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Wonky Water weirdness and quackery

 

Junk Science in the Marketplace

 

The market for "alternative" health products is a large and growing one, aided partly by the general decline in science education and the attendant popularity of pseudoscientific beliefs and entertainments in the popular culture. It's no wonder then, that the hucksters and snake-oil salesmen have rushed in to feed the needs of the notoriously credulous seekers of holistic wellness.

But more seriously, folks in truly poor or unsecure health are also being taken in, often paying hundreds of dollars for worthless nostrums and devices that purport to energize, revitalize or restructure water so as to restore health, reverse aging, and even improve the harmony of the world.

As a retired Chemistry professor who has given courses on the chemistry of water, it disturbs me to see crackpot chemistry and pseudoscientific mind-mush used to promote this bunk to consumers whose lack of scientific training leaves them unprotected from this exploitation. My purpose is to examine the scientific credibility of the claims made about these products in the hope that those who are concerned about their health, but who lack the technical background to distinguish science from pseudoscience when the two are closely intertwined, can make more informed decisions.

 

 

 

In the following descriptions of the various products, text shown in "comic"-style type is quoted verbatim from a manufacturer's or sales Web page, with any excisions noted. Some of these pages may no longer be current; I would appreciate being notified about any substantive change in content. Portions of these text excerpts that I consider to be scientifically meaningless, absurd, incorrect, or misleading, or for which no credible evidence is available, are written in "purple prose". Not surprisingly, the promoters and vendors of these dubious products tend to come and go (often, it appears, in the middle of the night!) so Web links can be similarly evanescent. Links in strikeout type are to archived copies of former pages. But although they are now departed, someone else will probably pop up to take their place.

 

"Energized" waters of various kinds

It's a good bet that neither the vendors who promote "energizing" products, nor the science-challenged people who buy them, have the slightest idea of what the term means, or how its presence can be demonstrated. The answer is that when applied to water, it's nothing but marketing hokum! See also our Energized Water debunking page.

Waters with spin

Wayback Water looney tunes

This nutty promotion serves up heaps of scientific-sounding nonsense that leave most other water-quackery hucksters far behind. Wayback Water is the brainchild of one Dan Nelson who hawks this nostrum to the credulous multitudes via innumerable YouTube videos and “testimonial”-filled Web sites.

The basic Wayback schtick is that "the mineral elements that keep us alive are only effective when taken up in a [fictional] “unstable, re-metallic isotopic form”. (Never mind that anyone who has passed high-school chemistry knows that “unstable isotopes” are by definition radioactive!)

But not to worry! They go on to say that “all organisms use only the quantum waveform (i.e., frequency)” of these elements. So what they claim to be selling is water into which these fictional “frequencies” have been implanted by a “proprietary laser encryption process” that raises the water to a “high quantum spin state”.

For those who are curious, these clowns helpfully explain that that the magical laser behind all this emits a special kind of light that “propagates in the inverse/reciprocal space-time realm of 5-space, i.e., a higher spatial dimension. This derives a time-reversed particle wave running the laws of thermodynamics (2nd law/entropy) in reverse.
Anybody who falls for this crock is in effect paying a tax on scientific ignorance.

 

The Spin Doctor and the Bogus Energy Scale

This guy who bills himself as "The Water Doctor" brings you a wealth of incredible products promising the usual medicine-show array of wonderful-sounding but ill-defined health benefits which are sure to be experienced by those who are in the right frame of mind. The most recent version of the site displays an image of the older-but-not-apparently-wiser "Doctor", but has repackaged the nostrum as QuantaWater™ which

harnesses the energy of nature with harmonics that resonate in unison with the body’s crystalline structures to energize our cells. Highly coherent, QuantaWater™ contains life-supporting resonances, the earth’s magnetic energies, and has low surface tension with vortex spin motion, and a high Bovis potential.

    The earlier nostrum was apparently based on the fiction that atoms and molecules can be made to "spin" to the right or to the left (hey, doesn't this depend on the direction from which you are looking at them?) and that for water at least, this somehow affects the way it interacts with your body. How these magical properties are imparted to the water is not explained, but people who are sufficiently credulous to fall for this stuff are seldom inclined to ask. To make this even more [pseudo]scientific, he spins up more nonsense relating to positive and negative electrical charge using a scheme of measurement unknown to legitimate science:

The Bovis Scale, developed by a French physicist, quantifies or measures how positively or negatively charged a substance is. For living organisms, the key reference point on the scale is found at 6,500 Bovis Energy Units. From 0 to 6,500, the charge is in the NEGATIVE range, or life-detracting, while above the 6,500 point the energy gradually becomes more POSITIVE, or life-enhancing. The desired minimal energy level for humans is found between 8,000 to 10,000 Bovis Energy Units, or slightly positive. The Earth itself creates energy in the 7,000 to 18,000 range. This energy is also referred to as "Biophotons", which are light particles invisible to our eyes. This positive radiation is necessary to the maintenance of life on Earth.

Don't bother to ask where these numbers come from, to what precision they are known, or what the wavelength of these fictional "biophotons" might be— this is pseudoscience, after all! We are then fed the following untruth:

Scientists have discovered a direct correlation between the Bovis Scale and the direction of spin displayed by an atom or molecule. Atoms registering in the negative Bovis range will spin to the right, or clockwise. Atoms in the positive range spin in the opposite direction, to the left. Examples found in nature of this spin property include our cellular DNA, which is in a left-turning spiral. In contrast, cancer cells are in a right-turning spin.

Amazing that these spin doctors should have stumbled onto an aspect of cancer that has eluded thousands of real scientists, but bunk knows no bounds! But it doesn't stop there; this magical water can transfer its energy to other water that happens to be nearby, or so they say in an effort to get you into the mood of offering up your credit card for worthless products such as the following:

When any substance is placed in or on [this device], the "energy information" is transferred from the water between the [its] double walls to the water in the new liquid or solid. All electrons in the substance take on a positive left spin. Their free radical nature is virtually eliminated! ... The body can more easily process chemicals, allergens, or pathogens out of the body... The addictive nature of substances is reduced... The body is given more natural energy without artificial highs. Candy, sodas and deserts may be placed in or on the mug for reduced cravings and blood sugar disruption. Allows a total of nearly two liters of liquid to be energized overnight to the ideal energy balancing level of approx. 90,000 Bovis Energy Units!

(They also sell a similar drinking cup and mug.) That stuff about electron spins is of course errant nonsense that could be disproven by any high school chemistry student with a magnet, and there is no evidence to suggest that any of the purported benefits extend beyond the mind of the user. But why not "correct" all the water in your house?

The [device] should be attached to the cold water pipe going into the house... The wand raises the natural energy level above 18K Bovis on most tap and well water (up from less than 4000 in most well and city waters.

The Bovis Scale is based on a goofy pendulum device "biometer" that seems to have something to do with "cosmic energy".

More recently, this outfit has branched out into the even weirder realm of quantum pseudoscience:

The new generation of Quantum Energy Appliances (QE) utilizes a unique configuration that maximizes ion oscillations and electron stability down to the sub-molecular level. Their ability to tap into the high frequency coherent energies (ZeroPoint Energy) found naturally in the environment and amplify them counterbalances the artificial suppression of these natural life supporting energies by man's "progress."

Bottom Line: None of this garbage, or any of the Water Doctor's prescriptions are to be believed!

More quantum spin bunk...

 

Picking up on the "free energy" shtick, a "hyper-physicist" named Dan Nelson claims to have developed something called a "Geometric Laser" which, he says, generates a "time-reversed particle wave" which provides "the water with energy turned back to the water from vacuum space around the particles." As he helpfully explains on this Quantum Tech page (which is guaranteed to send physics-savvy students into howls of laughter)

Bringing any pure water to a higher coherent quantum state and maintaining it there requires the manipulation of quantum thermodynamics. ... The virtual laser imposes coherence (structure) on the vacuum medium around and through a given volume water and rotates energy out of vacuum into the fundamental water molecules. As entropy decreases (time reversed energy always runs thermodynamics in reverse) water physically expresses this by reorganizing fundamental particles to acquire a higher coherent quantum state. ... [The water] assumes a minimum spin state of 1.8 million bio-angstroms.

Don't worry if you don't know what a "bio angstrom" is; nobody else does either! We are also told that

Quantum Tech Water carries all of the correct isotopic waveforms needed for optimum health and well being. Water possesses an amazing memory-like property, which allows it to store frequency information in the quantum state; this may be the mechanism which brings the benefits of minerals to all of the body’s cells in the first place. These energies are used for all creative, maintenance, healing and repair functions in the body. [link]

You can see a bunch of videos showing this snake-oil salesman in action, and you can buy it here for $40 for half a liter.


Another flogger of "reverse spin water" offers similar "energy mugs". The site points out that

...if you're drinking right spinning water, you're not getting the energy you need to get healthy.  In fact, right spinning water actually robs you of energy!

So this outfit will sell you an "energy mug" that within two minutes, "will change the spin of right turning, unhealthy water into left spinning HEALTHY water." And there's more (of course!):

It can take the pollutants that may still be present in the water, and essentially neutralize them and make them less harmful, if not totally harmless!

All unbelievable nonsense!

It's in the book!

According to a now-gone Creationist site, the concept of "water spin" has a Biblical connection:

Genesis 1:2 explains that the Spirit of God moved upon the "face" (literal Hebrew: to "turn" as the face "turns" to approach another) of the waters. This probably refers both to the rotation of the planet and to the rotation of each water molecule (these molecules have a natural "spin"). This action would "charge" water to its highest level on the surface of the planet, as well as the reservoir in the great deep below the surface (Gen. 7: I 1).

 

Eloptic Energized Water from God him/herself

A Multi-level marketing scheme that has enlisted hundreds of pseudoscience-flogging dealers offers a variety of products promising to cure all ills:

The Master’s Miracle Neutralizer will help your immune system be more effective in it’s fight against free-radicals; the a way God originally intended. And since your body will be running more efficiently, regular use of the neutralizer may also promote healthy weight loss. Many testimonies report just adding drops of Master’s Miracle Neutralizer to your drinking water helps to make your water safer to drink and will wash bacteria and toxins out of the bloodstream like an internal detergent. [Link]

This "Electrically engineered eloptic energized stabilized oxygenated water" contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, ash of dedecyl solution and, most importantly, "the anointing of God." Nothing like invoking religion to con the masses! It's amusing that another bunch of religious nuts has put up a Web site condemning this as the work of the devil!

Pi in the sky

 

There appears to be more than one huckster flogging nostrums having "Pi" in their names. The best-known of these products is profiled at Pi Water and PiMag Water.

