Do not have cold water after a mealIt feels nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink or warm water after a meal.

Dr Greeshma says, Ayurveda advises that one should take warm/ hot water after meal as it will not put off the agni/ digestive fire like a cup of cold water does. Eventually if the agni is put off, then the digestion will not be proper and it will cause improper elimination of the products of digestion. The undigested particles that are not eliminated will circulate in the body and also gets transformed along with the tissues and causes various illnesses in those tissues. This resultant is known as ama and there are numerous diseases in ayurveda related to ama. However hot water boosts digestion, and helps in flushing out of the toxins from the body.

Deepanam paachanam kantyam laghushnam basthi shodhanam ||
Hidma-admaana-anila-shleshma-sadyahashuddhi-navajware |
Kaasaam-pinasa-shwaasa-paarshwaruk-shu cha shasyate | 

An authentic treatise on ayurveda, the Ashtanga Hridayam quotes the benefits of hot water as mentioned above:

  • Deepanam – it improves the digestive fire in the body thereby preparing the body for the the process of  digestion. It kindles hunger.
  • Pachanam – hot water helps in digestion of the food.
  • kantyam – it is good for the throat as it prevents the accumulation of kapha
  • laghu – it is light in property
  • ushnam – it is hot in potency
  • basti shodhanam – it has the ability to cleanse the bladder thereby preventing diseases related to kidneys and urinary system

Hot water also cure hiccups, flatulence, diseases of vata-kapha origin, cures fever of recent onset, cough, breathing disorders and  pain in the flanks

What is hot water?

Water which is just heated is NOT the hot water. Hot water means that water which is boiled upto the the boiling point of water.

It is described that :

  • For vata prakruti (person with vata constitution) or vata related diseases – water should be boiled and reduced to half of its quantity and should be taken at a warm temperature.
  • For person with pitta constitution or for pitta related diseases- water should be boiled upto its boiling point and then taken after it is cooled.
  • For person with kapha consititution and kapha related diseases- water should be boiled and reduced to one -fourth of its original quantity and then sipped when it is hot.

Water that has been boiled on the previous day should not be used for the next day. That water which is left overnight causes aggravation of all the three doshas.