I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon and evening speaking
with Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, a medical doctor and the crusading author
of Your Bodys Many Cries for Water and
ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus. My years
in the scientific and health fields made me skeptical of simplistic
explanations, but I came away convinced of the soundness of Dr.
Bs message that most of todays chronic illness is the
result of the bodys attempts to cope with chronic dehydration.
Dr. B backs up his work with so much irrefutable science and
important information that it is a bit overwhelming. So, rather
than trying to cover it all in one article, this will be the start
of a series of articles on the role of water in health and various
The first topic is Asthma, a frightening, potentially life threatening
condition that has been sharply on the rise, particularly among
children. Dr. B (called Dr. Batman by some of his younger patients)
says that both the constriction of the bronchioles and the secretion
of mucus that make breathing so difficult are defensive reactions
to cut down the loss of water vapor from the lungs. Breathe on a
mirror, if you need a reminder of how much you exhale with every
At first it seemed like a bit of a leap in logic to connect the
two, but then I remembered reading about something called croup
in that textbook of Motherhood 101, Baby and Childcare by
Dr. Spock. I had occasion to be grateful to him when my infant suddenly
developed a breathing difficulty in the middle of the night and
I was able to stop it. The emergency treatment Dr. Spock recommended
was steam from a hot shower breathing water vapor. The medical
texts I later studied stress the importance of treating the dehydration
that accompanies croup, but never take the logical next step of
recommending prevention through adequate hydration.
Dr. Bs whole crusade developed in reaction to the blinkered
approach of the medical establishment of which he was a part. Twenty
years of research and many thousands of case histories of patients
who fully recovered within hours or days attest to the validity
of Dr. Bs contention that the patients are dehydrated rather
than sick. He has been largely ignored by the medical establishment,
he suggests, because of the close relationship between the drug
companies and medical research and the healthcare industry, since
there is no money in actually curing patients, especially with water
that costs pennies
Medical education trains doctors to rely on an arsenal of drugs.
They are experts in matching up individual symptoms with the latest
drugs, but fall far short in treating the whole person and in understanding
the biochemistry of the physiological mechanisms. The drug companies
get richer while the patients struggle to overcome both the disease
and the side effects of the treatment.
One father was at his wits end when his severely asthmatic
infant stopped responding to increasingly large doses of steroid
inhalants. He began searching the Internet for all he could learn
about asthma after his daughter was admitted to hospital emergency.
He found Dr. Bs website, www.watercure.com,
and, frantic, he called Dr. B who told him to give the baby a bottle
of water. The father said that he had tried, but the child refused
to drink water. Dr. B told him to dip his finger in salt and place
it in the babys mouth. The father did so and immediately the
child drank a whole bottle of water. Within minutes her symptoms
subsided and the father took her home. They continued following
Dr. Bs advice, and the child had no further attacks.
Salt is the other half of the hydration equation. You can short-circuit
an asthma attack by drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water and placing
a pinch of salt on the tongue. Salt is vital for the generation
of hydroelectric energy and transmission of nerve impulses in all
the cells. Salt acts as a natural antihistamine through salt-sensing
nerves on the tongue. Histamine is the bodys water-regulating
hormone. It is a neurotransmitter that manages water distribution
and rations water during drought management, which is why it is
involved in shutting down the bronchioles in asthma. Dr. B says
that people with asthma need to drink no less than 10 eight-ounce
glasses of water every day of their lives along with about a half
teaspoon of salt (see below). They should also add salt to their
food. In his opinion, a low-salt diet is a major contributing factor
to the onset of asthma. The other major culprit is caffeine, because
of its strong dehydrating effect. Dr. B blames a good part of the
increase in childhood asthma on addiction to caffeinated soft drinks.
Do visit his website and get a copy of his books. In the meantime,
here is a summary of Dr. Bs Water Cure:
- Drink 1/2 your body weight of water in ounces, daily. (150 lb
= 75 oz = about 9 glasses of water daily. Your urine should be
almost colorless. Drink the water ½ hour before a meal
- Take 1/4 tsp. of sea salt for every quart of water you drink,
preferably dissolved in a cup of water and taken all at once.
- Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. They are diuretics and
will need an additional 10 to 12 oz. of water for every 6 oz.
of caffeinated or alcoholic drink.
- Avoid excess potassium. Orange juice, bananas and sports
drinks, especially before exercise, can precipitate an asthma