Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water: Usage, Contra Indications

Drinking hot water is one of the very good habits that suits most of the people. It is especially beneficial during night-time. Here is the original Ayurvedic reference which explains in great detail regarding benefits of hot water.

hot water benefits

अष्टमेनांशशेषेण चतुर्थेन अर्धकेन वा । अथवा क्वथनेनैव सिद्धं उष्णोदकं वदेत ।
श्लेष्म आमवात मेदोघ्नं बस्ति शोधनदीपनं । कासश्वास ज्वरहरं पीतमुष्णोदकं निशि ॥ – शांर्गधर सम्हिता मधयम खण्ड 2/159 – 160

aṣṭamenāṃśaśeṣeṇa caturthena ardhakena vā |
athavā kvathanenaiva siddhaṃ uṣṇodakaṃ vadet |
śleṣma āmavāta medoghnaṃ basti śodhanadīpanaṃ |
kāsaśvāsa jvaraharaṃ pītamuṣṇodakaṃ niśi || – śāṃrgadhara samhitā madhayama khaṇḍa 2/159 – 160
English translation – Hot water is prepared by heating the water till it reduces to one eighth part or quarter part, or half part or just heating water till it reaches boiling point.
1 liter of water can be boiled and reduced to 125 ml or 250 ml or 500 ml or just till it reaches boiling point. More the boiling, more the benefits mentioned below.
Benefits of hot water – Drinking hot water at night time is beneficial in diseases like Kapha related disorders, Amavata (compared to rheumatoid arthritis), decreases fat deposition in the body, cleanses the urinary bladder, useful in the treatment of cough and other respiratory diseases and fever.

How hot water acts?
According to Ayurveda, blockage of different body channels, big and minute, (such as respiratory system, cardiovascular system, etc) by the imbalanced Doshas is one of the major causes of disease manifestation. Hot water avoids this blockage and clears the blockage to an extent. Thus helping in preventing and/or treating diseases.

Hot water health benefits –

  1. It helps to improve digestion and to relieve indigestion.
  2. Hot water drinking at night before bed time is an excellent remedy to clear white coated tongue.
  3. Hot water drinking is one of the major dietary advice in the treatment of cold, cough, respiratory tract infections, Asthma, allergic disorders etc.
  4. Hot water drinking will reduce the frequency of repeated cold attacks especially in children.
  5. Hot water drinking is a very good soar throat remedy.
  6. Drinking a spoon of honey with a glass of water is recommended in obesity treatment.
  7. Whenever you eat oily food stuff, junk food, or consume ghee, drinking hot water will make  your tummy feel lighter. And also, it avoids fat absorption to an extent.
  8. Hot water cleanses bladder. So, it is the natural most and easily available bladder cleanse medicine.
  9. Hot water drinking at night is much recommended in the treatment of fever.
  10. Hot water drinking is highly recommended in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Effect of hot water on Doshas –
Hot water calms Vata and Kapha while it elevates Pitta.
Hot water relieves Aama. One of the root cause for most of the diseases.Some precautions and clarifications:
Regular hot water drinking is not advisable if you often suffer from heat and burning sensation (Pitta body type)
Ayurvedic medicines which are specifically told to be taken along with Hot water 
Generally hot water is advised after taking ghee or oil. It aids in easy digestion and avoids indigestion problem. In Ayuredic treatment with herbal ghees and oils, hot water is the preferred co dring.
Apart from them, there are a few specific Ayurvedic medicines where hot water is the most preferred co drink. they are –
Why hot water is always advised during Panchakarma treatment? 

Panchakarma treatment is the Ayurvedic procedure to relieve toxins, metabolic wastes from the body. It is done for both to maintain health and to relieve disease. There are many rules to follow during Panchakarma procedure, among which using hot water for drinking is very important.

