Infused water is making the rounds as the new refreshing drink that can provide you a whole lot of benefits and be refreshing. But did you know that the concept of infused water was there in traditional ayurvedic medicine ages ago? Water is considered as a powerful therapeutic tool in Ayurveda. In fact, in the ayurvedic tradition, there are many types of water that are described. Well water, pond water, rain water and so on. Each is considered to have a different therapeutic value. In Ayurveda, Water represents ‘soma’ which is the nourishing, cooling quality that is often associated with the moon’s energy. In India tradition, the moon-god is also referred to as ‘somanatha’. This cooling quality helps digest, cool and balance the fiery Pitta dosha, supports the watery Kapha and counteracts the dryness of Vata dosha. It nurtures, lubricates and also detoxifies when it flows out of the body as urine.
Water Benefits According To Ayurveda
Water, when properly absorbed by the body, has several healing qualities: -Eliminates fatigue (Shramnashana) -Enhances glow of skin -Prevents constipation -Increases stamina -Provides satisfaction -Helps the heart by pacifying Sadhaka Pitta -Aids digestion -Cooling to the body -Easy to assimilate -Life-giving -Acts as an Antioxidant
Cleansing or Detox Routine Using Ayurveda
Some people have unquenchable thirst even when they drink lots of water throughout the day. Usually, they also have dry and cracked skin. This indicates that the body is not able to get enough moisture. The Reason? This occurs when the person’s agni is low and the ama (toxins) block the microchannels (shrotas) which carry water to the cells. In order to cleanse the channels and enhance moisture absorption, ayurvedic texts recommend boiling the water for a certain amount of specified time, thus creating a therapeutic water called ushnodaka. Alternatively, another method using spices or herbs to water after boiling also works.
How Does Water Detox In Ayurveda Work?
When the water boils, it gets charged with heat molecules and attains a sharp, penetrating quality (sukshama). This quality enables the water to cleanse the body channels and penetrate into the deeper levels of the physiology. Adding spices to this adds an additional therapeutic effect by interacting with the water on the molecular level. Spices help create different effects on the body through their unique aroma and taste. The body is able to easily flush out toxins and impurities due to the sharpness of heat (agni) in the boiled water and the spices. After it cleanses the channels, the water can now travel through the body, hydrate tissues and eliminate any toxins from the dhatus (body tissues). Reference from ancient ayurvedic texts regarding the rate of absorption of regular water, boiled water and herbal water. Regular water: takes 6 hours to get absorbed if channels are clear. Boiled and cooled water: takes 3 hours to be absorbed, and helps open any blocked channels. Hot herbalized water: takes about 1 1/2 hours to get absorbed.
Infused Water For Your Dosha
An ayurvedic expert can design a therapeutic water recipe to give a specific benefit. One water recipe might enhance immunity while another might cleanse the skin or help with a prostate imbalance. You can also choose a spice-water recipe for your body type or imbalances. Following are Ayurveda infused water recipes you can try.
Vata Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 3 leaves mint 1/2 tsp. fennel seed 1/4 tsp. marshmallow root Place the water in a thermos and sip it throughout the day at a warm but not hot temperature.
Pitta Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 1/4 tsp. fennel seed 2 rose buds 1 clove Store it hot inside a thermos, but before drinking pour it into a cup and let it cool to room temperature in summer. In winter, it can be had slightly warm
Kapha Balancing Water
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 3 holy basil leaves 2 thin slices of fresh ginger 1/4 tsp. of cumin 1/2 tsp. of fennel Place the water and spices in a thermos, and sip the water at a hot or warm temperature throughout the day.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
There are many factors that influence this. One’s age, the amount of physical work, exercise, weather, diet, stress, herbal food supplements and body type (dosha). The warm Pitta types usually are thirstier than the watery Kapha types. Vata types are often constipated or have dry skin and thus need to drink more water. The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommend two quarts of spice water a day, but this may differ individually. Make your spice water first thing in the morning and sip it every fifteen minutes throughout the day. Drink plain water after 7:00 p.m., as spice-water is too active to drink right before you sleep. If you don’t finish the spice water by 7 p.m, throw it out and make a fresh batch in the morning. Of course, you will have to drink plain water during the day after from the spice water. If you have been exercising and need to drink a full glass of water, it’s better to drink plain water rather than the spice water.
Drinking Water During Meals
Ayurvedic texts recommend sipping plain water at meals, but this is only because ayurvedic food already contains spices. Too much would overwhelm the body. On the other hand, if you are eating a plain meal without spices, then the spice water will help digestion. The amount of water you drink depends on what you eat. If you are eating high-water based foods like soups and dals you need less water. Dry foods like crackers or rice will need more water intake. Water at meals can be room temperature or hot, depending on your body type, but should never be ice-cold, as that would douse the digestive fire. You can drink a lot of plain water 45 minutes after your meal if you feel thirsty.