Do Rawfooders Need an Ionizer?
January 26, 2022
Do you already eat 95% RAW organic fruits and vegetables? Is the other 5% all whole foods like slow- and low-cooked vegetables and beans? No factory food? Very little flesh (meat, chicken, fish, dairy)?
Then I believe you don't need a water Ionizer. You get enough alkaline minerals from your fresh fruit and veggies.
What if you're still transitioning to raw foods? Then:
- Green juice is your best alkalizer and free radical zapper.
- When you don't have time to make green juice, alkaline water is your second best bet!
Alkaline water helps to speed up a change in diet. It helps to clean and rebuild tissues faster, so your cravings go.
So long as toxins are stuck in your tissues, you want to eat more of those toxins. You see this clearly in alcoholics. In fact, it often eases their detox to give them some alcohol, called hair-of-the-dog treatment! How many countless mornings I woke up with a brain throbbing in so much pain, I literally could not move my head. Only 2 codeine and a beer could get me out of bed.
Do you eat raw foods high in fat? Then a water Ionizer will help you. If it looks like pizza and tastes like pizza, then it's as bad for you as pizza is, even though it's labeled raw. Food must be fresh from the garden, and look like it does in nature.
As soon as your diet is nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables, then you no longer need a water Ionizer. At that point, it's best to give yours away to a friend or family member who's still eating acid foods.
Susan Schenck writes in The Live Food Factor (2009):
"When my husband and I developed arthritis from using one [a water ionizer], we called Dr. True Ott [PhD in nutrition] after noticing that he had written about this topic.
Dr. Ott explained, 'These machines strip electrons from the contaminants themselves, and this creates hydroxyl ions which are harmful free radicals. The OH- ions attack cells ... It can also cause arthritis'."
Dr. Ott is way off in his chemistry! OH- ions are not radicals. They are the good guys (see below). But Susan's experience is real. I believe Susan's arthritis was a sign of Alkalosis — that's when you're too alkaline.
When she wrote her book, Susan was on 100% raw foods, and very much into the natural hygiene way of fresh fruits & vegetables. For her to drink alkaline water on top of such a high-alkaline diet, could easily result in alkalosis.
I've talked a lot about acidosis — when blood pH falls below 7.35, so you have too many hydrogen ions in your blood. But the reverse can also occur! Alkalosis is when blood pH rises *above* 7.45, so you have *too few* hydrogen ions.
Both states trigger our body to take action, e.g. to shift calcium OUT OF our bones INTO our blood when it's too acid, and likewise to shuttle calcium OUT OF our blood INTO our bones when the blood stream is too alkaline.
Normally you'd get alkalosis if you ingest too many antacids, or vomit up too much stomach acid. This new thing — of one hundred percent raw fooders drinking alkaline water — is so novel it's not yet listed in the medical texts as an alkalosis risk!
Well-known symptoms of alkalosis are bone spurs and bursitis. Both cause pain around the joints. Indeed, a bone spur — a pointed growth on a bone caused by calcium deposits (too much calcium in the blood) — is common in arthritis. I see a clear link between Susan's arthritis and alkalosis.
Alkaline water, ultimately, is unnatural. Just as blending and juicing is. They are unnatural solutions to our unnatural diet of factory foods and flesh foods. And our unnatural life of polluted air, polluted water, and stressful jobs. When last did you drink fresh spring water bubbling out of the ground deep within a forest — far away from pesticide farms? As we did just ten thousand years ago.
My teacher the late Dr. Ann Wigmore writes in Rebuild Your Health: with High Energy Enzyme Nourishment (1991):
"Blending is a fabulous solution for our digestive problems. People have made the statement that blenders do not exist in Nature. My answer to this is that never before have there existed in Nature digestive problems as severe as we are now experiencing. Our ignorance of Nature has basically made everything unnatural."
When we switch to a natural diet of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and a natural environment far from city pollutants, then our need for blending, juicing and alkaline water goes down to, ultimately, zero.
But in my experience, this takes years!
Dr. Tru Ott Is Wrong
Dr. Ott is 100% wrong when he told Susan: "hydroxyl ions are harmful free radicals. The OH- ions attack cells ... and can cause arthritis."
He confuses the good hydroxyl ion with the bad hydroxyl radical. The only thing these two have in common is the word hydroxyl. Would you confuse table salt with a table leg because they both begin with the word table? Then try to fix a broken table leg with table salt?
Hence Dr. Ott's belief that the healthy OH- hydroxyl ion in alkaline water can cause arthritis is totally off-the-wall.
Sadly rawfood medic Dr. Gabriel Cousens repeats this error in his book Spiritual Nutrition (2005). He writes: "Alkaline water ... forms a hydroxyl ion, a powerful free radical that oxidizes the system."
In fact, the stable OH- hydroxyl ion in alkaline water neutralizes free radicals, kills pathogenic microbes inside us, and acts as a back-up for the energy cycle when we don't breathe in enough fresh oxygen — read how on my page Quench Free Radicals.
It's stable because it's mated with an alkaline mineral, there's *no* free electron in OH-.
