Daily Archives: November 2, 2011

Drumsticks don’t just make for great taste in cooking…

Drumstick grows widely in India. The potential somehow remains unrealized of using the seed to clarify water.

Just two of a drumstick’s seeds can clean a liter of turbid water. Its beans and twigs are almost magical. You can extract oil, provide nutrition when you eat and when you can serve as a useful medicine.

The seeds have an inherent ability to purify water. The dried beans when ground to a powder, work as natural flocculation agents.

Flocculation is the first step in water purification and the plant’s seeds provide an alternative to alum, iron salts, and even synthetic polymers. These chemicals harm both environment and health. Alum salts have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

A drumstick seeds is an efficient coagulating agent when extracted. In parts of Botswana, water purification has been done with the seeds for many centuries.

It’s not as if the government is not aware of its potential. The department of drinking water supply in India compiled a two-volume compendium of rural water supply and sanitation research projects. One of the sanitation studies tested the efficacy of drumstick seeds as a purification agent in a Tamil Nadu village some years ago. Three villages along the River Bhavani were selected as they were drinking the river’s low-quality water.

Drumstick seed power significantly reduces water turbidity and bacterial count.

It’s not a complete solution, however. It cannot guarantee potable water and some additional treatment will be needed. But the important thing is that it reduces turbidity of water with bacterial reduction of above 90 per cent.

Before doing it at a village tank, a simple jar test can be conducted with seed powder with 100, 200, and 400 mg per liter of water. The jar should be stirred vigorously for a minute, followed by a gentle steering. The sample is allowed to settle for 60 minutes. The lowest and best clarification dose is chosen by the village health workers.

The government is not willing to accept it yet. It remains a viable local low-cost alternative, but outside of the government’s schemes.

(Pic source: food1.com)

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