Ellis Barker J
BY THE EDITOR.
I WAS impressed by the arguments issued by the makers of water softeners. Hard water certainly causes an accumulation of mineral matter in pipes through which it completely clogged at last and unusable. One imagines that hard water might have a similarly unfavourable effect on human beings, and that gout, rheumatism, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, and many other complaints might be aggravated by hard water.
It apparently causes constipation. I therefore had water softeners installed in my two houses and in my flat, at considerable expense. A bath taken in soft water is far more pleasant than a bath in hard water. Softened water has an extremely pleasant feel to the skin and the soap gives a wonderful lather. However, I was under the impression that I felt less well and fit while consuming the artificially demineralized water. Other people made similar observation to mine.
Lately I have come across two or three cases in which the use of water softeners has apparently aggravated the condition of people troubled with enlarged prostates. I believe that in the water softeners aluminium is used, and that the use of artificially softened water not only takes out the minerals contained in the water, but puts in a small quantity of aluminium in solution. The matter is of scientific accuracy, but of practical experience.
I wonder whether the discarding of the mineral elements in water is beneficial or not, particularly in the case of various disorders and diseases, among them swellings of every kind, such as enlarged prostate, fibroid tumour of the womb, goitre, etc. I should be very glad if those of my readers who have practical experience of the effect of softened water would communicated with me so as to clarify the position. Theoretical considerations are of no value, however scientifically opinions may be worded.
Another factor which is rather disturbing is the ever-increasing use of medicated salt. Medicated table salts are sold under various names, and very frequently the public does not know that medicines or drugs have been added, except, of course, in the case of iodized salt which proclaims by its name that it contains iodine. There are popular salts which sell at four or five times the price of ordinary salt, and which have the advantage of running freely.
This advantage may be dearly bought because very large quantities of lime, called in homoeopathy Calcarea phosphorica, is a very potent drug which is frequently ordered by homoeopathic doctors, but I have never heard of Calcarea phosphorica being given to patients at every meal year after year. The effect of cumulative doses of Calcarea phosphorica taken year in and year out, may be food.
Patients who are told by their doctors to avoid hard water, which means water in which there is much lime, may be taking phosphate of lime with their salt every day at every meal, in considerable doses. Another popular salt also runs very freely, presumably because this salt also contains much phosphate of lime. Then there are innumerable health salts, the composition of which is obscure, and which are used by old and young because of the loud praise contained in advertisements issued by the makers on attractive parcels and bottles containing the salt and in the Press.
During the last decade or two, the incidence of enlarged prostates has increased enormously, and I suspect that the trouble is largely nutritional. Possibly the fashion of using water softeners or of using salt containing phosphate of lime, iodine, and other drugs, has something to do with this developed, unfortunate for all except for doctors and surgeons.
Those readers of mine who have positive observations to offer on the various salts would put all of us under a great obligation. The use of iodized salt is of course not permissible. Iodine is an extremely dangerous drug which no wise doctor will readily order for the sick. Many people in perfect health swallow iodized salt and other medicated salts day after day because of some wretched theory out of which the manufacturers of these salts make a large income.