Copper is a metal that is widely used all across the world for many different purposes like raw material for manufacturing industries, electrical appliances, machines, vehicles, etc. However, the effects that it can have on the human body are also very fascinating. In this article, we shall explore the therapeutic effects of copper with reference to one of the most ancient yet powerful sciences, i.e. Ayurveda.
The science of Ayurveda suggests that the human body is composed of:
5 elements also known as Mahabhutas, are- Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth and 3 types of bio-energies or Doshas, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The best way to correct an imbalance in these elements is by using the same five elements, in a specific amount or proportion, to restore and rebalance each other.
One such element is Copper, which is known as Tamra in Ayurveda. It is naturally available in its solid-state, which means that there is a predominance of (Earth Element) in it. This gives it the ability to absorb fluids and satiate the elevated Pitta and Kapha Doshas.
Why is it of so much importance?
Copper is absorbed in the gut and then transported to the liver where it gets processed and distributed to other tissues in a second phase.
It is observed that copper has the following rasas (tastes perceived by the tongue)- astringent, sweet, bitter, sour.
The astringent, bitter and sour taste helps in the absorption of excess fluid which has been clogged or accumulated in the different organs or tracts and throwing them out of the body, decreasing the Kapha Dosha in the body. Moreover, the sweet taste helps in pacifying excess pitta dosha thereby reducing excess heat in the body.
Let’s dive into some therapeutic Properties of Copper According to Ayurveda!
Copper possesses therapeutic properties which perform the following functions –
Improves the Digestive System
Water stored in a copper bottle is alkaline in nature, making it an easy yet effective remedy for disorders like hyperacidity and gastric ulcers.
Once the process of food digestion improves, its positive effects can be seen on the skin, hair, bones, nails, etc. An increase in energy, vigor, and a decrease in lethargy and stress comes as a result of good digestion and absorption of nutrients in the body.
It helps in the process of cleaning and clearing the clogged material(lekhana) in the body’s tracts, which helps in increasing the surface area for absorption.
This property is useful in treating long-term inflammatory diseases like bronchial asthma, bronchitis, ascites, chronic rhinitis, etc.
Role in Chronic Rhinitis
Chronic accumulation of mucous and cough in the sinuses is very common in today’s day and age and copper helps in their absorption and expulsion from the body.
Maintainance of a Healthy Body Weight
Copper is useful in improving the absorption and assimilation of food (aahara) in the body. With effective absorption and assimilation, it helps in gaining strength and weight in a healthy manner.
Since copper has the ability to facilitate the absorption of iron, it proves to be effective in treating disorders like anaemia, neutropenia, and long-term weakness.
Copper is well-known for its shodhana properties i.e. the removal of toxic substances from the body.
Role in Psoriasis
According to Ayurveda, skin disorders like psoriasis are caused due to the long-term accumulation of Pitta and Kapha doshas in the skin. Copper has the ability to pacify and alleviate these doshas, resulting in a reduction in symptoms.
Improves the Metabolism of the Body
Copper helps in causing the sensation of hunger, by improving the person’s metabolism.
The absorption of copper begins in the stomach and hence, it can be used to treat hyperacidity, gastric ulcers, and other disorders of the digestive system.
Maintenance of Cardio-Vascular health
As explained earlier, properties like lekhana help in removing impurities in the form of clots of blood or lipids accumulated in the heart. Tamra bhasma(fine copper powder) is widely used in cardiac patients and excellent results can be achieved.
Prevention of Infection and Sepsis
Copper has the ability to destroy these harmful agents and evacuates them from the body. Thus, it helps in keeping the body free of infections and sepsis. This, in turn, helps in quickening the process of wound healing.
Deficiency of Copper
Copper is known for its role in facilitating iron uptake. As a result, copper deficiency can produce anemia-like symptoms, bone abnormalities, increased incidence of infections, hyperthyroidism, etc. Therefore, it is important that the body gets an adequate amount of copper through diet or supplements.
How to use copper every day?
Copper is used in many different forms in today’s healthcare market. A few of them are given below-
For External Use
The use of copper bottles for storing drinking water is a very innovative concept that has been introduced in the market. On one hand, the customer is able to enjoy all the benefits of copper, and on the other hand, the bottle has high durability and can be easily carried to any place.
Cleaning the tongue with a tongue cleaner made of copper helps in maintaining dental health. Plaque accumulated on the tongue can be easily cleaned ensuring clean breath, prevention of cavities, and good digestion of food.
Lepa (external application of ointment with copper as the main component)
In patients suffering from skin disorders like psoriasis, lepa is applied externally to treat the external symptoms.
Copper is used in the form of bhasma(very fine powder consumed in very small doses) or churna(fine powder) form, which is taken via the oral route, either independently, or mixed with other components/medicinal herbs.
It is also used in the preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines such as or tablets.
During this process, it is very important to ensure that copper is purified up to a great extent for internal use. Moreover the method of preparation should be followed accurately as per the information given in Ayurvedic scriptures. If not, there is a high chance of the occurrence of copper toxicity and poisoning.
The masters’ opinion
As per Acharya Charak, one of the greatest practitioners of Ayurveda, anything and everything available on planet earth can be used as a form of medicine, if used in the correct manner, or it can serve as poison, if consumed incorrectly, without proper guidance. The same goes for the use of copper. It has many positive effects on the human body, and therefore, is considered as one of the most important and significant metals in Ayurveda.
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