Today, about one billion people lack safe drinking water and more than six million people (of which 2 million are children) die of diarrhea every year. Water-borne diseases still kill on average 25,000 people in developing countries every day while millions suffer the debilitating effects of these diseases.
Moringa, popularly known as drumsticks, which has been added as a flavor to sambar for years, may soon be introduced as water purifier adding another important use to this miraculous plant. The discovery can prove to be a huge turning point in our fight against many water-borne diseases and meeting the requirement of potable water for people around the globe.
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A doctorate student, Amanpreet Kaur Virk has been studying the water purifying properties of moringa seeds for around 2 years now. She proudly filed her first patent on ‘Compact and portable herbal water purifier for drinking water’ in October last year describing the use of drumstick seed powder as a natural water purifier. The idea evolved as an attempt to solve the problems of clean and safe drinking water and help curb many of the waterborne diseases. Amanpreet credited this idea to her guide, Prof. Saurabh Kulshrestha who initially suggested the use of Moringa seeds as a water purifier as a topic for her research.
This patent is critical because of the increasing scarcity of fresh water with water pollution levels rising at alarming rates. Most of the currently available technologies are not affordable for many people living in rural areas and the chemical substances used in the process have many adverse effects on the health too. Around 75% of water gets wasted, (which cannot even be used for irrigation purposes) in the RO systems which have become quite popular in recent years.
Sharing the progress, Amanpreet informed that the patent is in its testing phase right now. Dip-bag containing extremely safe and edible M. oleifera seeds was used to purify portable drinking water and has been successful in the removal of many pathogenic bacteria within a short span of a minute. The seed powder has proved to be bactericidal in nature meaning to permanently kill the harmful bacteria present in the water. It has also proved to be efficient in the removal of heavy metal contamination and toxic dyes.