I have decided to add a simple, yet vital component to my Ayurvedic Series of post which relate to Seasonal Detox, the Ayurvedic approach to water. Trust me, it’s worth knowing and applying for both detox, and everyday consumption. Here are a few tips on the Ayurvedic approach to drinking waters to optimize it’s efficiency in your body, and for a detox:
Sip water throughout the day.
Drinking too much too fast does not allow your body to absorb the water and it simply runs through you.
Water Temperature and Absorption:
Affects both absorption and digestion. Drink at least room temperature water. Warm is even better. The closer it is to the internal body temperature, the more readily it will be absorbed. Ancient texts talk about the difference in the rate of absorption of regular water vs. boiled water:
regular water : 6 hrs if every channel is clear
boiled then cooled to room temperature: 3 hrs to be absorbed, and helps open the channels
hot herbalized water : 1 1/2 hours, the heat, herbs and spices increase agni
That said, do not drink herbed teas with means or at bedtime. Drinking herbed teas with meals, which already contain a balance of spices, can result in too much agni. Drinking it at bedtime can keep the digestive systems unsettled and active during a time of rest and recovery.
Water Temperature and Digestive Detox:
Cold and iced water literally douse the digestive fire (agni). Agni is required for both absorption of foods, and healthy digestion. It is also critical to detoxing the body. Please see post under Ayurveda on Ama (toxins in the body).
Water with Meals:
Only sip a small amount of water with your meals. If you drink too much while you eat, your belly won’t have enough room for digestive action. Remember this rule: fill your stomach 50% with food, 25% with water, and leave 25% empty for the digestive juices to flow and for the digestive process to function fully.
Double the Detox with Lemon, Cucumber, Ginger, and Mint
Based on my own training, experience and knowledge, I offer a few amendments to the original post below. The directions suggest you place the items in a pitcher and allow it to soak overnight in the fridge. As noted above, Ayurvedic practice strongly advises against drinking cold, or iced water. I recommend allowing the sun to infuse the waters during the day, and the moon to cool it over night. – I have provided additional beneficial notes to round out the original post! – KaylaB
Add all of these to a large pitcher or bottle of water and drink throughout the next day for an effective way to detox! It helps to let these pieces soak overnight in your fridge to let the flavors meld.
Ginger: The spicy root helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach. A little goes a long way, so start with a few thin slices or grate a tiny piece into your water and taste before adding more as necessary.
Ginger is known as vishwabheshaja in Ayurveda, the universal medicine said to benefit everybody and cure all diseases.Ginger helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Ginger stimulates blood circulation, detoxifies the body, relieves menstrual cramps and is the number one choice for colds, fevers and respiratory problems. I recommend making the following tea in a large batch first, then once it has cooled to room temperature, add the other items from the original post and allow the sun and moon to do it’s work!
Ginger Tea: Wash, peel, and thinly slice about 2 inches of fresh ginger. Place in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes and strain. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body. It assist in reducing phylem (excess Kapha) and aids the digestive fires (Pitta). It also Add one thinly sliced lemon to a large pitcher, or squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass.
Activate Your Innards: The Ayurvedic philosophy believes the first item you ingest sets the mood for the remainder of the day. With that thought in mind, drink a glass of lukewarm water flavored with a fresh slice of lemon or lime. Here, the Ayurvedic reasoning is twofold. The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Secondly, lemons and limes are high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. Please note, while these fruit have ‘sour’ tastes, they are ‘sweet’ digestives, which means even Pittas can benefit from them.- KaylaB
Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well.
Mint calms the stomach! It is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that do wonders for your stomach. The menthol present in mint helps the enzymes necessary for digestion and helps the process along, by acting on the smooth muscles of the stomach. The aroma of mint activates the saliva glands and the glands that produce digestive enzymes. As a result, our digestion becomes better. Pour warm water into the glass along with a few leaves of fresh mint. Take a few moments and enjoy mint tea to for stomach pain and indigestion. – KaylaB
Cucumber: Cucumber water isn’t just for spas. Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent rehydration, and cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
As they calm your eyes and cool down your liver, you may feel the pressure in your arteries decreasing – cucumber’s diuretic nature has been used to reduce blood pressure, water retention and detoxify the blood. It’s cooling & soothing nature aids urinary, bladder and kidney function. – KaylaB