Another widely-promoted "alternative" water scheme feeds us this hokum:

During research on plant growth cycles, Japanese scientists discovered a form of water [that contains] specially-charged iron particles. The scientists referred to it as "living water" from the effects they perceived it had on plants and other growing things. [This] water was first detected more than 30 years ago.

{it] is iron base compound derived from bivalent and trivalent ferrates [and] is said as "living body water" ; "living body water" (i.e. water that constitutes a living body) is the water which can be found inside all living bodies including humans, animals and plants. Any water taken into a living body must be converted into this "living body water". If ordinary water taken into, a great deal of energy is consumed to convert it into this living body water.

None of the sites I have looked at offers references to the work of these "scientists", nor do they offer any credible evidence to support the statements and claims made about pi-water, many of which verge on the mystical:

What's this miracle water good for? According to one distributor's Web page, its benefits include: Restoring environmental conditions, Preventing bacteria proliferation, Suppressing harmful ions, Promoting growth, Rejuvenating life activities, Acquiring regeneration power, Enlarging adaptability, Ensuring normal growth.

The claim that marine- and fresh-water fish can live together in Pi-water might make the basis of a good Science Fair project.

 

Platonic solid poppycock

This site contains an unusually verbose description of a multitude of other "alternative" waters, explaining in great detail why they are not as good as Dr. Wheeler's own M-Water Concentrate– in my view, a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black! In an even greater outpouring of meaningless verbiage, we are told that

  • Water is the perfect medium for bringing life supporting vibration and energy at the highest level of Unconditional Love in order to create living chemistry.[Why didn't I learn this when I took biochem?]
  • [The inventor] has extracted the most important aspects of Platonic Solid Inversion Geometry that have to do with establishing life supporting vibration and frequency. His technology allows water to flow based on optimized Platonic Solid Inversion Geometry but without electronic machinery that would cause vibrational interference and distortion in the water molecule. [He] has learned how to turn the cube inside out in order to create the ideal and complex array of curved geometry that applies to water flow.
  • Water provides the ideal molecular form of pure clarity to receive higher dimensional vibration and energy and is also the only substance to have a 100% capacity to move in the correct way in order to establish the higher dimensional doorway of chaos and zero point.
  • By having more and more people drink [this] Water and using the... Unit at many different locations around the planet, the power of the different sacred places can be restored normal. This is an issue of changing the whole planet in order to change the individual parts.
  • The underlying unity in the universe is tapped into via M-Activated Water so that every law of nature is stored as information in water in order to promote positive human evolution. Vital Living water in the way nature intended for drinking will create heaven on earth as human beings evolve in their hearts and make a more meaningful connection with Unconditional Love that is innately available from beyond the third dimension.

But what is this nostrum good for? According to the inventor (a chiropractor who promotes this stuff widely on radio infomercials)

Four Functional Benefits from Drinking [my water]: 1) increased absorption and utilization of nutrients; 2) more effective and efficient detoxification of the whole body; 3) increased oxygen utilization by the cells; and 4) a more perfect cellular replication process.

The site refers to various "clinical studies" which I have some difficulty taking seriously, owing both to their dubious-appearing source and the fact that they have not been subjected to independent review by qualified physiologists or chemists.

As with the various "clustered" and structure-altered water products, this water is claimed to be able to transfer its memory beyond the bottle:

...when M-Water is added in small amounts to clean drinking water it memorizes the subsequent changes in vibration, energy and molecular clustering (just two teaspoons ... are added to a gallon of clean drinking water, which then is defined as M-Activated Water based on water memory transfer) This fundamental memory transfer has been validated with the water crystallization studies... Furthermore, water transformation takes place simply by placing a bottle of [our water] next to a bottle of non-activated water ... By having more and more people drink[our water] every day a transmission of the more underlying coherence in the water in people's bodies will transfer to other people. Those who drink [it] every day will be helping other people heal through increasing coherence simply by being in close proximity.

There is no scientific support for any of these claims. In my view, this is pure pseudoscience in the service of quackery.

Starfire Water infused with hotairium

This Starfire Water promotion offers a wealth of nonsensical pseudoscience to residents of la-la lands everywhere.  This nostrum is not only "structured" (and thus "removes toxins from your body") and "energized", but, unlike competing products, this water is infused with "Etherium, a trace form of liquid gold known [by whom?] to facilitate higher awareness."

How do they make this magical elixir?

They begin by spinning the water in a "centrifugal vortex" that >reorganizes the molecular order into a receptive state to receive high frequency vibration. The water is then passed through a chamber where magnetic resonance imprints a series of frequencies in an infinitely modulating sequence. Molecular order and frequency loading mutually reinforce each other to maintain the transformation of the water.

The result is a liquid with the water formed into small, biocompatible water crystals that resonate at a designed and predictable frequency. The specific frequencies of the crystalline structured water solution are designed to be amplified by the cells of the human body, and transferred through resonant paths to tissues in need of "tuning". [link]

As is always the case with these snake oils, they never tell you what these actual frequencies are, but since they exist only in the minds of the hucksters who flog this stuff or in those of the scientific simpletons who fall for this claptrap, it really doesn't matter.


Just plain dumb

Disinfecting waters

There are a number of treated waters that use sophisticated-sounding medical jargon and rather snooty terminology to give consumers the impression that they are being permitted to buy a product that is normally available only to the medical community. Many of these are described as "electrolyzed reduced water" (see my "ionized water" page to learn what this bunk is all about) which is basically just hypochlorous acid. It is true that most (but by no means all) bacteria tend not to thrive in acidic media, but there are cheaper ways to get what amounts to acidified laundry bleach than buying these products— which are likely no more effective than vinegar or lemon juice.

I was amused, therefore, to come across a product called Avène Thermal Spring Water which is claimed to have a pH of 7.5, along with a variety of "trace elements"— all of which should keep the bacteria very happy indeed! I notice that the other products of this company all have names containing accented-e's, no doubt to convey the impression of sophistication.

 

Light-related scams

Far-IR Fantasies

There are hundreds of sites offering products that claim to produce "far-infrared" radiation, and all these claims are true: all bodies at temperatures above absolute zero emit far-ir, which the scientifically ignorant don't realize is just another word for "heat". Any claims beyond this, pertaining to the unique healing or beneficial qualities of this radiation, are pseudoscientific bunk. There appear to be several main categories of this mainly made-in-Japan nonsense:

  • Special fabrics that purport to supply far-i.r. to the body such as "Far Infrared Therapy Clothing" and "Nikken ThermoWear Clothing"
  • "Bio-Ceramics" that are supposed to do the same thing, such as Vita-Mat,
  • Toxin-removal and cancer cure/prevention devices and "far-i.r. saunas" such as the Far Infrared Therapy Hothouse that employ a "special" lamp to generate the radiation (Note: all lamps that become warm during operation emit far-i.r.) Another "sauna" claims to be effective for a wide variety of treatments ranging from mercury detoxification to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. For those who prefer to detoxify while they sleep, there is are "detoxifying footpads".
  • Minerals such as tourmaline (see below)

A heating pad called Bio-Mat™ mx Amethyst provides a fine example of pseudoscientific hype: they claim that it

"is a high-tech Negative Ion and Infrared Ray treatment system that emits many negative Ions and Far Infrared Rays, which contribute to a healthy life..."

and uses Amethyst which they say

"has come to be known as a power crystal with prolific healing powers that can be characterized as purifying, pacifying and transitional. Amethyst as a healing stone or crystal contains sobering and calming qualities and is used to treat and heal problems involving the central nervous system."

They misleadingly state that it is "substantiated by the Nobel Medical Committee", but the rreference they give has nothing to do with the product. Like many manufacturers, they prominently mention that it has FDA approval, but fail to note that such approval for devices (as opposed to medications) simply means that it is safe to use; it certainly does not support the ridiculous claims.

There is, of course, no credible evidence to support any of the health-benefit claims made by the promoters of these products. A 2003 article by a team of Japanese researchers (supported by an equipment maker) observed faster healing of skin wounds in rats under what they considered to be FIR radiation, but it did not exclude other IR wavelengths or narrowly-localized heating.

Adding to this far-out-far-i.r. foolishness was a Florida outfit that marketed plastic "laundry balls" that "structured" the water by means of far-i.r. waves, thus eliminating the need for detergents. The company has been charged with deceptive sales practices in {Utah} and in {Oregon}.

 

Get me a Smirnov!

On the theory that the more-scientific-sounding the moniker, the more it will impress those who are unschooled in science, this outfit brings you a "Magnetic Resonance" technology dubbed MRET Water Activator based on what I consider a "junk" U.S. Patent. While this machine sits quietly on your kitchen counter, a

subtle low frequency electromagnetic field is imprinted into the water. It closely resembles the natural geomagnetic field found near the healing water springs. .. MRET Water acts as a communication medium among the cells. It transmits pre-recorded molecular activity messages to biological systems.

This is essentially the same misleading nonsense that is flogged by the "cluster-quackery" sites, and like these, they claim that it "hydrates" the body better than ordinary water, slows aging, "detoxifies" the body, etc. etc. To further impress the rubes, they offer several pages of "scientific research" references that anyone who knows scientific literature would regard as junk — incomplete and unverifiable references to dubious journals, similarly unverifiable lists of institutions that have supposedly been involved, etc. Especially egregious is the reference to an absurd article suggesting that MRET water might benefit patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

How does the finished water differ from ordinary pure water? The answer (found on an earlier Web page) would make anyone who has completed a high school chemistry course howl with laughter:

[This] water has higher molecular energy, faster vibrational frequencies and more intensive vibrational waves. During the ... activation process, the configuration of the water molecules makes the hydrogen-bonding structure stronger. Although the shape of the molecules has changed, the basic structure remains the same.

The key component of this machine is purportedly a

specially designed polymer light emitting diode that flashes at a specific pulse rate with a frequency that is similar to the earth's geo-magnetic frequency. This Earth's geo-magnetic frequency is an important factor in the sustenance of all life forms.

The genius behind this classic snake oil is apparently one Igor Smirnov— the same one, I presume, who is into equally goofy mind control schemes as profiled here. According to this abstract, Smirnov published an article entitled "Activated Water" in the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology (an obscure Chilean journal). I have been unable to find any trace of this article in the cited issue (Vol 6, 2003-2), but a PDF version of the alleged article is available.

Some typical sales sites, many featuring endorsements by various alleged "doctors": EMF Safe Zone I-H2O, BioPro Technology

MRET Water is also marketed as ERT Water and iWater.

