We at Aroma Thyme Bistro have searched up and down for a healthy water. We looked at filtration systems, bottled water and distillers. Then we found a ionizer. I was told of this process from a person in California two years ago. Then more and more people mentioned this machine to me.
So I did the research on this water system.
Here is a summary from Dr. Robert O. Young in one of his recent e-mails.
Ionization alters water in two significant
and measurable ways: pH and ORP. These
alterations to water are what make it very
different from other waters you may drink.
The pH stands for "potential hydrogen" and
is a measurement that provides an indication
of the level of hydrogen in a substance. It
is measured by the pH scale. Proper body pH
is an important factor in good health.
If any substance changes from pH 7 to pH 8,
it has become ten times more alkaline.
Conversely, if it has changes from neutral
pH 7 to pH 6, it is 10 times more acidic.
As an example, a popular Cola, at pH 2.5 is
almost 50,000 times more acidic than neutral
water, and needs 32 glasses of neutral (pH 7)
water to counteract the consumption of one
glass of Cola. (Active ingredient: Phosphoric
Acid) You can now see that a change from the
normal level 7.365 to pH 7 would mean that
your blood would suddenly be around 4 times
more acid then it should be. You would die from
poisoning by your own blood. This is why every
body system is used to support the correct
You can also understand from this that our
blood pH can be affected at any time of the
day by a myriad of events; food, drink, stress,
pollution, exercise, or beneficially, by
meditation, by drinking alkaline water, by deep
breathing, even by being happy.
The other way an ionizer alters the water is
in ORP. This stands for Oxidation Reduction
Potential (also referred to as "Redox" - it's
the same thing). Most leading water researchers
from Asia agree that in ionized water the
elevated pH is good, but that ORP is more
important. Alteration to the ORP is what
causes the microclustering, antioxidant or
anti-acidic and oxygenating effects.
ORP is a "potential" energy that is stored and
ready to be put to work. It's not necessarily
working, but we know that the energy is there
and we can measure it. Another way to look at
this potential might be to look at pressure. If
you blow up a balloon, and there is air pressure
inside. As long as the balloon is closed, the
pressure remains and can be measured. When
released, this potential energy becomes kinetic
In electrical terms, potential energy can be
measured. When we use the term "potential" in
describing ORP, we are actually talking about
electrical potential as expressed in millivolts.
This potential is measured in water with an ORP or
electron meter. What you measure is the very
slight voltage in water. We are actually measuring
the presence of oxidizing or reducing agents by
their specific electrical charge, thus Oxidation
Reduction "Potential". High pH water has more
"reducing" agents (-ORP) and lower pH water has
more oxidizing agents (+ORP).
Oxidation or fermentation is what turns an apple
brown after it is cut or causes metal to rust.
Rust weakens metal and signifies the deterioration
of the apple. The process of oxidation "steals"
electrons from the surface being oxidized. When
we measure a something's oxidizing potential, it
is expressed in +ORP or +mV and measures the
concentration of OH+ ions or oxidizing
A "reducing" agent is simply something that inhibits
or slows the process of oxidation or fermentation.
The reducing agent does this by "donating" an
electron. When we measure a something's oxidation
reduction potential, it is expressed in terms of -ORP
or -mV and measures the concentration of OH- ions or
In its most basic form a reducing agent is an
"antioxidant" ~ reducing oxidation. Follow this
link to read more detailed info about the science
of pH and ORP.
The ORP of most tap water in the USA is between
+200 to +600mv and so it is an oxidizing agent.
High pH ionized water demonstrates a -ORP or -mV
and so is a reducing agent or "antioxidant". Most
bottled waters are very acidic (low pH) and also
have higher ORPs (over +400mv).
pH and ORP alteration is a highly variable and
depends primarily on three factors:
1. The source water and its natural mineral
content - water varies widely in this respect.
2. The voltage applied to the water during
3. The flow rate through the ionizer's water
These variables have a dramatic effect on pH
and ORP or mV.
