The choice between hot water bath or cold water bath can make or break your health. The choice between these to is subjective. The choice needs to be made considering various points such as age, body constitution, season, the age-old practice, habit, disease condition etc. Here is a description about how to make that choice.
How to choose between hot and cold water for bath?
what Ayurveda says?
Based on Body type –
If you are of Pitta body type, then it is better to use cold water for bath rather than hot water.
If you are of Kapha or Vata body type, then it is better to use hot water rather.
Based on disease –
For patients with Pitta diseases such as liver disorders, indigestion,burning sensation etc, cold water bath is good.
For patients with kapha disorders such respiratory diseases, allergies, cough, cold, etc and for Vata disease such as joint pains, foot pain, arthritis, etc, hot water bath is preferable.
For patients of epilepsy, it is better to avoid both hot and cold water bath. Luke warm water is good for them for bathing.
Based on age:
For young children and for people of old age, hot water is good.
For youngsters cold water is good.
For students, who wish to dedicate more time for studies, with limited sleeping hours and increased alertness, cold water bath early in the morning is beneficial, provided they do not have any health complaints.
Hot water during winter and cold water during summer is good.
Time in the day –
If in the morning, cold water is fine, but if you take bath in the night, after a tiresome day, nothing is as refreshing as a hot water bath. the evening time is dominated by Vata, hence hot water is beneficial.
If you exercise regularly, then hot water is preferable.
If you are habituated with daily oil massage (which indeed is a very good habit), then taking bath after half an hour of the oil massage is really good.
A few of the practitioners advise to take alternative hot and cold water baths. which is very fine.
Irrespective of above rules, or any other rules that exists, if you are accustomed for hot or cold water, over a period of time, then it is the natural choice of your body and that is good for you.
A quick tip:
For good skin health, add a few leaves of neem, a little sandal wood to the water and leave it for a while and take bath.