According to a Canadian MLM promoter's site:

"The essence of I-H2O™ lays in its combination of two cutting-edge technologies: the proprietary, patented couples the special polymeric composition of MRET® and the subtle energy imprinting of ERT™. A combination of magnets and an LED (Light Emitting Diode) excites the patented MRET® polymer, emitting a highly effective noise-field. The low frequency oscillations activate and change the water or liquids molecular structure into a highly intelligent, bio-available water or liquid. Coupled with BIOPRO’s proprietary ERT™ (Energy Resonance Technology), which imprints a vital subtle energy signature into the water, i-H2O™ truly represents a major scientific breakthrough in water technology."MRET® and BIOPRO’s proprietary ERT™. The process utilizes a one-of-a-kind dual action that synergistically

 

 


Photonic Ionization

This term is used to describe a process developed by gentleman who [falsely] claims that if fluids of specific chemical compositions, flowing through transparent conduits, were exposed to electromagnetic(photonic) fields of specific field strengths, wavelengths, pulse widths, amplitudes and frequencies, their molecules could be substantially modified and separated out of solution. The primary application is supposedly water desalination, but the inventor suggests that this process can be used to produce a variety of altered beverage products , including types suitable for therapy, anti-oxidants, super-oxygenated, herbal, purgative, deacidifying and carbonated/non-carbonated applications.

Comment: "Photonic ionization", needless to say, is complete nonsense. I have been unable to find primary references to this process on the Web. Most references to the process seem to point to "money shows" in which fund managers are invited to steer investors into great-sounding schemes.The company behind this was de-listed from the notorious OTC exchange in 2000.

 

Water-borne light-wave energy (weird!)

Here's a company that peddles a series of waters containing minerals which

"are used to hold and carry electrically charged light-energy signals to areas of the body of animals and humans. Once the minerals have been fractionated to smaller components, they can be encoded with non-visible light waves. Different combinations of light waves are used in each formulation. Each product is coded to trigger specific responses according to the goals of a particular formulation" by means of "very subtle light wave energies that are obtained from nature."

They go on to explain that "the entire body runs on light wave energies and senses their transmitted signals. If the signals are accurate and potent enough, the body responds favorably." In a bid to the believers in chiropractic, they offer a series of 26 formulations their snake oil, each carefully tuned to one of the "26 vertebrae and the ailments" purported to be associated with them.

I won't even try to debunk this fraudulent nonsense, since anyone who is credulous enough to take it seriously is likely too insulated from reason to even listen to rational argument.

Analyze your own Bio-Photons!

For only US $1850, you can get their your own Bio-Photon Analyzer that will, among other things, "make remedies, clone energies and homeopathics, and make antidotes."

Note: Biophoton emission, as used in the scientific literature, refers to extremely weak chemiluminescence from living systems. See, for example, An introduction to human biophoton emission or this Wikipedia article. It didn't take the hucksters and scammers very long to latch onto the use of the term to separate suckers from their dollars by flogging worthless "analyzers".

Crystals and mysterious minerals

The highly-ordered nature of crystals and their pleasing symmetry has always evoked totally unsupported beliefs in their healing  powers. But as any chemist who has studied them knows, their symmetry and beauty represent nothing more than the operation of the known laws of physics.

Crystal-derived vibrational voodoo

A common theme that appeals to seekers whose brains live in la-la land is that crystals are able to emit "healing vibrations". For example:

Live Essence H2O employs a "Blueprint water machine" to treat water so that it "balances imbalanced organs and glands in the body. It does this through the use of crystals that provide the natural frequencies for each cell. Crystals get their energy from Father Sun and Mother Earth." It "opens the cellular structure of the body to flush existing toxins from the cells, allowing those cells to re-hydrate and repair naturally."

 

 

Bringing water into contact with various solids (usually exotic, or exotically-named "minerals" is an old story in shamanistic and holistic healing.

A former Australian site describes a "filter" that employs several such substances:

Taicho Stone "emits a natural energy which decomposes, detoxifies and inactivates harmful bacteria and viruses.  Water passed over Taicho stone also becomes 'bio-static', meaning it will suppress, for up to 10 days, the growth of bacteria, fungi and algae."

 One should always be suspicious when hucksters mention "natural energies" with magical powers. If Taicho Stone is potent enough to do this, I don't think I would want to risk having it anywhere near my drinking water!

The ceramic media is a proprietary manufactured silica-based material that irradiates in the far infrared spectrum.  In the presence of water, it produces a short-lived reduced ion in the water, which has been shown to behave much like traditional antioxidants, i.e., it neutralizes free radicals on contact.

 "Far-infrared" is another concept flogged to suckers who are assumed not to know that this radiation is 1) far too weak to have any lasting physical or chemical effect on anyting, and 2) is emitted by all objects above the absolute zero of temperature.

Bakuhan is a volcanic mineral that increases the natural alkalinity of water, increases the dissolved oxygen content of the water and as it becomes conditioned in the presence of water, reduces the water's surface tension.

 I couldn't find enough information to evaluate this one. One wonders where the increased oxygen is supposed to come from (I cannot think of any igneous mineral that would have this effect.) Also, there is no obvious reason why reduced surface tension is desirable in drinking water.

A similar site touts some of these same minerals as cure-alls and re-creations of [fictional] "Hunza" waters.

Then there is the Adya outfit that flogs biotite and humic (see below) products that they claim (falsely, in my opinion) to provide mineral ions with enhanced bio-availability to those found in any balanced diet.

Adya water yada yada

The only thing that is "clear" about Adya Clarity is the nonsense of their snake-oil-like claims about the benefits of the "Magnetic Sulfate Minerals" in their water. The idea that paramagnetic salts are capable of "attracting contaminants", including "chlorine or bacteria", is pure fantasy. Its "high level of hydration" is no improvement over pure water, and its "oxygen enhanced" content is worthless, as I explain here. Another site makes even more egregious claims: removal of "calcification" and heavy metals (some of which are present in most mica minerals from which the water is derived), "improve" blood, etc. etc.

News items: Adya Clarity caught deceiving Health Canada in licensing scam that hid aluminum content
See also: Adya founder Matt Bakos makes unbelievable health claims

Angstrom mineral mumbo-jumbo

The various mineral elements essential for our bodies are readily available in any balanced diet. For a relatively small number of people, special supplements may be indicated. Of course, the alternative-health-quackery industry does its best to convince everyone that they need more, and thousands of such [generally worthless] products are on the market. But in my opinion, the most egregious marketers of mineral misinformation are the hawkers of so-called Angstrom minerals. [typical site] The name comes from a unit of length known as the Ångstrom; 1Å = 100 pm = 10–10 m, and is intended to imply that these minerals are so finely divided that they are more readily taken up by the body. This is deceptive nonsense; minerals are absorbed in the form of dissolved ions by channels in the intestinal wall that are exquisitely adapted for this purpose. Many of the vendors of these nostrums make the absurd claim that "our minerals are a million times smaller than colloidal particles." Given that the upper range of colloidal side is about 200 nm, this would make these mineral wonders only 0.1 pm in size — smaller than than that of hydrogen (31 pm), the smallest atom!

The dumbest promotions I have seen flog "Angstrom Germanium"[see here and here ] — an element with no known biological function to which they attribute numerous imaginary functions (including, of course anti-cancer properties). Don't fall for this deceptive garbage!

"Black mica" black magic (biotite)

Biotite is a commonly-found aluminosilicate mineral mostly seen as the black specks in granite. It is widely found in metamorphic rocks and as deposits near extinct volcanos. Structurally, it is similar to micas and clays in that it is made up of sheets of covalently-bound atoms arranged in stacks that are weakly bound together by potassium ions.  The overall formula is K(Mg,Fe)3AlSi3O10(F,OH)2. It is virtually insoluble in ordinary water, but in common with other minerals of its type, it can slowly break down in the presence of acidic water.

As with so many naturally-occuring crystalline substances, biotite has attracted the attention of the  snake-oil hucksters who have created a market among science-challenged alternative-health consumers.  The biotite nonsense apparently started in the 1960's when a Japanese "scientist and doctor" Asao Shimanishi, "after decades of research", "invented a patented way to extract the minerals and maintain them in ionized form" —  something anyone can do (and nature does all the time) by exposing biotite to slightly-acidified water! The resulting grossly-overpriced "rock flakes" or water extracts are widely (and falsely) flogged as essential nutritional supplements.

As if this were not enough, the fiction has developed that biotite can magically remove all contaminants from water. There is some truth to this, but only a little: as biotite partially dissolves, some of the aluminum ion hydrolyzes to form a gelatinous precipitate of aluminum hydroxide which sinks to the bottom of the container, supposedly entrapping the unwated substances. A similar method (but employing alum, a form of aluminum sulfate) has been a standard method removing particuate matter in municipal water treatment for more than a century. But it will not remove dissolved heavy metals or most organics. And although it is widely claimed to remove fluoride from water, it really does just the opposite: it releases fluoride into the water, as is well-documented in the geochemical literature [typical citation].

Some typical hype about biotite-treated water [link]:

  • Black Mica removes all the organic, and chemical contaminants, including chlorine, fluoride and ALL other chemicals.
  • Radiation is blocked by black mica
  • Helps one to see issues clearly and rationally. Known as a “Stone of Life”, Biotite has been used for disorders of disorganized cellular patterns, and to clear radiation. Black Biotite is a strong grounding and powerful grounding stone. Provides one with clear discernment and grounding.

Similarly dumb "facts" can be found here.

In summary, there is no credible scientific evidence that biotite/black mica has any health benefit.

 

"Natural but charged, volcanic feldspar stones"

form the basis of Kiko Technology's absurd scheme for "energizing" water which I comment on here.

Tourmaline tonic

"Tourmaline" has recently been the favorite buzzword for the marketers of all sorts of dubious products, including water filters.

"Tourmaline NATURALLY emits far infrared energy" [link] — but so does all matter at temperatures above absolute zero!

This site is typical of the breathless bunk being circulated about the magical nature of this mineral.

The facts: Tourmaline refers to a group of minerals (see this Wikipedia article) which, like many others such as quartz, possess some interesting electrical properties: squeezing them or subjecting them to heat produces an electrical potential difference between the two sides of a crystal. (These properties are respectively known as piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity.) The latter effect causes tourmline crystals in display cases to attract dust particles to themselves. In 1993 a Japanese group published an article suggesting that exposure of cells to tourmaline crystals causes possibly-beneficial changes to human leukocytes. But the fact that they attribute these effects in part to "far-infrared radiation" makes one wonder about their scientific competence. As far as I am aware, there is no credible evidence that tourmaline products offer any health benefit.

Quartz crystal quackery

The ScaleHound purports to be a replacement for conventional ion-exchange water softeners. They make the scientifically absurd claim that

Inside the Scalehound unit is quartz crystal and precious metals that have been manufactured and arranged in a particular way to which it emits a frequency wave that is able to restructure the water molecules permanently giving you the feeling of soft water. 

