Ayurvedic herb infused water is a common ancient practice that has been used for years by naturopaths to heal ailing bodies. Due to the easy availability of herbs and spices, these healing waters can be conveniently made at home. The idea to prepare healing water by infusing ayurvedic herbs and spices is to extract important oils of the plant which have several healing properties. Water is considered as a powerful therapeutic tool in Ayurveda and soaking certain herbs or spices can enhance its healing power. Here are seven varieties of healing waters with different health benefits as suggested by Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner.
1. Fenugreek (Methi) Water
Slightly bitter and yellow-colored fenugreek or methi seed, which is a commonly used spice for culinary purposes in an Indian household, is a storehouse of medicinal properties and can cure many health problems. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, soaked methi in water overnight imparts it pale yellow hue. According to Shilpa, "Methi water is very helpful in the prevention of water retention in the body. It also prevents bloating." The amino acid compounds present in methi seeds help in promoting insulin secretion in the pancreas. This helps in controlling blood sugar levels for diabetics.
Methi seeds are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties2. Herbal Wood Glass (Vijaysar) Water
Also known as Indian Kino or Malabar Kino, Vijaysar is the most popular for controlling diabetes. It is widely used in Ayurveda for to cure various ailments like obesity, diarrhea, and eczema. It has compounds like Epicatechin, Marsupsin and Pterosupin which help in reducing blood glucose in diabetics. It also regenerates beta-cells of pancreas to produce insulin naturally. Soak vijaysar in water overnight and drink the brownish medicated water early morning to get the best results.
3. Tulsi Water
Apart from being considered holy, Tulsi is revered for its medicinal properties. The leaves when soaked in water do wonders for the skin and heal many health problems. Tulsi has antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that help prevent fever and cold and also keep your skin and hair healthy. Tulsi water acts as great diuretic and also detoxifies for kidneys. It helps reduce uric acid levels in the blood further cleansing the kidneys.
Tulsi helps reduce uric acid in the body
4. Pathimugam (Indian red wood) Water
Pathimugam or Indian red wood soaked in water is a popular thirst quencher in Kerala. The bark of the tree is used to attain medicinal benefits. The healing water that turns light pink in color is used as a cure for kidney disorders, skin diseases, cholesterol, blood purification and diabetes. All you need to do is to boil the water with pathimugam for 2-3 minutes, strain the water and consume it with your meals or anytime of the day.
5. Cinnamon Water
Cinnamon or dalchini is commonly found in our Indian kitchen, but we rarely talk about its health benefits. True to its name, it tastes sweet and has a very prominent aroma. It is a popular spice made from the inner bark of the tree called cinnamomum. It is loaded with antioxidants and protects the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its anti-inflammatory properties help protect the body from infections and tissue damage. Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract after a meal. The antimicrobial properties present in cinnamon may also prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels
6. Coriander Seed Water
Cilantro or dhania is widely used to add flavor to various dishes. Coriander seeds contain plant derived chemical compounds that are high in antioxidants and health promoting properties. According to Shilpa Arora, coriander seed water helps in curing water retention and acidity due to its cooling properties. Drinking coriander seed water also helps in curing mouth ulcers due to the presence of citronelol which acts as an antiseptic. Soak the seeds in warm water for 10 minutes, strain it and drink it up.
Coriander seed water helps in reducing water retention
7. Triphala Water
Triphala is known for curing acute constipation due to its laxative properties. Commonly available in powdered form, triphala is mixed in water and consumed to regulate your bowel movements and cure constipation. Triphala is made with three fruits namely Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. These three fruits are dried, powdered and mixed together to make one powerful condiment called triphala. It acts as a detoxifier and makes your skin glow naturally. The presence of antioxidants helps in boosting immunity against cold, flu and other diseases. You can add triphala powder to warm water and consume it regularly.
Triphala acts as a detoxifier and helps you get a glowy skin
These healing waters must be consumed according to the needs of your body. Therefore it is advisable for the patients with diabetes or other ailments to refer to your doctor before kick starting a new routine.
In the age of modern medicines, where one would run to take a pill to cure even minor health ailments, it's nice to stop and think if our grandmothers would have done the same thing. Perhaps not. But those days were different, people were naturally healthier and had a stronger immunity. Maybe they did something differently?