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.
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.
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