Updated: Jul 7
Like all health protocols, Ayurveda places great importance on the role of water in maintaining overall health and well-being. However, there’s quite a difference between conventional wellness recommendations and Ayurvedic recommendations.
Here are some key principles from Ayurveda regarding drinking water:
· Quality of Water: It is generally recommended to drink water that is free from contaminants, such as pollutants, chemicals, or microorganisms. Filtered or boiled water is often preferred. · Quantity of Water: The amount of water one should drink varies based on individual constitution (dosha), environmental factors, and activity levels. As a general guideline, Ayurveda suggests drinking water when thirsty and ensuring regular intake throughout the day to prevent dehydration. · Drinking Habits: Ayurveda advises against gulping large amounts of water in a single sitting, as it can interfere with digestion and weaken the digestive fire (agni). Instead, sipping water gradually and mindfully is recommended. It is also suggested to avoid drinking too much water during meals, as it can dilute digestive juices. · Warm Water Benefits: Consuming warm or room temperature water is considered better than very cold water. Warm water is believed to enhance digestion, stimulate the removal of toxins, and promote healthy circulation. · Herbal Water Infusions: Ayurveda encourages infusing water with various herbs and spices to enhance its therapeutic properties. For example, ginger, mint, coriander, or fennel seeds can be added to water to support digestion, alleviate bloating, or improve overall health. · Individual Considerations: Each person has a unique constitution (dosha) and suggests adjusting water intake accordingly. For instance, individuals with a predominantly Pitta dosha may benefit from slightly cooler water, while those with a Vata dosha may prefer warmer water to balance their constitution.
It is important to note that while Ayurveda offers valuable insights on various aspects of health, including water consumption, it should not replace medical advice. It is always advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance on health-related matters.
Does Ayurveda recommend 8 glasses of water a day?
Nope! Ayurveda does not provide a specific recommendation for drinking a fixed number of glasses of water per day, such as the commonly mentioned "8 glasses" guideline. Instead, Ayurveda emphasizes an individualized approach, taking into consideration factors like a person's constitution (dosha), climate, activity levels, and overall health. Therefore, the optimal amount of water intake can vary from person to person. The emphasis is more on paying attention to one's thirst and maintaining proper hydration throughout the day. Many times when we think we are hungry, we may actually be thirsty! Before grabbing that snack, drink a revitalizing glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if you feel satisfied! Chances are, you may be fine Drinking water when thirsty is considered a natural and intuitive way to maintain fluid balance in the body. Additionally, observing the color and quality of urine can also provide indications of hydration levels. Unless you are on medications, a bright cheery yellow is NOT what you want. You want a very light yellow color. It is worth noting that the concept of "8 glasses" or a specific quantity of water per day is a general guideline often suggested in modern Western recommendations for hydration. While it can serve as a rough guideline, Ayurveda takes a more nuanced and individualized approach to determine the appropriate amount of water intake for each person.
Why is iced water considered bad in Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, iced or very cold water is generally considered to have a negative impact on digestion and overall health. Here are a few reasons why Ayurveda suggests avoiding excessive consumption of iced water:
· Impaired Digestion:
According to Ayurveda, our digestive fire (agni) is responsible for the proper digestion and assimilation of food. Consuming iced water, especially during or immediately after meals, is believed to dampen this digestive fire and hinder the efficient breakdown and absorption of nutrients. It may dilute all those digestive enzymes needed to break down the food!
· Aggravates Vata Dosha:
Vata dosha is associated with the qualities of cold, dryness, and movement. Drinking iced water is considered to increase the Vata dosha, leading to potential imbalances such as gas, bloating, and irregular digestion.
· Constriction of Blood Vessels:
Cold water has a constricting effect on blood vessels, which can impact circulation and the efficient transport of nutrients throughout the body. Ayurveda encourages warm or room temperature water, as it is believed to support healthy circulation and optimal nutrient absorption.
· Mucus Production:
Ayurveda suggests that consuming cold water can lead to an increase in mucus production in the body, potentially leading to congestion, colds, and respiratory issues. Especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may be better off with room temperature or warm water.
While we discourage the excessive consumption of iced water, it's important to note that occasional consumption of cold water is not necessarily considered harmful. Ayurveda focuses on finding a balance and recommends mindful consumption of warm or room temperature water for optimal digestion and overall well-being.
There are some delicious herbal water infusions, known as "Ayurvedic tea" or "herbal teas," that can be beneficial for health and well-being. Each has different benefits and each is ideal for different seasons or doshas.