The aim of Panchakarma therapy is to remove the vitiated Doshas (toxins) from the body. This can be likened to getting rid of stains from a vessel. When you want to get rid of very sticky stains from a steel vessel, often you prefer to use hot water rather than cold water. Like, in case of the vessel, in human body also, hot water helps to get rid of the body wastes pretty easily.

Involvement of GIT:In Panchakarma treatment, the gastro intestinal tract is always involved. Hence, digestive system is directly involved in the treatment process. Hence, during Panchakarma treatment, usually patient’s digestion power reduces. That is why, she is advised to take very light, easy-to-digest food items, after the Panchakarma treatment. Hot water tends to improve digestion strength when compared to cold water. Hence using hot water is a must before and after Panchakarma therapy.

Ghee consumption is part of the plan during pre-phase of Panchakarma. Whenever ghee or oily food is consumed, it is always advised to take hot water. It eases digestion and washes off the extra fat from the gut. So, limits its absorption based on body requirement.

Rationale of administering hot water during fever: 
Question: why hot water is administered during fever, though there is excess hotness in the body during fever?
Answer as per Charaka Samhita, Vimana Sthana, 3rd Chapter:
Lord Atreya replied, “Keeping in view physical advise the patient suffering from fever to take hot water so that the immaturely formed Doshas which are responsible for the disease may get matured. The site of origin of fever is Amashaya (stomach).

For the treatment of disease originated from the stomach, usually Pachaka (digestive), as well as emetic (Vamana) and Apatarpana (depleting) drugs are administered. It is because of this that the physician advises the patient suffering from fever to take hot water.

If hot water is taken, this results in a downward movement of Vata (flatus), stimulation of Agni (digestive enzymes), easy digestion (the hot water itself gets easily digested) and drying up of Kapha.

Contra indication of hot water during fever:
Even then, hot water is not given to those patients with excessive vitiation of Pitta or if there is burning sensation, dizziness, delirium and diarrhea. Hot things, lead to the burning sensation, giddiness, delirium and diarrhea. Only cold food and drinks are helpful in this situation.

Additional points by Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat:
Boiled water benefits:

The madanapAlanighaNTu over the context of PAnIyAdivarga explains the specifity and benefits of boiled water as follows.
The water is considered to be boiled properly and is ready for drinking when while boiling the froth subsides, the effervescence gets reduced and the water remains calm and still presenting a clear and transparent appearance of water inside the vessel.
The thus prepared boiled water when served hot or warm is light for digestion; augments the digestive fire and simultaneously cleanses it too.
The  boiled water pacifies all the three doShAs and acts both as digestive and carminative.
In general it is beneficial for persons suffering from pain over the ribs and flanks, rhinitis, distension of abdomen, hiccough due to vagus nerve irritation, vAtakaphaja diseases.

The water boiled until 1/4th (pAda hInaM) from the original quantity gets reduced, pacifies the  vAtaja diseases.
The water boiled until 1/2 (ardha hInaM) from the original quantity gets reduced, pacifies the  pittaja diseases.
The water boiled until 3/4th (tri-pAda hInaM) from the original quantity gets reduced, pacifies the  shleShmaja diseases; increases the agni; is light for digestion and acts good as an absorbent. It further breaks up the attenuation of the kapha from the combination of vAta and controls the vAta too.

In case of indigestion – the boiled water when partaken in hot or warm state over the night time (nishi kAle) increases the digestive capacity immediately and addresses the indigestion with good effect.

The pAdAvasheSha (1/4 reduced) water is to be partaken in summer and autumn seasons.
The ardha hIna (1/2 reduced) water is beneficial to human system when taken in winter, spring and rainy seasons.
Click to consult Dr Rangaprasad Bhat


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Comments

  1. The only uses we knew abt the hot water is that it is given to babies or if we wanted to purify the water.
    So it is advised to take hot water with Ghee consumption ? And How is it advised to take boiled water i.e. hot or warm or cold ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hot water is good for people with cold, cough, fever, and indigestion.
      In Asthma, usually hot water is advised for drinking.
      Hot water is generally recommended when someone eats oily food stuff or consumes ghee / food items made with ghee.
      The hot water – used in this article refers to boiled water, which cools down to luke warm condition.