Farther on, they feed us more new-age mind-mush about the magic of quartz:

Quartz is an abundant material which has the ability to enhance energy by absorbing, storing, amplifying, balancing, focusing and transmitting.  Quartz is a natural occurring element that has not been analyzed fully by the scientific community, yet we have discovered the secret to harnessing this magnificent resource for the benefit of civilization.

You can install it yourself "by just clamping it on to any copper, pex (plastic) or steel pipe."

This product appears to be a glorified water filter based on the magic of quartz crystals. It combines nonsense about water clusters, crystal magic, chackras and auras. The "energized" quartz crystals possess "piezoelectric natural energy exponentially enhanced to have a stronger energy level". Thier "proof" consists of a lot of meaningless SEM photos.The product claims (falsely, in my opinion) to soften water.

The basis for this rubbish seems to be the "inventions" of one Marcel Vogel, described as "a former IBM scientist" who is quoted as stating that

“A crystal is an assemblage of molecules that form a unit cell, a consciousness, a soul. It takes your program and draws to itself the replication of its image.”

Elsewhere, it is stated that

if you turn water around a charged Vogel Crystal, the moving body of water will pick up the field from the crystal, through resonant interaction, and the charge transferred will structure the water. Another discovery was that when a quartz crystal is left in water, it changes the pH balance and had fewer impurities. The results were testimony of better tasting water. Plants have also been known to grow faster with crystal in the potting soil.

 

Shungite

Shungite is a recent addition to the list of magical minerals that is supposed to protect you from everything... except from the hucksters who flog shungite key fobs and similar geegaws that purport to enclose you in a virtual protective dome — great for those who see electromagnetic threats from every direction and have felt threatened ever since leaving their mother's womb:

"it eliminates and absorbs all that imposes a hazard on people and living beings, but it concentrates and restores all that is helpful for a human being. Shungite shields electromagnetic radiation of high and ultrahigh frequency. The scientists who have investigated the shungite declare unanimously, it is a miracle!

As if that were not enough, it cures whatever-ails-you:

headaches, stomachaches pain, spots on skin, aches in a back and others. Shungite pyramid is a shield for hazardous radiation. The scientific investigations of trustworthy scientists showed that pathogenic and electromagnetic radiation causes heart diseases and up to 60% cancer diseases. They are able to protect people from negative influence, is a guard against the "evil eye", that is against alien negative power-information field, which leads to sudden deterioration of human health for no obvious reason." [link]

[And for those who are tormented by "alien negative power-information fields", it's probably cheaper than a psychiatrist!]

Shungite is a rare carbon mineral closely related to anthracite coal. As such, it probably contains the usual assortment of carbonaceous muck, but also some fullerenes ("buckyballs") — presently the only known natural source of these interesting compounds. Some components leach out on contact with water, and some people are foolish enough to drink this stuff. Shungite has been a part of Russian folk-medicine since the time of Peter the Great, and, incommon with a number of minerals (including petroleum and tars), it does exhibit antiseptic properties. Beyond this,there is of course no credible evidence for any of the fraudulant hype.

The Russian Orthodox Church is reported have joined the shungite scam by selling cellphone protector stickers.

Sicon silliness

The makers of another device aim their pitch at the subset of science-ignorant suckers who are into crystal-power and chackras. The asking price of around $200 can be regarded as a kind of a tax on stupidity. Here is a summary of some of their promotional bunk— much of which is typical of what will be found at similar huckster sites:

 The bunk

 The science

In the course of its treatment and its transport in water supply pipes, our drinking water has largely lost the energetic information necessary for a healthy life. A piping length of 240 feet (80 meters) is sufficient to transform healthy spring water to 'dead' water. This affects almost every household.

This "energetic information" has never been detected, or even defined. This is all erroneous nonsense.

Water is changeable; it is able to absorb, transfer and release information in its structure. Therefore, even after physical purification, water still often carries unhealthy electromagnetic frequencies from poisonous substances.

Water is unable to retain "information" in its structure because the structure is continually changing at a rate of about a million million times per second. Similarly, the reference to "unhealthy electromagnetic frequencies" is pure bunk.

Minerals carry in their crystal structure unchangeable information from their geological genesis. These ancient frequencies are able to erase and transform negative patterns in the water. As tests have shown, the structure of water revitalized with the Sicon Aqua Activator resembles that of natural spring water. Organisms which come into contact with activated water are revitalized with beneficial and regulating impulses.

There are no "frequencies" (ancient or otherwise) in mineral crystals. And of course the Sicon people offer no credible supporting evidence for the their claims about the structure of their "revitalized" water and its effect on organisms.

... contains quartz crystals charged with information to support the homeostasis of the human organism. This information includes the resonance numbers of all important meridians of the human body... Activated water especially stabilizes the crown and heart chakras.

 OK, so they stick a piece of quartz in their device. So what? Since when does a crystal of SiO2 molecules have anything to do with the concept of homeostasis, which is a well understood aspect of physiology? Well, people who are stupid enough to believe in body meridians and chackras will probably fall for this nutty nonsense!

Health practitioners using bio-feedback, reflex zone analysis or electro-acupuncture or people familiar with radiesthesy (pendulum, divining rod...) can immediately measure and verify the positive effect of Sicon Aqua activated water on the human body.

It's remarkable that these benefits of "ionized water" can be detected only through the use of weird instruments and methods that are known only to quackery crowd and have no place in scientific physiology or chemistry.

To make this all appear "scientific", they provide a link to a "report" from the IBBU (Institut für Biosensorik und Bioenergetische Umweltforschung).

Ach du lieber! This "report", a compendium of pseudoscientific sophistry, must have been written der little elves in der Black Forest. They provide lots of numbers, none of which are meaningful or believable. None of this garbage would ever pass muster in a reputable scientific journal.

Vivified nonsense

"A special composition of natural minerals (nono-crystals)" is claimed to "create an harmonizing and ordering paramagnetic resonance field that enables the water to restructure its molecules." The vendor claims that the resulting "re-vitalised" water reduces scaling, increases plant growth, assists detoxification, stabilized the immune system, and restores "harmony and energy levels". Of course, consumers must take this on pure faith, since no evidence for any of these benefits is given. Suckers only for this one!

Humic humbug

If drinking or bathing in swamp water is for you, then any number of nostrums based on humic acid or related substances might have some appeal. Humic substances (Wikipedia, NorthEastern U. Humic Research Group) are the products of partial decomposition of plant material in anoxic conditions such as exist in soils, peat bogs and swamps. They are complex polymeric substances of indefinite composition which are often classified as humic or fulvic acids, depending on their solubility properties. Humic substances are the principal organic fraction of soils, and they are able to bind a very large variety of inorganic ions (including heavy metals), as well as taking up non-water soluble organic substances. But leave it to the health-quackery industry to flog these substances to credulous consumers:

... they help our cells absorb vitamins and nutrients and maintain balance. Humic substances are also natural detoxifiers, antioxidants and free radical scavengers. [link]

Among their other ridiculous claims, we are told that

Ground water and even spring waters are now contaminated with pesticides, metals and industrial chemicals. Since fulvic acids enter the cells we must be sure that the pattern of the toxic molecules are not carried into the cell. Even the best filtration can not remove his negative pattern from water; even distillation cannot— this is a well established homeopathic principle.

Well, I very much doubt that any molecules as huge as fulvic acids can enter cells at all, which is probably just as well, considering the wide variety of chemically active and oxidizing groups they contain, as well as whatever metal ions and other organic gunk they might carry along with them.

Several humic/fulvic acid products masquerade as "detoxifying" supplements; one claims that consumption of these materials "by any life form" (worms?) results in

increased energy is among the first results, followed by a noticeable improvement in morale. Other effects could include decreased appetite, deeper, higher-quality sleep, and a lessening of pain and debility from arthritis or physical injuries. [link]

...and more nonsensical pseudoscience:

[Fulvic acid] is the finest electrolyte known to man. Its electrolytes are able to restore vitality in all life forms. When the electrolyte potential (the zeta potential) fades away, so does energy and health. It is indeed the main reason why we get old. It promotes an electrochemical balance as both donor and receptor of electrons. [link]

Most pitches for these dubious products mention their use in Ancient Chinese [link] and Ayurvedic medicine, and also claim "decades of extensive research and proven results" but, like most promoters of "alternative health" products, never seem able to cite any supporting evidence in the reputable clinical literature.

Zeolite zaniness

Zeolites are clay-like porous mineral and synthetic materials based typically on sodium aluminum silicates which possess the ability to absorb and exchange metallic ions of many kinds. The powdered solids have a large variety of uses, one of which is the production of worthless nostrums for which the usual groundless claims are made: "detoxifying" the body's cells, restore "pH balance", acting as antioxidants, and, particularly egregious, curing/preventing cancer.

The cancer-cure claims commonly cite scientific studies suggesting that zeolites such as clinoptilolite have been found to interfere with cell signalling pathways that are involved in some cancers. This is correct, but so have many thousands of other substances; there is a very long path from these observations to clinical results. The marketing claims about the health aspects of zeolite materials lack credible scientific support, and can be considered little more than deceptive marketing. One article of interest claims that a zeolite-derived product might be harmful.

Zeolites are solids and their properties are directly dependent on their solid-state structure; zeolites cannot exist as liquids, nor can they be dissolved in liquids without decomposition. This elementary fact has not deterred numerous promoters from offering "liquid zeolite" products, often at extortionate prices; these should be regarded as nothing more than old-fashioned snake-oil. As for ingesting solid zeolites, they are largely inert and will simply pass through the digestive tract without much change. There is no reason to believe that they can pass into the vascular system, and thence into individual cells. Two typical misinformation-filled sites are this one, and also this rant on something called "Natural Cellular Defense".

As if taking advantage of chemistry-challenged consumers and desperate cancer victims is not bad enough, some hucksters go for the new-age mind-mush crowd:

"A group of scientists recently met and they put these drops under an electron microscope and discovered that this product is alive. It is generating light. They they dehydrated it and reconstituted it and it still emits light. In other words... Cellular Electrical Energy is the Life Force of the BodyTHIS RECHARGES THE HUMAN BATTERY!" [link]

Well, anybody who falls for this kind of garbage can consider the money they pay as a "tax on stupidity".

Prill Beads: Magic from magnesium

One of the goofiest products I have come across are "Prill Beads" which consist of "magnesium oxide infused with Life Force." These magical beads "have a natural affinity to anything unnatural. This is why they help rid the body of heavy metals, toxins and dead proteins." Water that is treated by these "prills" is claimed to have smaller molecules (for better absorption by the body) and is restored to the state found in amniotic fluid and "primordial dew". How do they make this magical stuff? By magic, of course! Their device

can be pictured as a configuration of the Force of Love. An outer ring containing more than 120,000 pounds of the Crystal form of Love ... and an inner ring where the force is stored. ... Anything placed in this space, simply becomes magical.

