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.
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
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.
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 –
- It helps to improve digestion and to relieve indigestion.
- Hot water drinking at night before bed time is an excellent remedy to clear white coated tongue.
- Hot water drinking is one of the major dietary advice in the treatment of cold, cough, respiratory tract infections, Asthma, allergic disorders etc.
- Hot water drinking will reduce the frequency of repeated cold attacks especially in children.
- Hot water drinking is a very good soar throat remedy.
- Drinking a spoon of honey with a glass of water is recommended in obesity treatment.
- 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.
- Hot water cleanses bladder. So, it is the natural most and easily available bladder cleanse medicine.
- Hot water drinking at night is much recommended in the treatment of fever.
- Hot water drinking is highly recommended in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
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)
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.
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