Try a few nourishing recipes from Indian medicine to keep you happy and healthy all summer.
Healing Qualities of Water:
- Water represents soma, the nourishing, cooling quality that is associated with lunar energy.
- Water helps with digestion, prevents constipation, it nurtures, lubricates and also detoxifies when it flows out of the body as urine.
- Water helps to remove fatigue and increases stamina
- Water enhances glow of skin and soothes a stressed out state, it is the original “super antioxidant”.
Medicinal Water for Cleansing:
In Ayurvedic medicine, the health benefits of water are enhanced by boiling it with spices specific to your constitution and/or health concern. The spices need to be cooked in with the water to be evenly diffused and to deliver their healing properties to the body. It’s the same concept as cooking spices first in ghee or oil before mixing in with your foods; heating the spices engages them and makes them more bio-available. This newly infused water now not only hydrates, but flushes out impurities and toxins from the body. Traditional texts classify the body’s ability to absorb water in the following way:
- regular water — takes about 6 hours if every channel is clear
- boiled and cooled water — takes about 3 hours to be absorbed, and helps open the channels
- hot herbalized water — takes about 1 1/2 hours, due to sharpness of agni and herbs and spices
Body Type: For the below you may want to determine your dosha first by asking an Ayurvedic Practitioner or taking a reputable online test like this great one at Joyful Belly.
Vata Balancing Water:
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 3 leaves mint, 1/2 t. fennel seed, and 1/4 t. marshmallow root. Place the water in a thermos. Sip it throughout the day at a warm but not hot temperature.
Pitta Balancing Water:
Boil two quarts of water for 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 1/4 t. fennel seed, 2 rose buds, and 1 clove. Store it hot inside a thermos, but before drinking pour it into a cup and let it cool to room temperature in summer. In winter, it can be slightly warmer.
Kapha Balancing Water:
Boil two quarts of water for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and add 3 holy basil leaves, two thin slices of fresh ginger, 1/4 t. of cumin, 1/2 t. of fennel. Place the water and spices in a thermos, and sip the water at a hot or warm temperature throughout the day.
Hot weather Water for all doshas:
Cooling and hydrating for summer, especially good for busy New Yorkers.
Clean thoroughly with soap and water, slice into paper thin slices and place about 3 – 4 ” (approx 1/2 cucumber) in the bottom of a pitcher, fill with 1 1/2 quarts of clear water and let it refrigerate for 1/2 hours before drinking. You can eat the cucumber once the water is gone, this will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Very detoxing hydrating drink.
Buy one fresh aloe leaf. Wash completely. Carefully slice the long way from base to tip. Scrape the gel with the side of a spoon into a blender. Add the juice of 3 lemons and blend until smooth. Store this in your fridge and add 1 Tbsp per liter of drinking water, keeps a few days but best within 3 days.
And how much water do I need?
This all depends on your age, activity, the weather and your constitution or dosha type. The general amount is 2 quarts per day, more or less depending on who you are and what you’re doing and where that is. You’d be amazed at how much water can do for you, so try a new way with one of these recipes this season.