By Dada Dharmavedananda

One of nature’s best medicines is available in almost every household on the planet, and that medicine is simply pure water. In case you are not aware of the role of water in preventing and curing illness, then read on and you will get some valuable tips that you can use in your daily life.

The first thing to remember is that water is essential for good health and that you should drink water whenever you feel thirsty. In fact it is better not to even wait till you are thirsty, because being thirsty is an indication that you are already dehydrated.

Your body’s muscles, skin and organs consist of over 70% water and if the total content of their water goes under 70% you are likely to become ill. If your food and drinking do not provide enough fluids to compensate for the water lost through excretion, then your stored water will be lost and your body may become thinner and drier. The loss of water is not only bad for your outer appearance but it also adversely affects the internal workings of your body.

Adequate water drinking is especially important in hot countries (though almost as important in cold countries). Most people in hot countries have kidney and liver troubles because they do not drink enough water. So, how much water should you drink per day? On average, a healthy person should drink 3 to 4 liters water daily, a sick person 4 to 5 liters daily, and a person suffering from skin disease 5 to 6 liters daily.

You can drink four liters of water per day with very little effort. In order to drink that much daily, one may, for example, drink 1.5 liters in the early morning, another 1 liter between breakfast and lunch, another 1 liter between lunch and dinner, and ½ liter after dinner before sleeping time. If one can only drink 1 liter in the early morning due to short schedule, then water drinking should be at least 1 ¼ liters in between meals.

Avoid drinking water 30 minutes before meals until 1 hour after meals, as such meal-time water tends to dilute digestive juices. On the other hand soupy high-liquid content foods are very good during meals, as they are easy to digest.

In case you are wondering about the best temperature for the water, then here are some guidelines:

a) For people in normal health, the ideal temperature for drinking water is from cool to slightly warm. Cool water is a tonic for the stomach. Some people much prefer hot water, which is not harmful if it is occasional. It is not advisable to drink ice water often.
b) In case of excessive fever and sweating, drink a little cool water very frequently.
c) In case of cold stage of fever during malaria, together with cold shivers, drink hot water. Also in case of pain in the abdomen, drink hot water.
d) In case of vomiting tendency, stop by drinking small quantities of very hot water. Alternatively, it’s also possible to suck on ice to help stop vomiting tendency.
If one drinks warm water, the vomiting tendency will increase.

Drinking water on a daily basis will help you to maintain your health and prevent harmful diseases. Should you happen to fall ill then water drinking can also be a key element in bringing about a recovery. In future articles I will focus on the role of water in curing common illnesses.

About the author
Dada Dharmavedananda is a yogi and naturopathic doctor. He is the founder of the Ananda Marga Yoga Wellness Center, an in-patient natural treatment center in Cebu, Philippines.