· Cumin Water: Cumin (Jeera) water is a popular Ayurvedic infusion that aids digestion. It is made by boiling a teaspoon of cumin seeds in water and allowing it to cool. This infusion can be consumed throughout the day to support healthy digestion and alleviate bloating. · Ginger Water: Ginger (Adrak) water is widely used in Ayurveda for its digestive and warming properties. It can be prepared by boiling a few slices of fresh ginger in water, then letting it steep and cool. Ginger water is believed to stimulate digestion, relieve nausea, and support overall well-being. · Mint Water: Mint (Pudina) water is refreshing and helps in digestion. It can be made by adding fresh mint leaves to water and allowing it to infuse for a few hours. Mint water is known for its cooling effect and can be consumed to ease digestive discomfort or as a revitalizing beverage. · Coriander Water: Coriander (Dhania) water is considered beneficial for detoxification and digestion. It can be made by soaking a handful of coriander seeds in water overnight and consuming the infused water in the morning. Coriander water is believed to aid in eliminating toxins from the body and promoting healthy digestion. · Fennel Water: Fennel (Saunf) water is commonly consumed in Ayurveda for its digestive properties. It can be prepared by soaking a tablespoon of fennel seeds in water overnight and consuming the infused water in the morning. Fennel water is known to alleviate bloating, support digestion, and freshen breath.
These herbal water infusions can be enjoyed at room temperature or slightly warm for optimal benefits.
Here is a good recipe for Jeera Paani:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
4 cups of water
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Honey or jaggery (optional, for sweetness)
A pinch of black salt (optional)
1. Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat until they turn aromatic and slightly darker in color. This process enhances the flavor of the cumin. 2. Once roasted, remove the cumin seeds from the heat and allow them to cool for a few minutes. 3. Grind the roasted cumin seeds into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. 4. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. 5. Add the ground cumin powder to the boiling water. 6. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. 7. After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. 8. Strain the Jeera Paani to remove any remaining cumin particles. 9. You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sweetener like honey or jaggery if desired, to enhance the taste. 10.Optionally, add a pinch of black salt for a slightly tangy flavor and additional digestive benefits. 11.Stir well to combine the ingredients. 12.Let the Jeera Paani cool completely or refrigerate it for a few hours to serve it chilled. 13.Serve Jeera Paani in glasses and enjoy this refreshing and digestive Ayurvedic drink.
Remember, you can adjust the quantities of cumin seeds, lemon juice, sweetener, and salt according to your taste preferences. Additionally, you can experiment with other Ayurvedic herbs or spices to further enhance the flavor and health benefits of Jeera Paani.
Here's a simple recipe to prepare Pudina Paani:
1 cup fresh mint leaves (pudina)
4 cups water
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Honey or jaggery (optional, for sweetness)
A pinch of black salt or regular salt
Ice cubes (optional)
1. Wash the mint leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. 2. In a blender or food processor, add the mint leaves along with 1 cup of water. 3. Blend the mint leaves and water until you get a smooth and vibrant green mixture. 4. In a pitcher or jug, pour the remaining 3 cups of water. 5. Add the mint mixture to the water in the pitcher and stir well to combine. 6. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 lemons into the mint water, depending on your preferred level of tartness. 7. If desired, add a sweetener like honey or jaggery and adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences. 8. Add a pinch of black salt or regular salt for a subtle tangy flavor and to enhance the taste. 9. Stir the Pudina Paani well to ensure all the flavors are mixed thoroughly. 10.You can add ice cubes to the pitcher or serve the Pudina Paani over ice in individual glasses for a chilled experience. 11.Optionally, garnish the glasses with fresh mint leaves or lemon slices for an extra touch. 12.Serve the Pudina Paani and enjoy the refreshing and cooling flavors of this Ayurvedic drink.
Feel free to adjust the quantities of mint, lemon, sweetener, and salt according to your taste preferences. Pudina Paani can be a delightful and hydrating beverage during hot weather or after a meal to aid digestion.
Jeera Paani is known to have balancing effects on all three doshas, but below you can learn how to adapt it better to your own dominant constitution.
· Vata dosha is associated with the qualities of cold, dryness, and movement. Jeera Paani can help balance Vata dosha due to its warming and grounding properties. The warm cumin water can help pacify Vata's cold nature and support digestion, which is often compromised in individuals with Vata imbalances. · Pitta Dosha: Pitta dosha is associated with the qualities of heat, sharpness, and intensity. Jeera Paani can be beneficial for Pitta dosha due to its cooling and soothing properties. It can help alleviate excess heat, inflammation, and acidity in the body, which are common concerns for those with Pitta imbalances. · Kapha Dosha: Kapha dosha is associated with the qualities of heaviness, coldness, and stagnation. Jeera Paani can help balance Kapha dosha due to its digestive and warming properties. It can help stimulate the digestive fire (agni), reduce sluggishness, and alleviate any excess mucus or congestion in the body, which are common concerns for individuals with Kapha imbalances.
