This unexpected herb could be the next cure for the world's clean water crisis

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World Water Day: Help Fight The Global Water Crisis

Who knew that your favorite nacho garnish could also double as an underlying hero in the fight against clean water worldwide?

No, we're not talking about cheese—we're talking about cilantro.

Here's the short explanation.

To purify water, most procedures and technologies use activated carbon—treated charcoal that has an increased ability to absorb impurities.

SEE ALSO: The clothes you're wearing could be made out of plastic bottles

However, though effective, this nature of treatment is often too expensive for struggling communities and nations, he demographic that needs clean water the most.

It's been found, through research conducted by Dr. Douglas Schauer, that cilantro might have the same properties as, say, activated carbon, giving it the ability to be the absorbent used in the water purification process.

Cilantro is what is known in the science world as a biosorbent, which is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative for that can be swapped for harsher and more expensive chemicals in order to complete the same job.

A recent study tested small levels of contaminated water, treating it with different biosorbents and found cilantro to be quite successful in the reabsorption of certain chemicals, such as lead.

Perhaps cilantro is capable of doing so much more than simply serving as a decorative touch on a well-plated meal.

It's certainly well on its way.

RELATED: 12 ways to slash your grocery bills

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12 ways to slash your grocery bill
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12 ways to slash your grocery bill

Buy in bulk
Even if you don't think you need a bulk amount of an item, you can always find a way to use it, especially if it's a dry good or item you can store for a long time. It'll save you down the road.

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Memorize rock bottom prices
You may have to jot down the prices you pay for certain items a few times before you can gauge the maximum price you should pay every time you shop for that item.Eventually, you'll commit it to memory.

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Research specific stores' policies
Certain grocery stores will price match or honor deals from other grocery stores, while some might have certain designated deals on different items on certain days of the week. Research before you shop.

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Buy a mix of name brand and generic brand products
For dry goods and condiments, stick to generic brand. For products like meat and dairy, stick to a brand you trust.

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Skip out on anything prepared, pre-packaged or pre-sliced
It's almost always more expensive than buying bulk ingredients and using them to prepare on your own. 

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Leave the kids at home (if possible)
"How did eight boxes of fruit snacks get into the cart?"

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Don't buy boneless chicken or meat
It will cost you the price of the meat plus the cost of preparation. Buy with bone-in and prep the meat yourself.

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Take advantage of "buy one, get one" deals
Especially if they're items like meat or bread, which can be frozen and stored for quite a while.

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Plan meals around when things go on sale
Instead of planning out your meals for the week and shopping for the appropriate ingredients, figure out when certain items go on sale, buy them and plan your meals around those ingredients.

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Look at the unit price
It's possible, for example, that buying two boxes of 10 granola bars is cheaper than buying one box of 20, based on the price per unit.

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Look up, then look down
Grocery stores tend to stock their most expensive items at eye-level. Look at the top and bottom rows for cheaper items.

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Skip out on personal care items
Your best bet for these kinds of items is drugstores.

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