water in our cells.  Third, drink green juice and coconut water, and eat lots of vegetables and fruits as most of the water consumed with these is in the fourth phase and is more easily absorbed than liquid water.  Also, many of the phytonutrients in plants are becoming known to help structure intracellular water as opposed to destroying it like pesticides and herbicides can.

Water is a gift to us from Mother Earth, given to her from the cosmos. Water is characterized by its ability to associate with itself and grow into complex and dynamic structures in a fourth phase.  It uses and transforms energy, reacts to stimuli, does work, and regenerates and reproduces itself and its complex structure.  This is also the definition of life.

The gift of water is life, because water is life.


Water Stewardship Tips

• The best, most powerful single water-saving tip is choosing to eat more plant-based foods or going meatless one or two days a week. For the typical amount of food consumed for one day, meat-eaters use an additional 4,000 gallons of water, vegetarians use 1,200 gallons, and vegans use only 300 gallons above their baseline use for all other purposes.

• Everyone should think about “water saving” as not just about quantity but also conserving and enhancing the quality of water we have and use. Getting involved in any way to insure we have clean groundwater, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans automatically also means protection of our land (runoff) and air (precipitation).

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