For thousands of years, Traditional Islamic & Chinese Medicine (TICM) has advised on the importance of drinking warm water as opposed to cold or room temperature water. It is no secret that I love drinking hot water, and I begin every day with a piping hot cup of ginger powder tea for added benefits in immunity, energy, circulation and detoxification to name a few. You can even add citrus to further boost Liver function or Chinese brown sugar for a happy Spleen and Stomach. This is my drink of choice to sip on throughout the day whenever I'm thirsty.
Why do I love ginger? ginger powder and ginger extract are antiviral. Research demonstrates that ginger extract has antiviral effects against flu's, respiratory syncytial virus and human norovirus. Norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Additionally, specific compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and zingerone, have been found to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells. Dehydrated ginger contains 6-Gingerol is 6-Shogaol which has more potent bioactivity than raw ginger. Dehydrated ginger is what I use in ginger powder, ginger extract, and ginger shot. It truly is a super food beyond compare.
As you know in TICM, everything is classified as either Cold/Yin or Warm/Yang, cool or warming in essence. Yin and Yang create balance and harmony. We apply this to our body as well, as this system tells us how to create the same harmony, resulting in good health. Let’s look at our digestion. The average internal core body temperature of a healthy child or adult is around 37 degrees celsius or 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. If this temperature is raised by two degrees, the body shows clear signs of distress that we call fever. With that said, TICM states that we create the opposite effect in the body when we constantly drink iced, chilled, and even room temperature fluids. However, signs of distress do not show up in the body as readily as fever, but rather occur over time, first hindering metabolism and digestion before manifesting negative effects in the health of other organ systems. The essence of our Spleen and Stomach is warm, they are correlated to the Earth sign and the season of Late Summer, when the temperature is most warm, and the day is long, the time when Yang is at its peak.
So, what does warm water do that's so great anyways?
Helps relieve constipation.
Boosts the digestive system and metabolism.
Promotes Blood circulation and the release of toxins.
Dissolves and moves foods that your body might have had trouble digesting.
During sleep, the Liver system works to detoxify our bodies and process emotions. Upon rising, the body needs to expel those toxins to do its job efficiently. Warm water activates the colon to trigger bowel movements. This also prevents bloating and removes excess water weight via contraction of the bowels. Studies have been done that say warm water also can boost your mood. This may be in part to the Liver working more efficiently, therefore emotions are processed smoothly. The Liver is the organ in charge of our emotional flow. Conserves our vital life force energy. Our organs can't immediately metabolise fluids that are below our internal temperature of 98.6 degrees fahrenheit or 37 degree celsius. When colder temperatures are ingested, the body has to use energy to bring the liquid up to a digestible temperature for the body to use. This energy is better saved for healing, removing toxins, promoting energy and immunity.
Blood circulation increases with warm water and helps fluids flow freely within the meridian channels. Think about it like taking a warm bath. Cold has the opposite effect as it contracts, slows and shrinks, hindering the natural workings of the the body and organs. This weakens circulation and the efficiency of the system. Efficient blood flow can have benefits ranging from improved Blood pressure to decreased risk of heart disease.
Continuous consumption of cold water puts out our Stomach fire, resulting in abnormal digestion, malabsorption and a weak immune system. Poor circulation, cramps, stomach distention and painful menstruation also tend to manifest. For young children it is even more imperative to feed them warming drinks and foods. Their organs are so delicate. A cold tummy for a child results in sinus problems, allergies, hay fever and asthma.
In The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor it was stated that "cold constitute with cold drinks hurt Lung". Cold constitution means over consumption of cold foods and beverages which turn our body cold and stagnant. The Spleen and Stomach organ system is the Mother organ system to the Lung. This is why cold consumption manifests into Lung and breathing issues, because the mother organ Spleen is weakened and can’t properly support her child the Lung. The Spleen system ends up using the vital energy from the Lung, creating an imbalance.
Women especially need to keep the digestive fire burning because it greatly affects the function and development of the reproductive system. Menstrual cramps, irregular periods, excessive discharge, ovarian cysts, tumors and fertility problems are all symptoms of a cold reproductive system.
As outside temperatures rise, it may feel good to drink ice cold water. Warm weather is the time our body is supposed to be expelling excess heat through sweat. Our body is naturally detoxing and harmonising. The ice water inhibits this process, causing more heat to stay inside our body. This can cause heat stroke and other symptoms.
Drinking cold water causes muscles to contract, whereas warm water allows the muscles to relax as there is increased Blood and energy freely flowing. Muscle relaxation helps a wide variety of symptoms including menstrual cramps to arthritis. It can also relax you for better sleep.
It's amazing to see many of my patients and followers adopt this practice and notice the benefits of doing so. Have you had any experience with drinking warm water? Now once you begin adapting to warm or hot water, your organ systems will be activated to promote healing, digestion, restoration and more. When you start drinking hot water exclusively, you may feel dehydrated at first. This is because the organs are waking up from their cold induced slumber. It is normal to feel thirsty for the first week or two, but keep up with it and focus on the immediate positive changes. For insistence, whenever my patients begin drinking hot water, they always let me know that within 2 days or so they feel so much less bloated and notice their cravings are curbed. Bloating does indeed start to decrease because hot liquids help digestion greatly. Think of a pan with any sort of fat left in it. When the pan is hot, the fat is in liquid consistency, but, when the pan cools down, it becomes solid. So think of your Stomach in a similar manner, if you eat and drink cold liquids, food especially fats, aren't able to move and digest freely. This causes food stagnation, bloating, weight gain, and impaired organ function in the long run.
Please make sure not to burn your tongue. You want to aim to drink water a bit higher than the normal body temp of 37 degrees celsius or 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. The more you drink the easier it becomes.