Adapting Mint Water to your dosha:
· Pitta Dosha:
Pitta dosha is associated with the qualities of heat, intensity, and sharpness. Pudina Paani can be particularly beneficial for Pitta dosha due to its cooling and calming properties. Mint has a naturally cooling effect, which can help balance Pitta's tendency towards excess heat and inflammation. It can help soothe and pacify Pitta-related issues such as acidity, heartburn, and irritability.
· Vata Dosha:
Vata dosha is associated with the qualities of coldness, dryness, and movement. Pudina Paani can also be beneficial for Vata dosha due to its grounding and soothing properties. While mint is cooling, the combination with warm water can create a balancing effect for Vata dosha. It can help alleviate Vata imbalances related to digestion, bloating, and nervousness.
· Kapha Dosha:
Kapha dosha is associated with the qualities of heaviness, coldness, and stagnation. Pudina Paani can benefit Kapha dosha due to its stimulating and digestive properties. Mint helps to increase the digestive fire (agni), reduce stagnation, and alleviate any excess mucus or congestion in the body. It can help invigorate and balance Kapha-related concerns such as sluggishness, water retention, and respiratory congestion.
Rose water is a popular ingredient in Ayurveda, known for its cooling, soothing, and rejuvenating properties. Here's a simple recipe to make Ayurvedic Rose Water:
A handful of fresh organic rose petals
Distilled or filtered water
1. Ensure that the rose petals you use are fresh and free from any chemicals or pesticides. Organic roses are preferable for the best results. 2. Gently rinse the rose petals with water to remove any dirt or impurities. 3. In a pot, add enough distilled or filtered water to cover the rose petals. 4. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a simmer over low heat. Avoid boiling the water, as it can diminish the potency of the rose petals. 5. Add the rose petals to the simmering water and let them steep for about 15-20 minutes. 6. As the water simmers and the rose petals release their essence, the liquid will take on a pinkish color and a delicate floral fragrance. 7. After steeping, remove the pot from the heat and allow the rose water to cool. 8. Once the rose water has cooled down, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the rose petals. 9. Transfer the rose water to a clean glass bottle or container and store it in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. 10.Your Ayurvedic rose water is ready to use or drink! You can add a sweetner for a refreshing beverage on a hot day! 11. It can be applied to the skin, used as a facial toner, added to bathwater, or used in various Ayurvedic beauty and skincare recipes.
Make sure to store the rose water in a cool and dark place to maintain its freshness. It is advisable to use the rose water within a few weeks to ensure its potency. Note: If you don't have access to fresh rose petals, you can also make rose water using organic rose essential oil. In this case, add a few drops of rose essential oil to distilled or filtered water and follow the same instructions for simmering and cooling. As with any new ingredient or product, it's recommended to do a patch test on a small area of your skin before using rose water more extensively. This helps ensure that you don't have any allergic reactions or sensitivities to the rose water.
Rose water is generally considered beneficial for all three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. However, it may have specific benefits for each dosha:
· Pitta Dosha: Rose water is particularly beneficial for Pitta dosha due to its cooling and calming properties. Pitta dosha is associated with heat, intensity, and inflammation. Rose water helps soothe and balance Pitta-related issues such as skin irritations, redness, and sensitivity. It can help cool down and pacify Pitta's excess heat. · Vata Dosha: Rose water can also benefit Vata dosha due to its moisturizing and grounding qualities. Vata dosha tends to be dry, cold, and prone to imbalances in the skin and nervous system. Rose water helps hydrate and nourish the skin, promoting a healthy complexion. It can also have a calming effect on the mind and emotions, reducing Vata-related anxiety and restlessness. · Kapha Dosha: Although rose water is generally suitable for Kapha dosha, it should be used in moderation. Kapha dosha is associated with heaviness, congestion, and excess moisture. Rose water can be used to invigorate and uplift Kapha dosha, especially when combined with other stimulating ingredients. However, excessive use of rose water for individuals with Kapha imbalances may contribute to increased moisture or dampness in the body.
Drink up, but follow ayurvedic tips to make sure that you are actually hydrating! Make sure you get the most from your water and nourish your dominant dosha to promote health and wellness! The mindless 8 glasses a day are only a guide, not a rule !