If you are used to ice water and cold beverages, drinking hot water may seem odd. However, the Ayurvedic practice of sipping hot water bears much wisdom. Beginning the day with a glass of boiled (and slightly cooled) water is a great way to stimulate digestion and elimination. Also, many of us wake up thirsty—and for good reason! You have gone seven or more hours without drinking any water! For an added boost, you can add a teaspoon of ghee to your morning warm water. Ghee in warm water in the morning provides even more benefits than plain warm water alone.
Agni: Digestive Fire, and How to Tend It
To understand the foods, fluids, and practices that support healthy digestive fire, it is helpful to return to the principles of agni. Agni is your digestive fire. Like a well-tended campfire, you want to keep your agni burning steady and bright, but not too hot. If you think about food as fuel and your agni as your digestive fire, you want your agni to cleanly burn the fuel that you provide it.
In general, substances that are warming and light assist agni. Also, you need just the right about of liquid and oils for strong agni. Drinking large amounts of water, especially cold or ice water, dampens agni. It’s like putting out the fire. On the other hand, sipping on small amounts of warm or hot water helps stimulate agni. So, what about additions to your warm water, like ghee with your warm water in the morning?
Ghee: Agni Booster
A teaspoon of ghee added to your warm water or tea is a nice way to boost digestive fire and also add some lubrication to your entire system. Just the right amount of good quality oils boost agni, and ghee or Ghruta in particular is known for its ability to bolster digestion.
Also, perhaps unknowingly, many of us experience dryness and dehydration on some level. If you experience dry skin, eyes, hair, or brittle nails, it may be that your fluids are a little low. Increasing water intake helps. However, your cells like fat! Sometimes the ticket may be increasing the intake of good quality oils, such as ghee and ghruta.
Lastly, Ayurveda teaches that when ghee is taken in warm water on an empty stomach, it helps pull toxins from the deeper tissues back into the digestive tract. When the ama, or toxins, return to the digestive tract, they can then be effectively eliminated.
Ghee in Your Morning Warm Water
So, how to do it? Simply boil a cup (8-12 ounces) of water first thing in the morning, stir in a teaspoon of ghee or ghruta, and sip while warm. You can also add a pinch of ginger for a little flavor and an extra agni boost.