  2. Gaurav says:

    Drinking warm water throughout the day at one point had helped me relieve chronic constipation. Cold water seems to have a ‘cement’ like effect especially with/after meals which impedes digestion.

  3. Bharat says:

    How long can one keep the boiled water for consumption? How long after it cools down is it still fit for drinking? An ayurvedic doctor told me that one should drink such water within 12-15 hours at most after cooling down. After this it becomes a health risk. Is this true? Could you cite any reference for this aspect if any?

    Thanks in advance,
    Bharat

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Once boiled, the water can be used till 12 hours. Sooner we use up the water, the better.There are two logical thoughts behind this judgement.
      1. When we boil and prepare Kashayam, (infusion / herbal decoction), its shelf life is nearly 12 hours.
      2. When the water cools down, beyond a certain point, there is chance for contamination due to environmental factors.

  4. Ph Kumar says:

    Thank you very for an informative article. I boil water with pathimugam sticks every morning. Which vessel would you suggest for the best benefits altogether. I’m using stainless steel to boil and I keep the hot water in the same until I drink by night. Is that fine?

    Do you think using a copper vessel is more healthy (for boiling and storing) as it may add its own benefits to the water. I appreciate your reply.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, You can store hot water for a period of 12 hours.
      you can use copper vessel and try with a small dose. Some people may feel nausea (vomiting sensation) with water stored in copper vessel. You can also use iron vessel.

  5. Sujata. says:

    Sir,

    I have pitta dosha, should I drink hot water or drink normal tap water. Can I make hot water with cooling herbs like fennel, cumin, coriander, mint leaves and then drink it, will that increase my pitta.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      You can drink cold water or water mixed with coriander seeds. The rest of the spices that you mention are not good for Pitta.
      For further advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      For email advice, please write to our health experts here (paid service) – https://easyayurveda.com/consult/

  6. pranay says:

    Is is beneficial to have ghee in hot water???if yes at wat time should we consume this??

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, it is not a good idea to mix ghee with hot water, before consumption. Consume ghee (or ghee mixed food / dish), then consume hot water.

  7. i was told that Sitopaladi Churna has very different effect depending on the temperature of the water it is taken with. What say you about this?

  8. Can regular daily consumption of boiled, hot water cause skin eruptions like boils?

  9. Tito suresh says:

    sir , can we drink hot water at early morning empty stomach , is it good or bad?

  10. Hi Doctor ji,
    I keep water in a copper jug overnight to drink in the morning. But the water gets too cold to drink. Is it ok to transfer the water into a stainless steel bowl and warm it up on stove? Does it void any benefits? Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  11. Sir, with people with pitta Dosha can we boil and then cool the water and then drink it, will such a boiled and cooled water be beneficial then normal tap water. If it is better, should I drink it cold or warm.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, for pitta people it is better to drink boiled and cooled water. Drink it when it becomes cool.

  12. Santosh says:

    Sir, I have been advised laxako for digestive issues along with gandharvahastadi kashayam and anthrakutharam.but after taking laxakot i feel uneasiness and started burping and having heart burn . Can I take allopathy antacids for acid reflux. My endoscopy results showed mild gastritis

  13. Radhakrishnan says:

    Quantity reduction during boiling has been stated in the most confusing manner possible. Please make it explicit and straight forward….e.g 1 litre to be reduced to 0.5 or 0.25litre…. it should be that simple. Can you redo it ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Thanks for pointing out. I have added below point to the article.
      1 liter of water can be boiled and reduced to 125 ml or 250 ml or 500 ml or just till it reaches boiling point. More the boiling, more the benefits.

  14. R Veeranna says:

    Thank Doctor ji. It is a good information and advice.

  15. Amit gupta says:

    I have acidity problem should l drink hotwater

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