Drinking hot water is a famous Ayurvedic remedy to maintain wellbeing. Many people follow it because it’s easy to do, but it’s actually not advisable to drink hot water all the time. So how do you know when and when not to drink hot water?
In the Ayurvedic texts there are detailed descriptions about hot water. Keep reading to learn how to make hot water according to the Ayurvedic texts. How to make hot water?!? Yes, that’s correct. Not all hot water is the same. We’ll also tell you when to drink hot water and when not to drink hot water.
Not all hot water is the same.
In Ayurveda, hot water does not mean when water comes to a boil, then drink it. In the Ayurvedic texts there is a method to heating water. Here are four.
Method No. 1
If you can, boil water over a fire. Do not microwave water if you have other options available like a stovetop.
Boil the water until half the amount of water remains. When there is no froth and no movement in the water and it becomes clear, it is calledushno udakaor boiled water.1
Ushnomeans boiled and udakameans water.
Method No. 2
In addition to this general method, the Ayurvedic texts also provide other ways of boiling hot water.
Boil water over a flame until one fourth the amount of water is boiled off and one third the amount of water remains.This water is easy to digest. This water is helpful in managing problems related to Vata dosha.2
Method No. 3
Take some amount of water and bring to a boil over a flame. Boil until half the amount of water remains. Then take this remaining half water for drinking.
This water is helpful in balancing Vata and Pitta dosha.2
Method No. 4
Boil some amount of water over a flame. When three parts of water are boiled off and only one fourth of the water remains, then the remaining water can be used for drinking.
This water is helpful in balancing all three dosha.2
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According to Ayurveda there are many benefits of drinking ushno udaka or boiled water.
Drinking hot water is helpful in management of Kapha dosha and Vata dosha. It is helpful in management ofmeda or fat.Medacan be correlated with the fatty tissue. So drinking hot water can be helpful in management of overweight conditions and obesity.
Hot water is helpful in improving indigestion. It increases digestive strength. It is helpful in cleansing the urinary bladder. Hot water is helpful in cough and cold.
It is helpful in asthma and chronic respiratory problems. Hot water is helpful in the management of fever. Itis also easy to digest.
Here’s another interesting method of preparing hot water. This is also mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. Take a stone of soil or clay. Heat this stone over a fire. Then put this heated stone in the water.
The hot water made by this method is useful in balancing all three dosha.This hot water is easy to digest and is always healthy.4
This method may sound more appropriate to old times when people used to live in forests and it was easy to locate an appropriate stone. Also those people are more aware about the quality of stones.
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The Ayurvedic texts explain the amount of hot water that should be consumed according to the seasons.
In late autumn and the pre-winter season (hemanta ritu), one should boil off one fourth of the water and use the remaining 3/4 hot water for drinking.
In winter (sisira ritu), spring (vasanta ritu) and summer (grisma ritu) one should boil water until half remains.
In the rainy season (varsa ritu), boil the water until 1/8 part remains.
In autumn or fall (sarad ritu), boil off only 1/8 part of the water and use the remaining hot water for drinking. Essentially, water should be boiled to a lesser extent in autumn or fall, compared to other seasons.
Drinking hot water at night is helpful in Kapha related disorders. It is helpful in decreasing Vata related problems. Italso gives relief from indigestion and promotes digestion of food.
According to Ayurveda, hot water should not be given in the following conditions.
Rakta pittais a bleeding disorder where bleeding occurs due to vitiated Pitta dosha from various orifices of the body.7
Old Boiled Water
Water which is boiled during the day should not be consumed at night and water boiled at night should not be consumed during the day.8 According to Ayurveda, water which is boiled in the day time becomes heavier at night time. Similarly, water which is boiled at night becomes heavier the following day.
Clinical studies show that drinking hot water is helpful in patients with achalasia. Achalasia is a condition where food and liquids pass with difficulty into the stomach.
Hot water improves esophageal symptoms.Esophageal clearance is accelerated after drinking hot water. Also, the amplitude and duration of esophageal body contractions were decreased by drinking hot water in people with esophageal motility disorders.
However these are small clinical studies. Further well-controlled studies are required to recommend this simple maneuver as a lifestyle modification.9
Nasal Mucous Velocity
A clinical study showed that drinking hot water is helpful in increasing nasal mucus velocity, compared to cold water.10
Consumption of warm water before un-sedated colonoscopy is helpful in reducing patient discomfort.
A clinical study done on three groups of 64 people each showed that intake of warm water before un-sedated colonoscopy reduces procedure related pain and technical difficulty, especially in patients who are young or have irritable bowel syndrome.11
The first group was instructed to drink two liters of warm water and 90 ml of sodium phosphate (NaP) solution before colonoscopy. The second group was instructed to drink two liters of cold water and 90 ml of NaP solution. The third group was instructed to take 90 ml of NaP solution without any additional water.
It was observed that the first group experienced less pain at the sigmoid colon and splenic flexure during colonoscopy. The level of discomfort two hours after the completion of endoscopy was also lower for this group.
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