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The Characteristics of Important Liquids and their Adjuvants

1. Water

Pure water is like nectar. It is a vital liquid whose absence can lead to death. Clean and normal water relieves Pitta and minimizes toxic effects, relieves dizziness, burning, indigestion, fatigue, syncope, intoxication and vomiting. It also strengthens the heart. Ayurveda describes several properties of water, which changes according to its state, on being boiled, cooled, boiled and cooled, warmed and cooled. Keep these properties in mind while using water.

• Pure and drinkable water
Rainwater that does not fall on the ground is pure and considered to be the best water if collected properly. Water available from the second rains of the monsoon are more pure, as the first rains of the monsoon wash along with it all the impurities and pollutants present in the environment. Due to the mixing of impurities into the rainwater upon reaching the earth’s surface, its purity level changes. It adopts the properties and impurities of the place (rivers, lakes and other such places) being mixed in. Spring water obtained from the earth is another pure form of water after rainwater, but it is not commonly available. Thereafter, water of the falls located at pollution free places is also a natural and pure form of water. Pure water in its natural form is not available for everyone, hence normal water can be used after it has been treated, boiled and cooled. Such water is also as useful as naturally available, pure water. Boiling purifies water which then becomes light, elevates the digestive fire, becomes a good medium for digestion and acquires the ability to calm vitiated dosas.

• Time, quantity and the method of water intake
Drinking water at the right time, in the right way and in an appropriate quantity are very important factors. Excessive water intake weakens the power of digestion, resulting in improper digestion. On the other hand, drinking very little or no water at all also hampers the digestion. It leads to the development of various ailments due to lack of urination and waste elimination, which causes an accumulation of toxic wastes in the body. Ayurveda emphasizes drinking a little water at frequent intervals rather than a lot at one go. This fulfills the water requirement of the body and it also boosts digestive power. Water acts as a medicine during bouts of indigestion.
Drinking water after the digestion of food lends strength to the body. Drinking water before eating weakens the digestive power and results in debility. A few sips of water taken between meals boosts digestion and increases the life-span. Water taken an hour after a meal strengthens the body and increases the body mass. Avoid drinking water at least half an hour before a meal. Obese people should drink water between meals and a feeble person after a meal (at least after half an hour has elapsed). Others should drink water one hour after the meal. Water intake immediately after a meal is harmful for obese and physically strong people. On the other hand, water taken between meals works as nectar. One should consume buttermilk immediately after lunch.

Water intake is beneficial for everyone in all situations, but under certain conditions its quantity should be reduced, such as anorexia, excessive salivation, diabetes, weak digestion, obstinate abdominal ailments (especially ascites), edema, kidney dysfunctioning, chronic cold, tuberculosis, eye ailments, skin diseases such as leprosy and wounds. No water intake also leads to various disorders. If the quantity of water is determined on the basis of circumstances, only then is it advantageous. In Vata and Kapha disorders and in obesity warm water is beneficial, whereas in Pitta aggravation cold water is effective. In some conditions warm or hot water is effective and beneficial, whereas in others cold water acts as nectar. Cold water is useful in indigestion and burning in the stomach because it soothes and strengthens digestion, but it is harmful in bronchial asthma, cold and cough. It elevates the problem. Keeping this fact in mind, it becomes necessary to understand the qualities and effects of different types of water.

Prohibition of water intake immediately after meal
Do not drink water immediately after a meal as it obstructs the assimilation of nutrients during digestion and its absorption by different body elements. It is especially not recommended in ailments of the head due to aggravation of Vata, hiccoughs, cough, bronchial asthma and tuberculosis. In head ailments, drinking water after meals causes further aggravation of Vata. Normally the oil present in the food calms the Vata, but water which is cold in attribute vitiates Vata.
Singers, speakers, teachers or students who have to strain their vocal cords more than usual should avoid drinking water after meals, as it washes off the essential oils taken in with a meal. These oils are soothing and on their removal the throat becomes dry leading to soreness in the throat.

• Coldwater
Cold water is effective during syncope, dizziness, fatigue, dyspnoea (breathlessness), aggravated Pitta, burning sensation, blood vitiation, poisoning, intoxication, vomiting and bleeding, for example from the nose. It also boosts digestion. However, cold water aggravates anorexia, distension, flatulence, sprue syndrome, cold (coryza), sore throat, congestion, bronchial asthma, cough, hiccoughs, pain in the ribs, cataract and is detrimental after eating oily foods (clarified butter, oil, butter and other such products).

• Hot water
Hot water is light. It boosts the digestive power and alleviates digestive disorders. It pacifies chronic cold, hiccoughs, distension, flatulence and the effects of aggravated Vata. Boiled water is pure and free of all disease-causing elements. Water boiled and reduced to three-fourth of its original quantity acquires properties to pacify Vata and eradicates Vata engendered diseases. Half the original amount of water left after boiling is called usna (hot water). It is always beneficial and rectifies tridosa (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and associated diseases. It purifies urine and is favorable in bronchial asthma, cough, fever and digestive problems. Drinking hot water at night dissolves accumulated Kapha and aids in elimination of Vata and excretory problems.
One-fourth of the original quantity of water left after boiling is called arogyambu. It is always beneficial, light, easily absorbable and also strengthens digestive fire (jatharagni). If taken hot, arogyambu relieves constipation, flatulence, distension in the stomach, severe stomachache, anemia, shooting pain, piles, abdominal swelling, vomiting, colitis, diarrhea, dysentry, fever, edema, rib pain, bronchial asthma, cough, hiccoughs, excessive thirst and Vata and Kapha aggravation. It also purifies urine.
Boiled water after cooling is called srtasita. It is effective in diarrhea, intoxication, poisoning, vomiting, dizziness, syncope, excessive thirst, burning sensation, vitiated Pitta and blood, Kapha and Vata engendered diseases, problems associated with intake of alcoholic substances and simultaneous aggravation of all three dosas (sannipata).
Cover the water container after boiling and let it cool. Such water becomes very light. It does not cause blockage in the srotas and alleviates aggravation of all three dosas, worm infestations, excessive thirst and fever.
Boiled water when cooled by transferring it from one container to another is called dharasita. It becomes heavy as air flows within it. This water requires time for absorption and may cause constipation. Boiled water becomes heavy if kept for 12 hours or more and is not easily absorbed. It also aggravates all three dosas.

This post was syndicated from Free Press Journal. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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