When And When Not To Drink Hot Water

When And When Not To Drink Hot Water

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.

How To Make Hot Water According To Ayurveda

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 called ushno udaka or boiled water.1

Ushno means boiled and udaka means water. 

When And When Not To Drink Hot 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

READ MORE: The Water You Swim In: An Ayurvedic Guide To Pools, Mountain Water And More

Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water According To Ayurveda3

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 of meda or fat. Meda can 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. It is also easy to digest.

When And When Not To Drink Hot Water

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.

READ MORE: What Ginger Water (Ginger Tea) Can Do For You

The Rule Of Drinking Hot Water According To The Seasons5

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.

Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water At Night6

Drinking hot water at night is helpful in Kapha related disorders. It is helpful in decreasing Vata related problems. It also gives relief from indigestion and promotes digestion of food.

Contraindications

According to Ayurveda, hot water should not be given in the following conditions.

Rakta Pitta

Rakta pitta is 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

Achalasia

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

Colonoscopy

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.

READ MORE: Easy 4 Step Ayurvedic Weight Loss Plan + Home Remedies For Overweight

References

  1. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, atha ushana varina guna, sh. no.1, p. No. 93, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  2. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, atha ushana varina guna, sh. no. 3, p. No. 94, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  3. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, atha ushana varina guna, sh. no. 2, p. No. 94, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  4. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, atha ushana varina guna, sh. no. 4, p. No. 94, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  5. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, ritu visheshe jala kwatha niyama, sh. no. 1, p. No. 94, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  6. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, ratri sevito ushno udaka guna, sh. no. 1, p. No. 94, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  7. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, atha ushana varina guna, sh. no.5, p. No. 93, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  8. Yogaratnakara with Vidyotini Hindi commentary, purva ardhagata, ushana udaka nishedha, sh. no.1, p. No. 93, by Vaidya Shri Lakshmipati Shastri, Chaukhambha prakashan,2017.
  9. Park, Moo In. “Hot water swallows may improve symptoms in patients with achalasia” Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility vol. 18,4 (2012): 355.
  10. Saketkhoo, K, et al. “Effects of Drinking Hot Water, Cold Water, and Chicken Soup on Nasal Mucus Velocity and Nasal Airflow Resistance.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1978, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/359266/.
  11. Lee, H, et al. “Effectiveness of Warm Water Consumption to Reduce Patient Discomfort during Colonoscopy: a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19638968.

 

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Dr. Alka Sharma, BAMS is an Ayurvedic practitioner and an avid learner of the field. She graduated with a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar, Punjab in India. She has been practicing Ayurvedic medicine and doing related work for the last six years. She works as an independent consultant in Ayurveda through online consultancy services. She has a personal app on the Google play store where she consults patients on their health problems following the Ayurveda medical sciences. She additionally has a Masters degree in Business Administration for Health Sciences from Sikkim Manipal University (SMU), India.

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