Water – the Elixir of Life

75% of earth’s area is covered by water. Water is the major component of all living beings and it is the major constituent of human cells. Ayurveda considers water (aap or jala) as one of panchamahabhutas. ( Panchamahabhutas constitute human body). Water provides a good medium for most of the biological processes that happen in living beings. Dehydration or loss of water from body causes dry skin, lowered energy, muscle cramps, reduced alertness and affects vital organs.

Potable water:

Water which is not harmful to health and has all qualities to serve as drinking water is called as potable water. The potable water must be free from heavy metals, suspended particles and pathogens like bacteria.

Ayurveda recommends rain water which is devoid of impurities, microbes as pure potable water. This is called as “Gangambu”. Such rain water is healthy, refreshing, cools body, increases alertness and satiates taste buds. The properties of pure Gangabu or rain water are narrated as follows.

“Jeevanam tarpanam hridyam hlaadi buddhiprabhodhanam |
Tanvavyaktarasam mrushtam sheetam laghvamrutopamam||”

In present environmental scenario the polluted sky, dusty winds, chemicals spewed from industries get dissolved with rain water causing acid rains. It is not advisable to drink such rain water. Even in ayurveda it has been mentioned that rain water has to be used after analyzing its purity.

The water contaminated with mud, weeds, algae and microbes is referred as “Dushtajala” in ayurveda. Dushtajala or contaminated water should not be used for any purpose as it is harmful to living beings.

Benefits of cold and warm water an – ayurvedic view

Ayurveda explains properties of cold water as follows

“Sheetam madaatyayaglaanimoorchaachardishramabhramaan || Trushnadaahapittasravishanyambu niyacchati ||”

Cold water reduces intoxication of alcohol. It relieves fatigue, giddiness, vomiting sensation and quenches thirst. It alleviates symptoms of increased pitta, rakta and poison.

Deepanam paachanam kantyam laghushnam basthi shodhanam ||
Hidmaadmaanaanilashleshmasadyahashuddhinavajware |
Kaasaampinasashwaasapaarshwarukshu cha shasyate |

Hot water kindles hunger, helps in good digestion, sooths throat, cleanses bladder, reduces hiccups, and alleviates increased vata and kapha. Hot water is recommended during panchakarma therapy. It eases symptoms of cold, cough, fevers and breathlessness.
It removes and flushes ama, the metabolic toxin of body.

Persons who drink plenty of water regularly enjoy the following benefits.

Healthy glowing skin: A well hydrated skin prevents dry skin and formation of wrinkles. Increased water intake moisturizes the skin from inside. It maintains the elasticity of skin and gives young looks. Water acts as a fountain of youth.

Keeps Cardio Vascular system healthy: Researches have revealed that, drinking water regularly reduces the risk of heart diseases. The scientists say that dehydration increases the viscosity of blood and plasma which are risk factors of heart disease.

Good Digestion: Water is very essential for digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. Well hydrated body cells function normally and efficiently. Water helps in expelling waste products produce during metabolism.

No Constipation: Inadequate consumption of water and lack of fiber in diet cause constipation. Drinking 14 glasses of water per day along with good fiber diet ease bowel movement and relieve constipation.

Alert mind: Dehydration can affect mental alertness. Frequent ingestion of water keeps the mind alert and prevents dizziness which occur due to dehydration..

Regular Detoxification: In resent years our environment is full of toxins like pesticides, industrial wastes, vehicle exhausts etc. These toxins enter human body and get collected in tissues. Drinking lot of water help to eliminate these toxins from body. Hence drinking clean and pure water regularly in large quantities help to flush these toxins and prevent diseases which arise from accumulation of these toxins.

Apart from the benefits mentioned above , water regulates body temperature and boosts the immunity of body. Sports persons are always advised to drink plain water instead of aerated drinks.

Home remedies using water

• Drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water per day flushes the toxins from body, hydrates the skin well and reduces wrinkles, makes dry skin soft and prevents acne and pimples.
• Spraying water frequently on face and body helps to keep dry skin soft and smooth.
• Drinking a glass of water before every meal helps in weight reduction.
• Drinking plenty of water help to reduce dark circles.
• Good water intake keeps headaches at bay.
• Warm water consumption eases discomforts caused due to bronchitis and arthritis.
• Drinking ½ glass of warm water once in 2 hours helps in indigestion.
• Consuming water in between meals help in good digestion.