Miraculous ganga water, but...

It is well-documented in the Hindu scriptures: Taking holy dip in the Ganga washes away all sins and cures diseases.

Published: 13th August 2017 08:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2017 08:25 AM   |  A+A-

New Delhi: It is well-documented in the Hindu scriptures: Taking holy dip in the Ganga washes away all sins and cures diseases. Now, a government-commissioned scientific study has reaffirmed the fact of presence of medicinal properties in the river’s water. 

Last year, a government affidavit in the Supreme Court had stated that Emperor Akbar used to drink water mixed with Ganga’s and he had appreciated the river for its magical qualities. The presence of anti-microbial and disinfectant properties has mostly been limited to the upper region from Gaumukh to Tehri, where the water is still clean.

Found in the Water

Silver and copper: Disinfectant against broad range of bacteria
Phytochemicals: Plant compounds in the water linked to reductions in major chronic diseases   
Bacteriophages: Virus that kills pathogenic bacteria responsible for diseases

New Delhi: It is well-documented in the Hindu scriptures: Taking holy dip in the Ganga washes away all sins and cures diseases. Now, a government-commissioned scientific study has reaffirmed the fact of presence of medicinal properties in the river’s water. Last year, a government affidavit in the Supreme Court had stated that Emperor Akbar used to drink water mixed with Ganga’s and he had appreciated the river for its magical qualities.
The presence of anti-microbial and disinfectant properties has mostly been limited to the upper region from Gaumukh to Tehri, where the water is still clean.

Bacteriophages that kill pathogenic bacteria responsible for diseases, including pneumonia, were found in the entire stretch of the Ganga, from Gaumukh to Gangasagar in West Bengal. The percentage drops as it traverses through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

The study reveal that Ganga water has variety of bacteriophages that have specific bacterial activity against pathogens that cause tuberculosis, leprosy, blood infections, meningitis in newborns, skin infections and urinary tract infections, among others.

Gomukh

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.  
Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti considers Ganga water nectar and cleaning the river is the mission of her life. She assigned the task of conducting the first-of-its-kind comprehensive study to assess special properties of the river.   

The study ‘Assessment of Water Quality and Sediment to Understand the Special Properties of River Ganga’ was conducted by Ahmedabad-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Department of Science and Technology.

The investigations were carried out to gather in-depth information about special properties—presence and diversity of bacteriophages, higher dissolved oxygen, antimicrobial activity, contribution of metals towards anti-microbial activity and leaching of phytochemicals.

“The river still has therapeutic and special properties despite all the pollution and that makes it urgent to take measures to save it,” said a senior water ministry official.

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