Rain water is known as the purest water in the world, because it still has no additional minerals or dirts abtained from contact with soil or stones. Since ancient time, rain water is believed to have many health benefits in many cultures. There are millions of people drinking rain water troughout the world, mainly from places where tap water is difficult to find, or where tap water is brackish water. For example, in Africa or Asia, where people collect water for bath from brackish wells or rivers, they also collect rain water in different container for their drinking water and cooking.
There was a research held in Australia showing that rain water is safe to drink, as long as it is collected in clean containers and properly filtered. However, since rain water contains no minerals, we should add mineral intakes if we consume rain water for more than 1 month.
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Breaking The Myth
There is a myth developed in Indonesia that nobody should walk, run, or play under the rain since it can lead to fever, headache, and “trapped wind”. This is not true at all. The truth is, showering under the rain (or children like to play under the rain) does not make us sick at all. Rain water does not make us sick. The sickness is related to exposure to cold for very long time especially in cold climate, like in subtropical countries or in the mountains. Children also can get sick because of playing with their sick friends, for example when their friends already contracted common colds, flu or measles.
If we wish to shower under the rain, make sure that we do that quickly, no more than 15 minutes, then drink hot tea afterward. The same with children, it is advisable to bath the children with warm water after playing under the rain, and after that they drink hot tea.
Thus, here are the health benefits of drinking rainwater that will surprise you.
1. Contains Alkaline pH
Since rain water is still pure, it has the same pH as distilled water and RO (Reverse Osmosis) water. We know that alkaline water gives health benefits like promoting detoxifications and healthy digestive system.
Rain water, like alkaline water, helps neutralize blood pH in our body. The toxins and free radicals will reduce the blood pH, make it slighty acidic. Consuming rain water or alkaline water will neutralize the pH, making our body system work more efficently.
2. No Fluoride and Chlorine
Chlorine is used to kill germs in tap water, while fluoride is obtained naturally from the soil. Some countries, especially developing countries still use chorine as antiseptic in municipal or tap water, since it is very cheap. But sometimes the crews put too much chlorine in the water, and we can smell the chlorine itself in drinking water. Consuming tap water high in chlorine and fluoride can cause many health problems, for example gastritis, headache, and damaged body organs due to corrosive effects of chlorine.
The alkaline pH in rain water is known to inhibit proliferation of cancer cells, since it helps restore the neutral pH of our blood and body cells. This make rain water acts like antioxidants. Herb experts in India suggests every cancer patient to drink more rain water. It is believed that the rain water from the first moonsoons has the best advantages. When rain water is not available, springwater can be used instead.
4. Treatment of Stomach Problems
According to Indian traditional medicine, it is advisable to drink 2-3 tablespoons of rain water on empty stomach every morning. The alkaline pH helps neutralize the stomach acid and sooth the iritated stomach mucosa. Moreover, rain water lacks in chlorine, which is known as a corrosive agent that can severe any ulcers.
Rainwater for Beauty Treatment
Thus, there are also health benefits of drinking rainwater for beauty tricks.
5. Promotes Healthy Hair
Rain water is very mild, since it lacks of minerals obtained from the soil. Our hair likes the mild natural water. Washing hair with rain water helps taking away dirts more effectively since rain water works well with shampoo and soap. The alkaline pH promotes hair growth and stronger hair, since acidic pH can damage hair keratines and follicle, thus making the hair brittle.
6. Promotes Healthy Skin
Taking shower or bath with rain water will make the soap work more effectively, so we do not need to use plenty of soap while bathing / showering. Many soaps have strong acidic pH and strong fragrance substances, which can make the skin dry and dull. Rain water is mild, something that our skin prefers. The alkaline pH in rain water helps maintain moisture and elasticity of the skin. The best effect can be obtained by drinking and bathing with rain water. When we bath/shower with rain water regularly, our skin will look youthful and radiant. Showering with rain water also make the mind calmer, ideal to do after having a bad day or tiring working day.
7. Prevents Acne and Boils
Since rain water is mild, it can be used to wash the face more frequantly. Washing face and body with rain water help cleanse the skin more effectively, washing away bad bacteria that cause acne and boils. The alkaline pH helps sooth inflamed acne and boils, thus reducing the swells and pain.
More Uses of Rainwater
Indeed, you will never thought that there are more health benefits of rainwater. Here are they:
8. Brightens Fabrics
Washing clothes with rain water gives big advantage in laundry activity. Detergent works well with rain water, so we can use smaller amount of detergent. Moreover, rain water keeps the color in the fabrics, making the clothes look new for longer time. It also works well with bleach, which can help brightens white fabrics. Some minerals contained in tap water can react with detergents or bleach, making the color of fabric look dull, even changing the color overtime.
9. More Beautiful Garden
If we water the plants in our household with rain water, the plants will have brighter color, and look more fresh. The flowers will blossom much faster. No wonder gardens in high-rainfall countries (like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador) look more blossoming and more beautiful.
10. Healthier Pets
Wild animals like deer, birds, frogs, reptiles, even insects like to “bath” and drink rain water. Some animals like to run and bath during the rain, they seem happy playing under the rain. They use rain water as their natural medicine. Rain water gives health benefits to animals, just like to human.
If we have pets at home, it is good to fill their water bowl with filtered rain water, to make them healthier. When drinking rain water regularly, their fur will look shinier too. Be careful of only using filtered rain water though, since unfiltered rain water can cause our pets getting sick.
11. Reduce Monthly Expenses
We do not need to pay any bill for collecting the rain water. The most we will have to spend the money is for buying water tank / container and water filter; while we have to pay monthly bill for using tap water. Using rain water for drinking, bathing and doing laundry occasionally can reduce our monthly water bill.
Rain water also works well with soaps, detergents, and shampoo, that it will lather much more than when using tap water. This will make the soaps, detergents and shampoo last longer, and we can save a bit of money from that.
Although it has many benefits, rain water also has some disadvantages. It lacks in minerals, so we have to take necessary minerals like sodium, potassium, calsium, and fluoride from somewhere else, for example from natural unrefined sea salt and drinking mineral water.
When touching trees or roofs before falling into water tank / container, rain water can carry dirts, algae, insect debris, even insect eggs which later develop into larvae. Therefore, we must make sure that the rain water is free of contamination. We also have to make sure that the water filter is in prime condition. Just like any water, contaminated rain water can lead to water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis.
Pregnant women should not drink rain water, except when it is already boiled or when using very good water filter. The rain water may carry some microbes like Toxoplasma, fungi or bacteria which can interfere the growth of fetus, even causing abortion.
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From the explanation above, we can see that rain water gives so much benefits. If we live in a tropical country where the rainfall is abundant, we should consider installing special tank for collecting rain water. Later, we can install water filter so we can drink the water safely, or simply boil the water before drinking it. If we happen to live in subtropical countries which do not have that much rainfall, we still can collect rain water and use it little by little.