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Water is essential in our lives, and in Ayurveda it is considered therapeutic.  Water helps with digestion, cools and balances Pitta, supports Kapha, and moisturizes Vata.  It represents soma, the nourishing and cooling quality that is associated with lunar energy.  When water is properly absorbed by the body, it can energize us, prevent constipation, enhance the skin, and help detoxify the body.  If someone has dry skin, and an unquenchable thirst even when drinking lots of water, then water is not being properly absorbed into the physiology.  To help this along, Ayurveda recommends boiling the water for various lengths of time, creating a therapeutic water called “ushnodaka.”  Boiled water is charged with heat and becomes sharper in quality, thus allowing it to penetrate deeper levels of the physiology.  Spices are also sometimes added to further aid in absorption and healing.  Ayurveda recommends sipping plain water during meals, served warm or at room temperature.  Never add ice to water, as that puts out the digestive fire.

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