An ionizer works primarily on the mineral
content in the water. It is the dissolved mineral
content (referred to as TDS) which creates the
pathway for the "ionization" (or more correctly
electrolysis) to occur. Water without mineral
content or TDS, like reverse osmosis or distilled
water, will not conduct the current and therefore
can not be "ionized" and is therefore called
"deionized" water. This first variable is the
most crucial to performance. Tap waters vary
widely in the dissolved mineral content. The
higher the mineral content ("harder" water),
the higher the levels of pH and ORP/mV alteration
an ionizer can achieve; the lower the mineral
content ("softer water"), the lower levels the
of pH and ORP/mV alteration. The importance of this
variable can not be emphasized enough.
The heart of an ionizer is the water cell which
contains the electrodes. The electrodes are what
deliver the current and creates the "ionization".
We control the voltage conducted through the
electrodes and then to the water by selecting
the different "alkaline" settings on an ionizer.
The higher the alkaline setting (or voltage/mV),
the more alteration you will achieve in pH and
Effective conductivity is the primary determinant -
not electrode size - of effective delivery of the
current or voltage into the water needed to create
Do not be fooled by the claim some manufacturers
make that larger electrodes will necessarily
deliver better performance. Generally the larger
electrodes have poorer conductivity - so they have
to be larger.
The flow rate through the water machine determines
how long the water is actually in contact with the
electrodes receiving the voltage and the effects
of electrolysis. If your flow is fast (say you
could fill a quart or liter in 15 seconds) then
the water is not processing very long and not
receiving much alteration. Conversely, with a
slow flow rate (say the same quart or liter
took 60 seconds) the water is in the chamber
in contact with the electrodes longer and will
receive more alteration. You can always achieve
higher pH and lower ORP/mV readings with reduced
flow rates. So controlling the flow is an
important variable in performance.
On most ionizers you can only adjust the flow
rate by using your faucet or tap. This is not
the case with our ionizers. You can control
the flow rate on the ionizer.
If your faucet or control dial on your ionizer
is all the way "on", the water will process
very fast through the machine. If your faucet
or control dial is just barely "on", this
reduces the flow and the water will process
for much longer.
With a fast flow rate you may only achieve
slight alteration in pH and ORP/mV, slow it down
and you will get a higher pH and a lower ORP/mV.
Simply put, speed it up, you get a less
alteration; slow it down and you'll get more.
This would therefore meant that less is more
and more is less.
To illustrate this whole principle lets look
at two very different tap waters and their
effect on performance. Remember the crucial
variable is the dissolved mineral content or
TDS (total dissolved solids) which is measured
in parts per million. This creates the pathway
for the ionization to occur.
In Valley Center, California at the Rancho del Sol
the tap water tests at 385 - 1001ppm of total
dissolved solids. The tap water in Seattle,
Washington tests at approximately 40 - 47 ppm.
You could test water from an ionizer in Valley
Center at a given setting and flow rate and you
would get a certain result. You could test the
exact same ionizer in Seattle without altering
the setting or flow rate and you would get
dramatically different results.
Is it the ionizer? No.
It is the water as the main variable in
performance. There is much less pathway in
Seattle's water. To further illustrate
variability, you could alter the voltage or
flow rates through the ionizer in either
Valley Center or Seattle and you would get
different results again.
Lastly, comparing ORP/mV is a tricky business.
Stating absolute values is impossible. Anyone
who really knows and understands ionizers/pH/ORP/mV
would agree. Anyone who states absolutes in
performance proves their ignorance on the science
Further, pH and ORP/mV are not tied to one another.
In other words you can measure ORP/mV in two pH 9
waters and get two very different readings.
Another factor to consider when comparing ORP/mV
is the level of pH you will drink.
Water with a pH over about pH 11 does not taste
good to the vast majority of people. Dr. Young's
research states that the ideal range for drinking
alkaline water is between pH 9.0 and 9.5. Given
this, testing ORP/mV at those levels is where the
real bang for the buck is; ORP/mv at a pH level one
would actually drink.
Therefore, the only salient way to compare ORP/mV
in ionizers is side-by-side, with the same source
water and each machine set to achieve the same
drinkable level of pH. If you drink pH 9.5 then
the ORP/mV you get at pH 9.5 is the effective ORP/mV
in the ionizer. Not some "absolute" or even
extraordinarily low ORP/mV.
So understanding performance is like understanding
a dance between the three variables. Understanding
this dance is crucial to making an informed decision
when purchasing bottled water, an ionizer, and also
in getting the most out of your ionizer's performance.