What could be easier? The site, containing some of the silliest we have seen, also claims that your treated used bath water will help restore the aquatic environment after it disappears down the drain.

Pursanova ™ poppycock

This company's products are supposed to be based on certain unspecified "ores" that they claim establishes some kind of "resonance" with water,

"causing the bending and stretching vibration to accelerate and become faster and more active... H+ of water is given more opportunity to bond and reduce its surrounding “_“ (negative electrons) . This very action of H+ bonding to “–“ creates a reduced state in water"

This is of course utter nonsense, as are many other claims, totally lacking in credible scientific support:

  • "Bodily fluids are deoxidized, made stronger, more balanced, and the body’s immune system is strengthened."
  • Their PursaLex™ system utilizes an "anti-gravitational process first reduces harmful antioxidants and the“oxidation” found in regular water"
  • "It is able to condition and energize all living organisms it touches, whether humans, plants, animals, bacteria, even fungi." (So do you really want to "energize" those bacteria and fungi in and around you?)
  • They also offer a PursaLite™ stirring rod that magically conveys the benefits of their "resonance technology" to your favorite beverage.

Charged, ionized and super-ionized waters

Note: the floggers of home electrolytic "water ionizer" devices also use the nonsense term "ionized water" to describe the imaginary benefits of their products.

A number of vendors claim that they are able to "charge" water in some way. Some use this term erroneously in reference to magnetic treatment, but others apparently are convinced (or want to convince the unknowing consumer) that they can actually impart an electric charge to the water, either by injecting electrons into it or bringing about some kind of ionization. This is errant nonsense; neither water, nor any bulk substance, can acquire and retain a net electric charge of significant magnitude.

The alleged purpose of most of these treatments is to destroy the "free radicals" that are byproducts of oxidative metabolism and are considered to be bad things to have floating around in our cells, hence the interest in dietary supplements such as vitamin E and similar anti-oxidants which are believed to gobble up free radicals such as peroxides and superoxides. Billions of years of evolution have provided us with enzymes such as peroxide dismutase that are millions of times more efficient in dealing with these species than any patent medicine, and there is no clinical evidence that anti-oxidant dietary additives have any effect on general health and mortality. As one might expect, the funny-water crowd don't want you to know this, and are offering various "reduced" water products purported to contain either atomic hydrogen, or even better, the hydride ion (H), which would undoubtedly be antioxidants par excellence if they could actually exist in water, which they cannot. See the Negative hydrogen ion site for a misinformation-filled essay on the subject that will leave any chemist laughing or crying.

A typical huckster outfit peddles water purporting to have "more electrons than normal water" and whose molecule "is one half the size of the normal water molecule which makes it more permeable to the cells...and allows the body to assimilate it more rapidly."

This, of course, is fraudulant rubbish; bulk matter containing more than a minute (and chemically insignificant) excess of a single electric charge cannot exist (the "electroneutrality principle"), and even if negatively-charged H2O molecules could be made (and they can exist and be studied in the gas phase), they would be larger  than their neutral parent species owing to electron-electron repulsion.

In common with many purveyors of "holistic" nostrums, these people claim to know the source of environmental toxins:

"The chemical bonds created by humans in the chemistry labs have been formed through artificially bonding elements in abnormal ways. These artificial bonds are very hard to break, resulting in pollution and toxicity in the environment and the physical body. Unnatural molecules, such as found in petrochemicals (fuels), pharmaceuticals, food additives, hydrogenated oils (such as margarine, commercial mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc) herbicides and pesticides, sometimes have bonds so strong that some of them must be heated to 7000 degrees before they can break down and return to natural forms."

Other pages at this site discuss the "consciousness" of this water, and offer "Messages from the Higher Realms" concerning "Spiritual Channeled messages from the Angels and other ascended beings from the Realms of Love and Light regarding the gift of this water to humanity at this time."

If you can believe this stuff, you can probably believe anything!

Finally, check out this wisdom:

"Super Ionized Water has three extra electrons in the water molecule's outer orbits, and it is also stable. If you analyze the SIW water you will find nothing but water. But if you take an ordinary lamp and simply put the plug into a glass of SIW it will light up the lamp brighter than if you plugged it into a wall. Obviously, it is not ordinary water. It is a water filled with electricity."

But you don't need to depend on water to supply your ions; there are many outfits offering "ion-generating jewelry". One brand name might better describe some kind of laxative:

Here is a typical sales site; for some other opinions on this device, see:

Consumer complaints about W-Ray - Q-Ray Bracelet Marketed with Preposterous Claims (QuackWatch)
Marketers of Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet Charged by FTC

Oxygenated Water

There is now a separate OxyScams page.

Hydrogenated Water

This can refer to water to which hydrogen gas has been added (see below), or, more commonly, to what is sometimes known as "reduced" water, which is nonsense since "reduction" of water (in the chemical use of the term) would yield plain hydrogen gas.

Waters containing dissolved hydrogen gas

Dihydrogen (H2) is sparingly soluble in pure water (up to 0.0007 mol/L at body temperature, but less than this in body fluids.) It is also an efficient reducing agent (antioxidant) that can destroy peroxides and free radicals that are natural side-effects of aerobic metabolism. However, there is little if any clinical evidence that the body's own extensive complement of antioxidants cannot adequately cope with this problem.

Many laboratory studies have shown that H2 gas, even in the small quantities present in  H2-saturated water, can reduce cytotoxic oxygen species in artificially-induced cell damage in cell cultures or in rats:

 

At the present time, there seems to be little if any credible evidence that drinking "hydrogenated water" can benefit anyone other than the usual hype-hucksters who offer this nostrum.  The best that can be said is that there is little reason to believe that H2-rich water can be harmful, except to one's wallet. Gaseous H2, however, can be deadly, as it forms an explosive mixture with oxygen.

Typical huckster sites range from the relatively innoculous (AquaSciences) to many that promote [worthless] alkaline waters (such as AlkaWay, Kangen and RedOrbit) which usually contain some by-product hydrogen. An especially egregious promotion (now thankfully gone) claimed that

"by drinking Hydrogen-Rich water, which is generated by our Active Hydrogen Water Generator, it is said by doctors that it can result in curing, improving and preventing the following diseases:
Diabetes, ED (Erectile Dysfunction), HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), heart disease, arthritis, cancer, abnormal gastrointestinal fermentation, dehydration, chronic diarrhea, migraines, indigestion, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis and psoriasis."

 

Hydrogen quackery and nonsense

What most of the hucksters who flog this snake-oil really claim to be selling is water containing "active hydrogen"—which to a chemist would imply atomic hydrogen (H), as opposed to ordinary elemental hydrogen H2. But as every first-year Chemistry student learns, H atoms, which are formed when water is subjected to electrolysis, are so reactive that they immediately combine with each other to re-form H2, so it is impossible to achieve a detectable concentration of H atoms in a liquid medium such as water. The general idea is apparently to provide a way of fighting those "free radicals" that everyone is so worried about (and which your body deals with very well on its own.)

Hyashi's water schtick

This site offers a device called a HydrogenRich Water Stick that purports to add hydrogen to water. There is no indication of how it works, but there is an abundance of blather about its supposed benefits:

"Hydrates up to 6 times ore than hydrogen-poor water - Lubricates joints and muscles - keeps our minds alert - helps the body absorb nutrients - studies have shown that drinking 5 glasses of Hydrogen Rich Water a day can decrease the risk of colon cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer"

No evidence for any of these fantastic claims is offered. The site does refer to several Japanese-authored research articles in which hydrogen-perfused water has been shown to have certain antioxidant properties, but in all cases the hydrogen was from another source.

 

Active-hydrogen generator

The above facts did not prevent one outfit from flogging an "active hydrogen water generator" that purported to produce a "hydrogen-rich water" which is supposed to enrich water with both ordinary H2 and "atomic" H (untrue!), producing a product claimed to be similar to "ionized alkaline water" except better. They tout it as a treatment for everything from Diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease to Erectile Dysfunction– and say that it also diminishes "the digusting odor of fæces"! But another company does even better by [falsely] claiming that their dietary supplement product creates both "life-giving nascent oxygen and body-building nascent hydrogen". which they claim can cure such ills as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and erectile disfunction; as an added bonus they promise that "offensive odor of fæces will diminish markedly"— will wonders never cease. Unfortunately, there are all to many science-ignorant consumers who are actually likely to believe these lies.

More fibbing about hydrogen :

The purpose of hydrogen is to give structure to the body. What do you get when you bubble hydrogen through vegetable oil? You get margarine! Now, imagine hydrogen without oxygen. Your cells could become like margarine. [link]

You may remember that it is the smallest Critical Element and is capable of passing through the cell wall. In order for our cells to function they must communicate with each other through electrons but electrons can not move in the body without hydrogen. Cells must have oxygen but oxygen does not work without hydrogen. Cells cannot multiply or grow without hydrogen. The very fabric of our being, our DNA, is held together by Hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen is literally the fuel of life. [link]

When we are born we have plenty of Hydrogen but as we age our Hydrogen pool becomes depleted. When this occurs, free radicals steel it from essential areas thus accelerating aging and disease. [link]

Why settle for H2O when you can drink H4O?

As I see it, this small grain of scientific fact has been expanded into fully-fledged water-quackery pseudoscience by a Japan-based outfit that flogs something called "H4O Hydrogen-Bonded Water". This is apparently just water (H2O, which of course is always "hydrogen bonded"), to which molecular hydrogen (H2) has been added. Because H2 is practically insoluble in water, they bottle it under high pressure (very much as with ordinary carbonated water), but even then, the actual quantity of H2 in the water is minute, of the order of 10–6 mol/L— which hardly sounds like "reperfusion therapy" to me! Once the pressure is released and the water reaches the warm interior of your stomach, most of the H2 gas will bubble out of the water, making for an expensive (and potentially explosive!) burp. Although it is likely that a small amount of H2 can diffuse into the bloodstream, there is no reason to believe that it can have any significant beneficial effects.

The H4O product is touted as being a powerful reducing agent, despite the lack of evidence that ingestion of exogenous reducing agents has any beneficial health effects. One of their Web pages makes the following unbelievable claim:

From our studies, "H4O Hydrogen-Bonded Water" is able to control ingurgitation capability of macrophage that is etiology of diabetes, renal insufficiency and skin disorders. At the same time, our result of researchs showed that hydrogen has great
potential to prevents brain infarction and cancer.

In keeping with the alkaline-water craze, they say that the pH of the product is 7.7. This means that the water must contain something else in addition to hydrogen (almost certainly a metallic ion of some kind), but they don't say what this might be.

