Cold VS Warm

The Ayurvedic science recommends to drink a big glass of warm, boiled water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. For us Europeans this usually is an effort since we are used to drinking cool or even cold water, at most water at room temperature.

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Why warm water?
Anything that we ingest has to be brought up to body temperature by our bodies; hot food and drinks have to be cooled down, cold ones have to be raised in temperature. All these assimilation processes require energy, which in turn is taken away from our digestive power. And ideal digestion so is granted when we ingest something that has more or less the same temperature as our body.

Apart from that, also water has to be digested by the organism. The process takes different lenghts of time, depending on the water temperature. Water, that is drunk at 38-40° is being digested within 1-3 hours. Water at room temperature stays in the body for about 3-6 hours, cold water can remain in the body even longer. Hot water on the other hand passes very quickly.

What does cold water do to our body?
During meals Ayurveda recommends to avoid cool or cold drinks. A glas of warm herbal tea or warm water on the other hand can promote the absorption of nutrients and is particularly helpful when eating lots of dry foods.
Cold water has Vata increasing properties and thus disturbs a healthy digestion. Also, it has a negative effect on our heart function and can lead to damaging disturbances. Ayurveda uses cold water (like very hot water as well on the other hand) for cases of extreme poisoning.

How does warm water act in the body?
To have a glas of warm lemon water with honey in the early morning reduces Kapha. Hot or warm (see below) water (boiled for about 15-30 minutes in order to neutralize it) should be drank throughout the day on a regular base. Adding some fresh slices of ginger increases the Kapha-reducing effect.

Drinking warm water promotes Agni, our digestive fire (neutralized water or ginger tea). For a weight reducing effect the water has to be hot.

Water for the Doshas
Water represents Soma, a cooling and nourishing quality, which is associated to lunar energy. It counteracts the dryness of Vata, cools and balances Pitta and supports Kapha.
Water on one side nourishes, on the other hand cleanses during extretion. It has many healing properties such as glowing skin, prevention of constipation, increase ot stamina, calms the heart and many more. Often, the micro channels in our body are constipated by Ama (waste products). In order to cleanse them and increase the body’s liquid resorption, the Ayurvedic scripts recommend to boil water to make it therapeutical (Ushnodaka).
Water is being charged with energy and thus gets a sharper quality. This sharpness leads the water deeper into our physiology and helps to flush out impurites and toxins.
Adding spices has an additional effekt on a molecular level. This kind of water is resorbed even faster by the body.

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