Water is the sustainer of life of all living beings. The entire world is full of it. Water acts like nectar either pure or medicated, cooked or uncooked , hot or cold if used wisely. Ayurveda, a 5,000 years old holistic system, believes that the choices we make on a daily basis effect our bodies ability to develop or destroy disease. Most of us consider cold water as rejuvenator and more energiser and are not fond of drinking warm water unless caught by common cold, fever and other hazards. Well, being an ayurvedic medicine student while going through types and health benefits of all the liquid foods in some classical ayurvedic texts, there I got to find warm water has much of health benefits. I had the crave for it I decided to research it to see whether there were any benefits associated with it. The feel of warm water is amazing; it transforms your whole body system.
Ayurveda views agni as the very source of life and has mentions that impaired agni is at the root of every imbalances and diseases. Ayurveda endorses the fact that drinking warm water the secret to good health and clear skin. Warm water is nature’s most powerful home remedy and minimizes digestive problems.
Acharya Vagbhat has explained about Ushna Jala (warm water) on his text – Ashtanga Hridaya (Classical Ayurvedic Text- 7th century) Sutrasthana chapter 5 as:
dīpanamaṃ pācanaṃ kaṇṭhyaṃ laghūṣṇambastiśodhanam ll (A.H.S 5/16 )
hidhmādhmānānilaśleṣmasadya:śuddhinavajvarekāsāmapīnasaśvāsapāśrrvarukṣuca śasyate ll (A.H.S 5/17)
This classical verse states that:
Warm water has the properties of :
Deepana : Stimulates hunger,
Pachana : helps digestion,
Kanthya : good for the throat,
Laghu : easily digested,
Basti shodhana : cleanses the urinary bladder,
Hidhma : relieves hiccup,
Adhmana : flatulence
Anila : aggrevation of vata
Sleshma : aggravation of kapha
It is ideal on the days of Panchakarma Therapy.
Navavjara: fever of recent origin
kasa : cold, cough
Ama : accumulation of undigested materials,
Peenassa : rhinitis(running nose)
Shwasa : dyspnoea and
Parshvaruja : pain in the flanks.
Acharya Charaka has also described the role of hot water in management of Jvara (Fever):
jvaritasyakāyasamutthānadeśakālānabhisamīkṣya pācanārthaṃ pānīyamuṣṇaṃ prayacchanti bhiṣajaḥ| jvaro hyāmāśayasamutthaḥ, prāyobheṣajāni cāmāśayasamutthānāṃ vikārāṇāṃ pācanavamanāpatarpaṇasamarthānibhavanti; pācanārthaṃca pānīyamuṣṇaṃ, tasmādetajjvaritebhyaḥprayacchanti bhiṣajo bhūyiṣṭham| taddhi teṣāṃ pītaṃvātamanulomayati, agniṃ codaryamudīrayati,| kṣipraṃ jarāṃ gacchati, śleṣmāṇaṃpariśoṣayati, svalpamapi ca pītaṃ trṣṇāpraśamanāyopakalpate; tathāyuktamapicaitannātyarthotsannapitte jvaresadāhabhramapralāpātisāre vā pradeyam, uṣṇena hi dāhabhramapralāpātisārā bhūyo:’bhivardhante, śītenacopaśā, śītena copaśāmyantīti || (Cha.Vi. 3/40)
As the fever is relieved by cold articles, hot water is prescribed to the patient suffering from fever instead of cold water to help them with their digestion. Moreover, fever arises from amashaya (stomach) and the remedies usually used for disorders arise from the stomach with digestive, emetic and depletive properties.
Ingestion of hot beverages helps to expel gas, stimulates digestive power, digests (the ingested beverage) quickly, dries up the mucus, and relieves thirst when taken even in a smaller quantity.
Nevertheless, hot drinks should not be administered in fevers which are due to exacerbation of pitta-dominant symptoms such as fevers accompanied with excessive burning sensations, giddiness, delirium, and diarrhoea, since these disorders are greatly aggravated by hot measures. Such ailments require cold fomentation or cold treatments.
Some mentions and indications of warm water are found in classical ayurvedic texts as:
- Hot water shouldn’t be used for Achamana (intake of a sip of water). Achamana is done before commencing worship of god and after riding a chariot. (A.S.S. 3/12)
- Luke warm water is indicated for Gandusa Therapy (gargling with mouth full of liquid). Gandusa is useful to prevent cracking and roughness of the lips, dryness of mouth, diseases of teeth and disorders of voice. Luke warm water will make the mouth clean and healthy. (A.S.S. 3/31)
- Water from different source should not be drunk till the digestion of first water; & if uncooked water taken previously has not been digested, cooked water should bot be taken over it and vice versa. (A.S.S. 6/29)
- Water undergoes Madhura Vipaka and sita veerya even though used hot. So, hot water should be avoided as it is Laghu (light) and causes no harm in small quantity. Patients of Ama (indigestion), and other digestive problems should drink warm water to moisten the food. The food liquefied by hot water undergoes quick digestion. (A.S.S.6/35)
- Warm water is considered as the best Anupana (after drink) after consuming foods made from pista (flour) and are hardly digestible. (A.S.S. 10/44)
- Warm water mixed with salt should be given for emesis to the patient suffering from indigestion. (A.S.S. 11/22)
Many individuals are becoming health conscious and many tends to stay healthy with their daily intakes.I have been prescribing people to drink warm water as it rejuvenates and energizes the body. Also it maintains electrochemical balance in the body and also continues the calorie burning process.
You can maintain your optimum health with regular intake of warm water. Lastly, I’d recommend you to take warm water and be healthy.