Hydride ions

Those quys peddling "hydrogen" as a free-radical fighter are pikers compared to outfits offering the far more powerful "negative hydrogen ions". Anyone who has passed high school chemistry should know that the hydride ion Hdecomposes in water to form what amounts to lye — which, if ingested, would likely dissolve your esophagus!

But not to worry; this genius guy has claimed (without any convincing evidence) to render these hydride ions harmless by "stabilizing" them in the form of an antioxidant dietary supplement. More recently, another vendor, oiffering something called HydroZen has jumped on the bandwagon, claiming that thir "negative hydrogen ions" are hidden away within coral calcium structures — thus giving you two absurdities for the price of one!

...and deuterium too!

In my humble opinion, there are few health-quackery Web sites that contain a higher proportion of false and deceptive statements than those promoting this classic snake-oil:

[Our product] super-energized complex concentrate of 78 trace minerals, 34 enzymes, 17 amino acids, electrolytes and dissolved oxygen held in a negatively-charged suspension utilizing deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen. {It] creates this life-giving nascent oxygen and bodybuilding nascent hydrogen by dissociating or splitting- the water molecule by weakening the bonding electrons.

They also recycle the daffy "Bovis" BS about "life energy" that is discussed at the top of this page:

Scientists Simeonton, Likhovsky and Bovis estimated that the aver age human body radiates a life force frequency of 6,500 angstroms- with cancer patients radiating at 1,875 angstroms (the same measurement as for refined white bread). just one drop of Cellfood®'s powerful 'electromagnetic equation' in 6-8 ounces of water emanates 77,000 units of radiant life energy

[link]

Anyone who has taken even an elementary chemistry course will recognize this as erroneous nonsense. There are the usual unsubstantiated and ridiculous health claims ("aids clear thinking", "helps to reduce and/or eliminates menopausal hot flashes and night sweats"). The product itself is described as a

"super energized colloidal mineral concentrate. ... Di-base, Di-pole Deuterium Sulfate provides an incredible oxygen source and delivery system to the body at the cellular level."

Deuterium sulfate? Deuterium is the isotope 2H (often given the symbol D) which makes up about 1 out of 10,000 of the hydrogen atoms found in nature. Although extensive research has shown that organisms are unable to survive on heavy water (D2O is well-known to thoroughly gum up most enzymatic reactions), the same sites go on about its supposed benefits, spinning a tale about an inventor/con-artist (take your pick!) Everett M. Storey (whom they falsely identify as a two-time Nobel laurate) and a ficticious Deuterium Freedom Act purportedly passed by the U.S. 99th Congress that confirms deuterium's ability to "speed up the digestive process". However, the extensive list of chemicals in CellFood does not mention deuterium, although the list does include such falsely-claimed-to-be-beneficial elements as actinium, gadolinium, neon, technetium (!) and xenon. Another sad case of selling snake-oil to the suckers.

 

Vibrations and vortexes

Vibrations, energy fields, and vortexes are stock-in-trade in the snake-oil business, owing probably to the fact that in the ill-defined contexts in which they typically appear, they are basically meaningless but convey enough mystery to appeal to the credulous public. Most of this stuff is pretty weird, so hold onto your hat! 

 

Frequency-infused waters (for the frequently confused)

The idea that "vibrations" or "natural frequencies" of various substances or of light itself can be imposed on water might seem eminently reasonable to the science-challenged, for whom any number of goofy products based on this fiction are available.

Perhaps the dumbest of these promotions comes from The Vibrancy Path, which offers a line of "Vibrancy Essences":

"Using a highly specialized instrument and a proprietary process, distilled water is infused with the light frequency that is an energetic match of the corresponding Power. This electromagnetically charged water then carries the consciousness of that specific Power"

I would love to see their "specialized instrument"! The infamous Masaru Emoto can apparently accomplish the same thing merely by sticking an appropriately-worded label on a bottle of ordinary water.

"The Vibrancy Powers are frequencies in y our energy field and in your physical body. The Vibrancy Essences are remedies which use the same vibrational frequencies as the corresponding Powers, which is why they align you with these gifts  and traits".

Perhaps they should offer a "Critical Thinking"nostrum to the suckers who are inclined to fall for this nonsense!


If water can be infused with "vibrations", why not with "intention"? Just say it and it is done:  H2Om Intention-Infused Water is a bottled drinking water that purports to do just this!

"Several distinctive energetic frequencies are infused in each bottle of H2Om, using words, thought, music and human interaction. Initially, the label itself provides intention. Utilizing words, symbols and colors on the label. Each bottle also contains the symbol of the “Om,” a primordial frequency. The words “Love” or “Perfect Health” are written on the label in many of the world’s languages. A specific color vibration has also been chosen for each bottle, which coordinates with a corresponding chakra. After the bottling process is complete H2Om LLC charges the water in the storage facility with sound and music with intent."

"A final energetic frequency is the power of thought - The consumer’s individual ability to connect to the water and literally, “Drink” the vibration inspired and supported by the words on the label. This vibration reverberates in the body and out into the world." [link]

 

Other "vibrational" crackpotery

Much of the vibrational pseudoscience appears to be inspired by the work of one Viktor Schauberger (1885-1958) who appears to be something of an icon in the alternative science/pseudoscience field. Type his name into any search engine and you will come up with thousands of sites promoting such things as anti-gravity, orgone energy, "free energy", and similar nonsense. Some typical sites promoting this "overlooked genius": 1, 2 .

Imploded water - Vortex water

Care Free Water System's pseudoscience-filled "science" page offers a good view of this nonsense.

An outfit that calls itself the Centre for Implosion Research is a veritable supermarket of vortex-related pseudoscience junk.

{The Original Vortex Energizer} (d. 2005) offered a wide range of far-out water-weirdness. An older version of their page (which features a huge collection of goofy products such as the {Orgone Blood Zapper} and the "super-ionized" water described above) tells us that their {Vortex Water Energiser}

"acts as a cosmic antenna and amplifier which takes its energy directly from the Quantum Sea of Energy or Ether, a subtle form of energy which is all around us. This means that no electrical power supply is required. Just placing the [the device] beside ordinary 'lifeless' water will cause it to become charged and healthy once again. Direct contact with water is not necessary as the energy is transferred by way of vibration."

Think of it! You simply physically attach this sealed copper-tube spiral containing "highly energized water" to your water main, your radiator pipe, swimming pool inlet, or your car's cooling system, and receive all of the benefits of revitalized water, which allow your body to cope much better with the detrimental effects of pollutants, chemicals, and electromagnetic radiation. Other claimed benefits include

  • Plants watered with ... energized water shows 250% increase in crop yield.
  • Plants required 50% less feeding with ... energized water.
  • Vortex energized water shows substantially increased geometric structure of water molecule.
  • Placing the [device] temporarily in ponds and pools has shown an increase in oxygen and reduced bacterial growth and stagnation.

It's hard to believe that there are actually people who are credulous enough to fall for this garbage.
A "research paper" On the action of the Vortex Energizer on water  sounds impressive until you note the author's admission that virtually all of the effects he describes fall within the range of error of the instruments he uses.

Although the "Vortex Energizers" mentioned above are presumably no longer available (the liks are to archived pages), you can still buy a "Vortex Water Revitalizer" from World Living Water Systems, which makes similarly asinine claims (e.g., "Revitalized water does not slosh in your stomach!"); their device consists of a tube containing a twisted spiral which they [incorrectly] describe as a "double helix DNA cycloid".

 

Nordic Nonsense

This outfit markets a "Water Revitalizer" which not only features a "double spiraling flowform creating a very powerful vortex energy field" but comes "charged up with energy". They claim that the vortex motions cause suspended bacteria and oxygen to come together so that the bacteria are killed. A more recent "AliveWater" site promotes much the same B.S. See here for my comments on some of the other goofy claims they have made.

 

The following three promotions combine vortex mystique with the standard water-cluster fibs. Very impressive, no doubt, to those who still believe in the tooth fairy.

Clayton's crackpot claims

Natural Action Structured Water (a.k.a. Water of Wellness) and its "inventor" Clayton Nolte shamelessly flog a line of devices that are alleged to impart "structure" to water by means of vortex-induced spin ("in both directions simultaneously"), "break[ing] up large low energy water molecule clusters into smaller high-energy clusters." The resulting water is claimed to be "free of memory" and having "balanced pH". But more importantly, it imparts "life force energy":

"The water molecule has the power, the individual mandate to protect life, and that is to protect it from the things that are adverse to life and to generously provide the things that are good for life. And the way it does that? The things that are adverse to life are pulled to the inside of the water molecule and shielded from life itself"

That's right, science fiction fans; the individual H2O molecules, Clayton seems to have discovered, are really hollow inside (news to anyone who has passed high school chemistry!), and his  vortex magic pulls into this hollow space all the stuff that is "bad for life" (chlorine, fluoride, "toxins"), thus shielding them from your bodily fluids, your pets, or your plants and farm  crops. An even better (and more expensive) "Dynamically Enhanced" model ($250 to $1500) also "infuses biophotonic energy", producing water that"removes pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, increases immunity", etc. etc.

You don't believe this nonsense? Here's a description of a goofy camera-like device that photographs the "electron cloud" that emerges from an electro-stimulated water drop. There's also a "lab report" that purports to verify these absurd claims.

 

Ultimate Water nonsense

Ultimate Water Inc. claims that their so-called "Utopic Structured Water" device

"employs an innovative application and advanced understanding of the vortex phenomenon utilizing the dynamic characteristic of water itself ... that works at the molecular level. This “FluidMachine” alters the molecular structure of the water, activating and retaining the healthful benefits of minerals and characteristics, while excess suspended solids, contaminants and sediment are dynamically isolated or removed."

How do they accomplish this miracle? By invoking the following complete nonsense:

"Specially tuned geometry creates an energy environment for water to structure itself. This gives water a lower surface tension and better hydrating properties. This geometric technology breaks up large low-energy water molecule clusters into smaller high energy clusters. This systematic treatment eliminates negative energy patterns (sometimes called the memory of water) and redefines the water's natural healthy energy pattern. Structured water allows us to imprint through the DNA and RNA the knowledge of its secret blue print and help one to become balanced in the universe."

Fractal Water foolishness

This outfit flogs a "water-energizing" Imploder that is supposed to markedly improve the growth of plants and the germination of seeds (with pictures to "prove" it). To explain how it works, they invoke some of the most loopy pseudoscientific gobbledeguck I have ever seen, based on something they call "Phase conjugate magnetics":

"This means that the like poles of the magnet actually attract (N to N, and S to S). The extreme focusing of the magnetic flux densities in the cone where they are aligned produces dramatic cohering of water molecular clusters. In the same way that mono-atomic materials implosively become electrically stable in smaller 'mono-atom' sizes."

