This Goldwater was real. Gold Water is not. It is an Ayurvedic fantasy.

From Kangen water to oxygenated water, there are enough pseudoscientific and quacky water offerings to fill an entire website devoted to water-related pseudoscience, fantasy, and quackery. That resource covers ionized water, alkaline water, oxygenated waters, energized water, structured water, magnetized water, and even weirder stuff. Well worth a visit. The crackpottery boggles the mind.

It doesn’t seem to mention gold water. Or silver water. Or copper water. These are far from new, but I just recently became aware of them. It seems they are an old Ayurvedic thing. I didn’t know what Ayurveda was when I graduated from medical school. If I had gone to naturopathy school, I would have known: their major textbook devotes a whole chapter to it. They also teach homeopathy. I’m glad I chose medical school. I’m convinced reality is the best medicine.

The alleged health benefits

An Ayurveda website explains the “health benefits of gold water”:

Gold is not only beautiful but has divine properties that can assist in maintaining balanced health. It is also heating and so should be used in caution in conditions with excess heat. The health benefits of gold water:

  • Strengthens the nervous system
  • Improves memory and intelligence
  • Increases stamina
  • Beneficial in Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Breathlessness

It goes on to explain the health benefits of silver water:

  • Antiseptic properties
  • Increases strength and stamina
  • Beneficial in emaciation
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Useful in heartburn and fevers
  • Beneficial in Inflammation and Menorrhagia
  • Works as a Disinfectant

And copper water:

  • Obesity
  • Liver and spleen disorders
  • Joint issues
  • Polio
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress and mental tension
  • Paralysis
  • Benefits the nervous and circulatory system
  • Aids in bone health

Finally, it explains how to prepare these waters by boiling pure gold, silver, or copper with water and straining. It recommends taking two teaspoons of this water daily for maximum benefits. This couldn’t possibly work: these metals are not soluble in water, only in acid.

Another website explains that “The electronic energy of gold will enter the water during this process.” And it explains that “Milk can be preserved by putting silver coins in it since it kills pathogens.” And:

Copper makes the water ionic which helps to maintain body’s pH (acid-alkaline) balance. Ayurveda advises to keep drinking water in a copper jug in the night and drink it in the morning. This is called tamra jal. This tamra jal will prevent you from all the three doshas: Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.

All that is nonsense, and since those doshas are imaginary, I don’t think I need protecting from them.

The evidence

There is no scientific evidence to support the health claims for gold, silver, or copper water. There are grains of truth behind the myths. Silver ions kill bacteria in vitro but ingesting silver only creates smurfs. Gold was an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but only if it was injected. Copper is an essential trace element, but it is supplied by the diet; copper deficiency is rare and is treated by copper supplements, not copper water.

Conclusion: Superstition, not science

There is no reason to use gold water, silver water, or copper water. In fact, there is no gold, silver, or copper in them: these metals don’t dissolve in water. The whole idea is a fantasy. The recommendations are from Ayurveda and are based on ancient superstitions, not modern scientific evidence.


Posted by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.