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by Gerald Epling

Memory of Water

What is memory?  In both the physical sciences and the life-sciences, memory refers to a change that is long-lasting.  By example, magnetic tape can be carefully altered in a way that creates a memory trace for music.  Similarly, water can be carefully altered in a way that creates a long-lasting change.  Memory persists after the changing event.

Producing long-lasting changes in water provides a way to make water more available to living creatures.  In the same way that cooking makes food more palatable and digestible; structuring water can make it easier for our bodies to use the water – more bioavailable.  My aim in structuring water was to make water more bioavailable.  After experimenting with various methods of structuring water, it was time to test the effectiveness of one method on something that was alive.  For the study, a single mint plant was selected.  After the water for rooting was prepared, several cuttings were taken from the same plant.  Four similar size cuttings were selected, and the study began. It was November, 2008.

Water for the study was selected from the various brands of “distilled” water that were available at a local grocery store.  Grocery store varieties of “distilled” water are purified by distillation and then some minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are added back into the water.

The taste and usefulness of water may be modified by mechanical agitation or through electromagnetic fields.  When water is placed in a microwave oven, the rapidly alternating electromagnetic field influences water at the molecular level.  The frequency of a microwave causes water molecules to vibrate rapidly – but never fast enough to completely align with the microwaves.  This inability of the water to get in tune with microwave frequency produces heat.  I expected the microwave treatment of water would produce a persistent change in the water.

Three questions were posed through this pilot study.  The first question was, “Is it possible to structure water in a way that makes the water more bioavailable?”  The second question posed was, “Will microwave heating of water produce a long-lasting change that makes water less bioavailable to plants?”  The third question explored was, “Can water that has been heated in a microwave oven be structured in a way that improves the bioavailability of the water?”

In order to explore these three questions, one portion of water from the parent water container was set aside and a second portion of water was heated to the boiling point in a microwave oven.  The heated water was allowed to set at room temperature overnight.  The following day, a sample was taken from the first portion of water source and treated by an electromagnetic method to structure the water.  Next, a sample was taken from the second portion of water and structured by the same electromagnetic method.  Now, there were four different water samples.  1) The control sample of water with no heating nor electromagnetic structuring.  2) The unheated water, which was structured.  3) The water that was heated in a microwave oven.  4) Water that was heated in a microwave oven and then structured.  These samples are labeled 1) Control,  2) Structured,  3) µ, and 4) µ + structured.  The word, “structured” was blurred in the photographs of the samples shown in this article.  A single plant cutting was placed in each of the four different water samples.  Noticeable results were observed in just 5 days.

Water and Life

Seeds of various plants have been shown to have difficulty sprouting and surviving when the water provided has been heated to boiling in a microwave oven and then allowed to cool.  Similarly, mint cuttings have been observed to struggle for survival in water that has been heated to boiling in a microwave.  Similar cuttings appear to do well in water that is not exposed to microwave radiation.  Perhaps, water is altered in a microwave oven in a way that makes the water less bioavailable to a seed or a cutting.

If water can be altered in a way that makes the water less available to a seed or plant cutting, then it must be possible to change the water in a way that makes the water more available to a seed or cutting.

Earlier studies with seeds showed that microwave treated water led to a failure of seed sprouts to thrive. Mint was chosen for the current experiment because mint is a hardy plant. The basic water that was chosen for this study was “distilled” water purchased from a grocery store.  Four glasses were filled with less than one cup of water each. The first glass was the control sample and contained distilled water that was not further treated. This control sample served as a standard for the evaluation of all other results. The second glass contained distilled water that was electromagnetically modified. The third glass contained water that was treated by heating in a microwave oven. The fourth glass contained water that was heated in a microwave and subsequently electromagnetically modified.


Figure 1.  Four cuttings of similar size were taken from a single mint plant.

OBSERVATIONS FROM DAY 5 – November 19, 2008


Figure 2.  Control and structured water on November 19, 2008.  The control sample is shown on the left.  Water in the glass on the right was taken through a structuring process.


Figure 3.  Microwave-heated water samples on November 19, 2008.  The structured water is on the right.

Both samples shown in Figure 3 were supplied with distilled water that had been heated to boiling in a microwave oven, then left to cool overnight.  The cutting on the left was supplied with water that had been microwaved and allowed to cool.  The cutting on the right was supplied with water that was structured after it was heated and cooled.

In figure 4, the control sample is shown on the left, and the structured sample is shown on the right.  Look closely at the roots of the control, and the sample on the right.  Do you see that the roots on the control sample are remarkably longer than the roots of the sample on the right?  Water used to root the sample on the right was structured.


Figure 4.  Control and structured water on November 19, 2008.  View Larger.


Figure 5.  By the fifth day of the experiment (November 19, 2008.), the mint that was placed in microwave treated water was well on the way to losing two leaves. This leaf loss was occurring as the plant continued to put on roots as fast or faster than any other cutting.

The experiment was concluded on the twentieth day.


Figure 6.  The two samples that were rooted in structured water were retained.  At first, it may be difficult to see any difference.  Look closely, and you may see the symmetry of the smaller plant, which was rooted in structured water.  Interestingly, the taller plant was rooted in water that was first heated in a microwave oven and then structured.

On the twentieth day, a comparison was made.  Only five roots measuring over one inch in length were noted on the cutting that was rooted in electromagnetically modified water. Each of the other three cuttings had twelve or thirteen roots, which measured one inch or more in length.

Both the structured sample and the microwave heated plus structured samples were rooted together in a pot.  Eventually, these two plants were separated and grown in separate pots and grown for a couple of years.  Over this time the two plants, which were rooted in different water, continued to exhibit the same features that were observed at the end of this study.  Over the two year period, both plants received the same water, which was city water delivered through a garden hose.


Structuring water produced a plant that was more symmetrical than the control.  The structured water plant had better leaf formation and appeared to be happier.  Water treated in a microwave oven, without remediation, produced a sickly plant.  Water that was heated in a microwave oven and then structured, produced a plant with roots that were longer than the sample that was rooted in water that was merely structured.  The plant that was rooted in microwave radiated water and then structured was the largest plant of all, with a somewhat spindly appearance.


Given the difference in root lengths, water was more bioavailable to the cutting that was rooted in structured water than any other water that was considered in this study.

Connection to previous literature

In 1993, Reed et al, published a longitudinal study, spanning 10 years.  The focus of the study was the effect of low frequency radiation on tree growth.  Two sample areas were selected.  The first sample was near a low frequency electromagnetic field.  The second stand of trees was located 50 km away.  Differences in growth patterns of various types of trees based upon sample and distance from the low frequency electromagnetic radiation were observed.  A link to this study is found in relevant reading.


Relevant Reading

Effects of 76 Hz electromagnetic fields on forest ecosystems in northern Michigan: tree growth [1993] by Reed, D.D., et al in International journal of biometeorology