If this were true, the inventor should receive the next Nobel Prize in Physics. Unfortunately, it's completely made-up bafflegab by an inventor with no apparent credentials in physical sciences— but hey, he claims a PhD from California's [apparently non-existent] "Science of Mind College".

 


Maret Bio-con process

The Maret Bio-Com process (d. 2005) was a compendium of crackpot water-treatment schemes whose end product is a "condensed seed water" which is added to regular drinking water. The process involves such wonders as

  • raising the pH to 8, which they misleadingly say raises the "zeta potential"
  • "coherant oxygen" or "electically-conditioned oxygen" is added to the "vortexially spinning" water.
  • exposing the water to vibrating crystals
  • a "magnetic stabilization process"

This is of course pure flapdoodle that will be taken seriously only by the most science-challenged suckers.

Stir-crazy water wands

The WaterVortex site is typical of those that appeal to science-ignorant seekers of new-age wisdom, and which flog some of the most goofy products imaginable. This Water Stir Rod is supposed to be a quick and simple way of "restructuring" water to enable it to more efficiently "hydrate" your body. It

acts like a tuning fork for water. . The device has a special blend of minerals inside which resonate and influence the resonance of the water molecules. . Your water now has a lower specific gravity and will work to hydrate your body much more effectively than normal water.

Hard to believe? Well, they cite a "clinical study" claiming that it can produce a "23.5% increase in hydration" [as measured by several highly dubious means] , and as an added bonus, a 9.4% increase in "oxygen saturation". And they invoke the "theories" of the noted (notorious?) wizards Emoto and Schauberger. But don't expect any of this to appear in a reputable scientific journal!

Stir your own snake oil!

Along similar lines, the StirWand is claimed to restore "the natural balance and energy of water" (whatever that is supposed to mean), transforming it into an elixir that improves hydration and delivery of oxygen to your cells, while getting rid of "cellular toxins" (whatever they are). They claim a 28.5% increase in hydration and 10.25% in blood oxygen, similar to that advertised for the Water Stir Rod described immediately above. The "Human Clinical Trials Documents" offered by the company are in my opinion scientifically suspect and are unlikely to meet the standards forpublication in the reputable clinical literature. (For example, the "study" on toxin removals employs a goofy "Optimal Wellness Test" that fudges what they mean by "toxins".)

The company's name "Quantum Age Water" should be a warning that this stuff is aimed at science-challenged consumers!

Aqua-lies

Natural Water Actovation Technology pflogs devices utilizing "a duplication of vortexes and natural frequencies" so that your tap water

is quickly reminded, at a basic level,of its true nature. The water then, begins to restore, to itself, its own native abilities.In short, [this] Technology sets up a communication with the water and the water, in turn, responds to that communication.As our bodies are comprised primarily of water, it stands to reason that this communication occurs within our physical structures as well. Water which is low in energy will always struggle to regain its vitality. This is why, after taking a bath or shower in low energy water, we often feel tired and depleted as the water in which we bathe seeks to correct itself. The water has, in essence, used the body's positive energy to restore and restructure itself.

While this kind of garbage is readily gobbled up by the eager-to-believe-anything alternative health nuts, the manufacturer also recommends their devices for agricultural and industrial uses, listing a large number of unbelievable benefits such as scale control, enhancing plant growth and biomass accumulation (although they curiously claim that it inhibits algae growth!), breaking down solid wastes, etc. etc. etc. Those who know some chemistry will be surprised/amused to learn that the treated water "boils at a lower temperature and freezes at a higher temperature".

Mineral-less mineral water

Instead of loading up the water with minerals (which are, after all, "chemicals"!), this outfit claims to simply add the "vibrations" corresponding to these elements to the water. Scams like this keep popping up just as quickly as the FDA shuts them down.

[This Anti Aging water] was created from the discoveries of quantum physics. Made with a Laser, this water is unlike any kind of water that has been offered before. It contains all 34 mineral wave forms in their correct (non-metallic) states as needed by the body to repair and sustain itself. ... Since it works on the principle of wave-forms (energy), it leaves behind no toxic metallic residue in the body. You get all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks of mineral supplements.

Tri-Vortex crackpot biophysics

"Now you can wear your vitamins, minerals and nutrients rather than take them orally", or so claims this site that flogs special nutrient-containing bracelets and "amulets" that magically transmit their essences directly into your cells by means of fictional particles of light. It's all done with Tri-Vibes which are packets of various dietary supplements that have purportedly been passed through something called a "Tri-Vortex Chamber". This treatment, it is claimed,

transmits all of the light particles in the treated vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The sealed stainless steel Tri-Vibes are applied to the body in various ways. The most effective manner of applying the Tri-Vibes is by placing one stainless steel band on the left wrist area and one stainless steel band on the right ankle area. ... The light particles emitted by the Tri-Vibes are guided and distributed throughout the electromagnetic fields of your body. Any cell in your body can absorb the light particles emitted from the Tri-Vibes that are held by the liquids in your body or being guided and distributed by the electromagnetic fields of your body.

A {bizarre interpretation} of a spiral form of the periodic table by one {Brian David Andersen} has led to the development of these and other crackpot products This same guy is the purported author of a tedious bit of nonsense on how water can be improved by this treatment.

They also cater to people who know nothing about electricity by offering an electrical device that claims to protect you from "electromagnetic pollution" by shifting the electricity in your home "from a left-hand turn to a right-hand turn."

It's sad to contemplate how many suckers fall for this pseudoscientific garbage.

The Web site of Vorsong Iceberg Energy Water wins 10's for both esthetic design and for creative fiction, but zero for scientific credibility. The following example illustrates their ability to mix new-age nonsense with cutting-edge physics to come up with 21st-century snake oil:

Water... is the Master Transducer and Transmitter as the Ancient healing modalities have long demonstrated and the present day quantum scientific inquires into water indicate. ... Only encoding of the Truth through the use of Universal Structures, Universal Codes and Universal Rhythms will yield lasting results: This in essence is the Unified Field Theory from an informational or vibrational healing perspective.

And if all that quantum physics is not enough, they add Hunza humbug and Feng-shui for good measure!

Vitalized water bunk

This device claims to "ionize" the water

using a special frequency resonance technology. This powerful ionization process releases electrons from the water molecules which neutralizes impurities...without using any electric power [or] chemicals...

This is absurd; removing electrons from water requires an extremely strong (and toxic) chemical oxidizing agent. Among other patently ridiculous claims they say that it will

  • raise the pH to 7.4 - 7.6 (chemically impossible without addition of metallic ions) and prevent scale deposition.
  • strengthen plant immune systems (plants don't have immune systems!)

 

Some really weird stuff

 

Light-Laughter: this hilarious site is worth a look!

The makers of "Light-Life Tools" flog an entertaining supermarket of far-out pseudoscience offering all kinds of new-age nonsense. They appear to specialize in metallic "rings" of various kinds that they suggest (without actally claiming) that they can do everything from improving TV reception to making plants grow better. In the area of water treatment they offer an Acu-Vac Coil to

remove “negative” energy from liquids and foods. Water becomes clearer and tastes better; using a Ring and a Coil together enhances the benefits of both tools, simultaneously removing “negative” and adding “positive”. Water will be ‘super’ – potentized after 12 hours in this ring configuration.

These people deserve a prize for creative bunkery that even the new-age nuts are unlikely to take seriously!

The Water Band

I thought this was a musical group, but the Vibrational Living Water Band is actually an elastic band that you snap around your glass or water bottle. According to the Vibrational Living hucksters,

"vibrational frequencies encoded in The Water Band interact with and 100% energize your drinking water so it takes on the same high energy as falling rainwater."

The $35 cost is best thought of as a tax on stupidity.

Amega Global's amazing science fiction

This outfit claims to offer a "resonance technology ... applying the principles of Quantum Physics" which will be immediately seen as deceptive flapdoodle by anyone who has passed first-year physics. Their apparent aim is to recruit poorly-educated scientifically-ignorant dupes to foist their crackpot products off on equally ignorant consumers. What they pompously call their "AMized Fusion Technology" is supposed to

Neutralize negative frequencies and memories and clear the Bio-photon field distortions of substances; their AMWater System claims to restore tap water to "its original structure and to resonate zero-point energy". [link] Needless to say, they offer no evidence to support their weird claims.

Anyone who falls for this pseudoscientific poppycock is in effect paying a tax on scientific ignorance.

ORME and ORMUS alchemical quackery

"ORME" stands for "Orbitally Re-arranged Mono-atomic Elements". According to this self-described "leading authority" on "ORMUS", these snake oils all seem to be based on [completely fictional] "non-metallic forms of metallic chemical elements". There is even a junk patent covering this jiggery-pokery!  Beyond this, the details vary with the particular hucksters that flog them:

-----

It's a Miracule!

These hucksters offer "water processors" which not only remove "biological and chemical contiminates [sic]", but "further enhance the water with select scientifically documented special primary energies". Unfortunately, none of this documentation seems to be available to the public, and I consider it highly unlikely that it was done by anyone with scientific training. They claim that their proprietary process concentrates

"the Elements of Life (known variously as "Monoatomic 'Monatomic' elements, ORME -"Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Elements,, White Powder Gold, M-State, transition group Metal Ions), believed to be referenced in the Holy Bible and other texts as "The Hidden Manna" & "Bread of the Presence of God"; a proprietary mix of 13 scientifically documented methods of water structuring; the addition of a key nutrient Magnesium Dioxide [ MgO2 ] - a naturally occuring substance in water which scientists in Australia have discovered has the potential to prolong life 4 to 5 times beyond the normal span."

This particular version of ORME apparently involves a weird "monatomic" form of gold linked to a deuterium (H2) atom, with a bit of Biblical hoogy-moogy thrown in for good measure.

-----

ORMUS resets your vibrations (while emptying your wallet)

This cleverly-contrived promotion should win a prize as a model of how to market a nonsensical product to those who live in la-la land. According to the the "alchemist" and "metaphysician" behind this "Elixir of Life" site, these mutant metallic elements

"exhibit strange properties. Sometimes they disappear, levitate or pass through solid objects."

This particular outfit offers you two products to chose from:

Self-Regeneration Ormus for Healing and Alignment is "principally dedicated to resetting the vibration of your self [and] your soul".  It is billed as "The Ormus of Happiness", offering "The Highest Vibrational Uplift and Soul Evolution." In order to guarantee this result, the proprietor-alchemist only whips up batches of this stuff by the light of the" Airies Full Moon".

For customers having more immediate practical needs, the Mother of Abundance Ormus "has a specific 'Abundance' and 'Money' focus":

"We get reports weekly of people who have had significant jumps in income from unexpected sources since taking Ormus."