Good Hydroxyl Ion
Dr. Peter L. Kopko of Life Ionizers writes:
"It is a fact of science that ionizer machines produce hydroxyl ions not hydroxyl radicals ... A radical by definition has one or more unpaired electrons. The hydroxyl ion (OH-) does not have any unpaired electrons."
Dr. Kopko prints this graphic of the bad hydroxyl radical (and other reactive oxygen molecules) next to the good hydroxyl ion:
You can clearly see the OH- hydroxyl ion is not a free radical. It has no unpaired electrons (the red dots).
It's time for Drs. Ott and Cousens to delve into their chemistry books and retract their statements! Actually, Cousens mentions Ott in his discussion of water, so I suspect he just repeated Ott's error without checking it.
And be sure to read Why Drink Alkaline Water. See the photos!
Personally I don't use an Ionizer. For herb teas, I use a home water distiller. Distilled water is so "empty," it sucks all the goodness out of the herbs, like a vacuum cleaner. You want this, when you infuse a herb in hot water, for the phytochemicals to end up in your water.
Dr. Cousens comes out in strong support of distilled water in his later 2005 book, Spiritual Nutrition. He points out that for our cells to make ATP (the fuel for our body, as gasoline is for cars) they depend on the flow of hydrogen atoms — for the scientific-minded, see details here.
"When you distill water, you free up the natural hydrogen in water, so you can hydrate the cells ... the most natural and healing water is the most hydrogen-donating water — the water that has the highest amount of electrons. 'Mature' distilled water is optimal."
By mature, Cousens means when we amplify its vitality, e.g. with prayer. Read all the ways to revitalize your water in Prayer Energizes Water.
Cousens points out a second benefit of distilling. It erases the negative energies that water carries from its polluted path to our faucet. He writes in Spiritual Nutrition:
"Such approaches as distilling appear to be able to erase all the negative information in the water, which includes the negative information of pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, fluorine, and pathegenic bacteria that have put their vibration into the water.
Heating water [as a home distiller does] creates chaos, so the water is less structured. Because of less structure, its ability to transfer information is decreased and the memory is partially erased."
Notice that only distilled water removes the actual memories in water. Reverse osmosis does not. However a Water Ionizer is best for a family where you can't possibly distill enough gallons a day for everyone.
Naturally with ALL water, you must revitalize it! Water is *alive* when it springs out of Mother Earth, as Victor Schauberger discovered (Living Water: Viktor Schauberger and the Secrets of Natural Energy by Olof Alexandersson).
Whether you drink straight-from-the-tap, bottled, distilled, RO, or even alkaline water, it's all dead. Alkaline water may have the same crystal structure as water in living organisms, but that doesn't magically bring it to life.
We need to bring LIFE back into our water. Read how to do this in Prayer Energizes Water.
My Personal Choice
For everyday drinking, I use the Berkey water filter. The filter lasts for five years! You just scrub it clean once a month.
The Berkey is a sustainable choice. For a home distiller, a solar panel is 1,000 bucks! It's best to get a 1 kilowatt panel (1,000 watts) for a 1-gallon distiller such as the Waterwise 4000. It needs 800w.
With Ionizers, you throw away one filter every nine months or 2,000 gallons. Eugh. With reverse osmosis filters, you not only throw away the filter, but you also waste a lot of water, a precious resource.
I eat 90% fresh fruits and vegetables, with leafy greens and living sprouts from my GoGreen Sprouter. Today I'm in the raw food category where I have virtually no need for alkaline water. Gone are the days when I had to purge myself with cleansing herbs every night, to offset the junk I'd binged on.
When I eat bread or chips or cheese, I'd love to drink alkaline water to buffer the acids in those foods. But I could never afford an Ionizer. So I never bought one!
Funny how chocolate, muffins, and indeed all candy and bakery goodies left me totally. Up to the early 1990's I lived on that junk. Today they don't even look like food to me, just as my cat and dog don't look like food.
But for years (up to 2007) the baked-not-fried chips kept calling out to me: Hello, I'm your favorite Cajun Barbecue, look at me!
David Wolfe writes in The Sunfood Diet Success System (2000):
"Cooked starches (breads, corn chips, potato chips, popcorn) are typically the last cooked foods to go for most people as they transition into raw foods. This is because cooked starch is the most addictive and the most blood-sugar-altering food.
LifeFood nutritionist Dr. David Jubb has pointed out that starch does not appear in foods growing wildly, starch develops as foods are genetically cross-bred and hybridized."
To my credit, I always eat fresh baby greens on my sandwich. My favorite is avocado on rye bread with a sprinkle of hot cayenne, topped with a mini-mountain of alfalfa & spicy leafy greens. I dry the cayenne in a Dehydrator, then grind them to powder in a coffee grinder.
I always mix a spicy green sprout like broccoli, radish or mustard with my alfalfa (in my Automatic Sprouter). Rita of The Sprout House offers a huge variety of Organic Sprouting Seed Mixes here. It's so quick to turn a sandwich into a living foods meal...
Best pages to learn more:
- Alkaline Water, Structured Water & EZ Water — Dr. Gerald Pollack reports on the water in living organisms.
- Water Links — see all info on Best Water to Drink.
- Site Map — see the whole feast :)
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Hello Val, I really love your site, it has to be one of the best raw food sites I have found on the net.