The rejection of water fluoridation has continued on a large scale, with activists rallying support at their local city halls and many others spreading knowledge on the Internet.
Fluoridation was originally done to municipal water supplies as a way to help prevent tooth decay, but many scientists and everyday people are calling for governments to backtrack on that course of action due to concern with the health problems caused by the industrial chemical (it’s also worth noting that natural fluoride is a different compound).
Everyone’s looking for fluoride-free water, but what is the solution?
A popular, often-used medicinal herb may hold the answer.
Tulsi Said to Help Remove Fluoride from Water?
An announcement was made in 2012 that the Tulsi plant’s stem and other parts can detoxify water with high fluoride levels making it safe for people to consume, and it was widely reported by many natural health sources including the Fluoride Action Network.
According to that report, a team of Indian researchers from the department of environmental sciences, Sardar Patel Mahavidyalaya, Chandrapur, found that the stem and leaves in particular of the Tulsi plant can detoxify water by serving as a natural magnet to attract molecules of fluoride from the water. The researchers said that 20 minutes was all it took for the plant to bind to the molecules at a sufficient rate.
They observed that a removal of 94 percent was possible using 75 mg of fresh leaves for 100 ml over a 20 minute time period.
It was also shown by researchers from Rajasthan University in India that Tulsi can reduce 100 ml of water’s fluoride levels from 7.4 parts per million to only 1.1 parts per million over the course of eight hours of soaking.
Follow Up Study Shows Different Findings
The prior results were promising, but according to a June 2013 report in the Times of India, a study by the Food and Drug Toxicology Research Center of India (NIN) could not validate them.
The laboratory used the ion selective electrode method this time around in contrast with the university study’s use of the colorimetry technique to estimate the fluoride content of the water. According to the report, the former technique is more sensitive and accurate.
The results showed fluoride reductions of only .19 ppm in one sample and .22 ppm in another.
Which Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Fluoride Removal Study Should Be Trusted?
Since the news of the NIN study, reports have still continued to surface in the natural health community regarding Tulsi’s ability to remove fluoride from water, citing previous studies.
It seems as if the NIN’s study has fallen on deaf ears and further studies have not been done. Currently, there isn’t much other information on the removal of fluoride through Tulsi out there on the web.
But it is worth noting the results of the positive results, as it certainly doesn’t hurt to try such a method if Tulsi’s all you’ve got on hand and fluoridated water is your only option. Many people also tend to trust more independent studies over government ones (and that generally is a good rule of thumb, although I can’t comment on what types of conflicts of interest could potentially be present in India since I don’t know the situation). I would personally trust a university study over an FDA one in the U.S., however, to use an analogy.
For now, however, the world waits for further independent studies with larger sample sizes on just how effective Tulsi can be for removing fluoride. Fluoride is something that is ubiquitous in many areas of the United States and other places that still fluoridate their water supplies, but it’s important to take steps to minimize our exposure.
Personally, I get my water from the health food store’s filtration system and also use the Omica Organics shower filter, which helps to remove fluoride and other chemicals from the water I shower in.
In the meantime, do your best to find a quality source of water such as a spring or a well-filtered type from your local health food store, because the side effects of industrial fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals are too much to ignore based on the latest research, which can also be found at the Fluoride Action Network’s site.