New research now has found that the herb cilantro can purify a pitcher of water, for a fraction of the cost of tradition filtration techniques. According to Time in the October 2013 edition, it states that just a handful of fresh cilantro is enough to purify up to a pitcher (a quart) of water.
The research team lead by Douglas Schauer of Ivy Tech Community College, had been researching cheaper ways to filter water for the general public, especially in third world countries. The concern of consuming contaminated water is more of an issue in Mexico currently than in the United States.
In Mexico City, frequently waste water is dumped in the valley. The regional farmers often will use the water on the crops. When they do, they introduce toxins including nickel and lead to the crops. Scientist wanted to find a cheaper way to filter the water, because using contaminated water is always a health risk. Filtered water may not seem like a steep price to most Americans, however, to those living in poor Mexican areas filtered water would be considered a luxury.
Researchers found that just one handful of cilantro would cleanse one pitcher of highly contaminated water. The process to use the herb is simple. They dry the cilantro, and use the cilantro as a filter, passing the water over the leaves. The leaves will trap the toxins, lead and nickel. The result is pure, drinkable water for a price they can afford.