The stuff about weird non-metallic metals aside, the products described here are actually made by treating "Pure Ocean Water" (a contradiction in terms!) with 5% sodium hydroxide, which converts some of the metallic ions to their insoluble hydroxides. Whether they bottle up the precipitate with the water they don't say — perhaps the light of the full moon makes a difference. Once it gets into your stomach, it's roughly equivalent to a dose of baking soda.

Twilight America Star Chamber Receiver

Star Chamber ReceiverThink of it; for only $75 you can buy this nutty device (apparently a pile of crystal-filled ceramic pieces) that not only energizes your bath water, but

is like an antenna that pulls the Life Force energy in and transmits this energy to all water filled bodies nearby - that includes you and your pets. Placed in your home, the Receiver will pull in Life Force and fill your space, turning it into an island of Love and Peace that envelops your living environment and perhaps that of your neighbors. It will also protect you and your family from the negative energies of our environment...it resonates with the planetary energies on a subspace channel, using the energy that animates all life.

The outfit that flogs this crap is a mini-supermarket of similar products for science-challenged consumers.

DNA delusions

Everyone nowadays is looking for "makeovers", so here come the hucksters offering to unleash your hidden potentials by magically updating your DNA— just as easy as updating your computer- or iPod software.

One product which claims to accomplish this kind of miracle has been around for some time; it is described on my "structured water" page.

A more recent product is Neocode, "the software console to your metamind", actually uses software (so they claim) that provides "direct access to your DNA through the vastness of your subconscious mind". Their "how it works" page is a melange of quantum mechanics-for-new-age-nuts that will be immediately recognized as garbage by anyone who has actually studied the subject.

Universal harmony

..is what this outfit offers to those who are sufficiently credulous to fall for crystal- and pyramid power, chakras, and similar new-age nonsense:

As science has now confirmed, our DNA is composed of light (energy) and emits this light (photons/biophotons) which contains instructions on how the cell should behave and replicate. Thus, the biological cell receives information from our DNA in the form of light/energy via the cells internal watery environment, simply because water stores and shares information. And water stores and shares information from ALL energy sources, man-made or natural.

The device they sell is quite easy to use:

...place one Harmoniser over the heart area with the crystal on top of it and the other Harmoniser over the navel area with the crystal on top of it. This allows an individual with no 'healing' experience to simply and easily cleanse, balance and strengthen their chakras and various energy fields of their body - from cellular level outwards, encompassing the whole biophysical/auric field.

Nano Nonsense: Bio Disk

Another weird product aimed at science-ignorant new-agers, this is a clear glass disk that is supposed to create "energized water", enhance the taste of food, helps to improve sleep, reduces stress levels, etc. etc. (What? It doesn't reverse aging or cure E.D.? What pikers!) It works by

Transferring the "Nano Energising Frequency" [sic] into or through liquid affects the nanos within the liquid. When the mineral nanos come into contact with their specific frequency they behave completely differently from the host atom. ... This natural resonance has the ability to create a molecular structure in all manufactured or treated liquid and vegetation.

In case that is not clear to everyone, these hucksters go on to say that

"The Bio Disk energy spins into the liquid, counter clockwise... The resonance generated is similar to that which is found in the earth surrounding many healing spring waters...

Does this sound familiar? It's the same kind of nonsense that is hawked on the structured water scam sites. [5/07]

This outfit mixes new-age "spirituality", pseudoscience, and plain weird goofiness to provide a variety of products for the same kind of suckers who are taken in by Masuro Emoto-style water wonders. Lifeforce energy, biophotons, water energisers, chakra balancing, space clearing, microwave protection, stabilized oxygen, "vitamin B17" (apricot pits; remember laetrile?) — "if there's anything anyone lacks, it's available there in sacks", as Gilbert & Sullivan put it when describing the magic shop in Ruddigore!

Prill poppycock

... And then there is a dumb product called "Prill Beads" that seem to a form of magnesium oxide that has somehow been "infused with Life Force." On being placed in water, they "have a natural affinity to anything unnatural. This is why they help rid the body of heavy metals, toxins and dead proteins." Water that is treated this way is claimed to have smaller molecules (for better absorption by the body) and is restored to the state found in amniotic fluid and "primordial dew". How do they make this magical stuff? By magic, of course! Their device

...can be pictured as a configuration of the Force of Love. An outer ring containing more than 120,000 pounds of the Crystal form of Love ... and an inner ring where the force is stored. ... Anything placed in this space, simply becomes magical."

What could be easier? The site, containing some of the silliest nonsense we have seen, also claims that your treated used bath water will help restore the aquatic environment after it disappears down the drain!

Ascension Alchemy's Chrysalis 8 promotion combines all kinds of nutty alternative technologies into a weird melange that defies description, so I will just quote:

The  glass vessel containing the imploding water vortex lies in the midst of a large crystal grid, the angles of the relationship between the crystals as well as the type and resonance-quality of import for creating natural scalar, or standing waves. The equipment with the glass vessel containing the imploding  water vortex is surrounded by a Tesla coil: actually two coils intertwined as one (Tesla technology does not produce harmful EMF or any form of electronic polution).   At this point the water can be permanently restructured within a standing  (or scalar) wave; permanently is the key here, most structured water will revert back to it's disorganized state (the hydrogen bonds begin to break between the crystal like structures; liquid entropy.) The key is the point where the effecting change is implemented to permanently restructure the hydrogen bonds.

Bau-Biologist B.S.

The VitaTech 14-stage Triple Water Purifier starts out reasonably enough, but then invokes weird quantum pseudoscience, "memory erasing and molecule coherence", mineral- and far-infrared-enhanced "reprograming", and finally Coral Calcium to appeal to the new-age science-ignorant crowd. All brought to you by a self-styled "certified Bau-Biologist". [2/2010]

"Designed and made by Buddhist monks..."

This rather attractive "Water Resonator" device combines magnets, crystals, and copper coils "to generate a high power pulsing effect which in turn causes a profoundly positive and beneficial effect on water and other liquid beverages. To heighten the effect, it comes with a CD of Buddhist chants.

Magnetic cups

Magnetic cups are among those products a listed by the FDA as "Fraudulent and Deceptive Medical Devices" subject to automatic detention on import, but this has done little to reduce the availability of these items to the credulous multitudes.

"By holding purified water, fresh juice or herbal teas in the Magnetic Energy Cup for 5 minutes or more, your liquids become restructured, 'living' and charged with energy. The magnets in the Magnetic Energy Cup can change the actual structure of liquids, increase the negative ions (good ions), make the liquids more alkaline and increase the amount of oxygen available for your cells. Another measured benefit of magnetized water is that its surface tension is lowered, which makes the water absorbmuch easier through the human membranes. What actually happens is that water gains 'living' liquid energy!"

EMF-Bioshield Protection System

This is undoubtedly one of the dumbest scams I have ever come across; it's hard to believe any but the most credulous suckers would fall for a device that purports to protect TV-watchers and CRT-users from electromagnetic radiation by means of a couple of magical thingees that you stick on the front frame of the viewing screen.

Its protective action is based on the A_NOX® (“Avoid [VDT] NOXiousness”) technology, which uses the resonance properties of rare earths elements (elements 58 to 71 of Mendeleyev's Periodic Table of the Elements) to create a passive counter-phase resonance. Triggered by the electron beams the VDT uses to refresh its images (at a rate of 60 to 75 times a second) in a linear fashion (starting in the upper left screen corner and ending in the lower right corner), the content of the mini-bulbs creates an electromagnetic barrier around the protected screen. EMF-Bioshield® thus eliminates the harmful biological effects of residual radiation emitted by computer and TV sets cathode ray tubes. {link}

Tachyon tackyness

The hucksters that flog "Tachyonized" "superconductor" water say that this

fluid of life energizes the Subtle Organizing Energy Fields (SOEF), transforming your body into a superconductor of life-force energy, dramatically increasing energy, endurance, balance and harmony within your whole being.

Well, if you are into subtle-energy hocus-pocus, it might be worth a try, as far as I am concerned, the $8.50 they charge for a 2-oz bottle of the WunderWasser is just a tax on stupidity.

References

Keith McCall's Water Stupidity page has a lot of good stuff on structure-altered water, as well as on Benveniste's "water memory" experiments relating to homeopathy. He also favors us with some choice irate letters from True Believers, along with his responses.

Martin Chaplin's Water Structure and Properties site is a scientifically sound, well laid-out collection of articles on water and its structure which I highly recommend. One of these pages has some interesting information and links relating to water clusters, "polywater", and CACA.

A fair number of water-quackery schemes are based on the widely popular (and totally unsupported by clinical evidence) form of pseudoscience known as homeopathy: NCAHF paper. The idea that water can retain any kind of "memory" (as Benveniste suggested) is not supported by much evidence, although a recent carefully-done study does raise this intriguing possibility.

For science teachers: see Using pseudoscience as a teaching aid for some interesting ways to make use of pseudoscience sites, and some chemistry-related examples.

Quackery-awareness sites worth a visit:
National Council Against Health Fraud  -  QuackWatch  - The Quack FilesWorldwide Scam Network - How to spot a quack - Quackery information links - Alternative Medicine$ The Multi-billion $ Fraud!
U.S. Federal Trade Commision: index page - Dietary supplement advertising rules - File-a-complaint
U.S. Federal Drug Administration Consumers Page -

The truth about human aging - In an attempt to counter the widespread commercial hype and lies regarding anti-aging products, 51 leading scientists in the field of aging research collaborated on a position paper that sets out the current state of the science.

Some goofy writings on water: Biomagnetism and water (Y. Ohno and H. Reminick), Structured water as an alternative medicine (J. Bender), The Power of Water (J. Manning), Water: Essential to Existence (D. Stewart and D. Routledge).

"The Message from Water" is a book by Masaru Emoto containing photos of ice crystals from waters which have been exposed to

music, words spoken, words typed and taped to the glass containers, photographs and long-distance thought messages. Some of the photographs are amazing and all of them show a response from the water.

Well, many of the photos are quite nice, but the shapes of ice crystals are highly dependent on the conditions and rates of freezing, so Emoto's interpretations have no scientific validity.

Wiccan water. Water apparently plays a role in Wiccan ritual; a now-defunct site had an amusing bit about "sun water, moon water, crystal water, water rituals... Call forth the Magick of the Spirit of Water to fill your home. May the Water that flows through you bring blessings to this family." ... which brings us to

Urine Therapy - another form of magical water quackery; a typical site is Shirley's Wellness Cafe (I don't think I will be dining there soon!) At this now-unavailable jesus-diet.com site presided over by a "Naturopathic Urine Therapist (the initials say it all!) we were informed that "Jesus drank urine." (Ah, sweet breath!).

Water as a hazardous substance:  Ban DHMO