"Ice Is Not So Nice" - Ancient Wisdom Regarding Ice

 

"Ice Is Not So Nice" 
We add it to beverages. We use it to chill food. We apply it topically and we use it in food, like smoothies. The question is, is ice the best for our health? In traditional Chinese medicine, ice is considered a “poison” when ingested. Ayurveda says the same. Why would these age-old medical systems say something against what so many of us have found great pleasure in? I mean, we use ice in smoothies, cocktails, chilled water with our meals and other similar instances. Why would ice be looked down upon?

According to Ayurveda, ice is an astringent that causes vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels. When we ingest ice, it enters into the cavern of the mouth, which has a direct relationship to important organs in the brain, such as the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It also works with hormones, immunity and mood regulation being that the primary organs of the endocrine system are pituitary, thalamus, hypothalamus, thyroid and eventually adrenals. This cold substance contributes to a disregulation of these systems because the body recognizes this extreme temperature drop as a stress. The body temperature is affected, and the body has to work harder to compensate for this temperature difference.

Ice Puts Undue Stress Upon Digestion
This stress to the body and the recurrence of the incidence of ice has a cumulative effect. Ayurveda states that the quality of an individual’s health is contingent upon the strength and quality of digestion. Ayurveda categorizes digestion according to balanced, weak, sharp/high and/or variable. Balanced digestion is self-evident and implies that the body is mainly balanced in health. When there is stress, this can have various effects on digestion, dictating the health of not only the body but also the mind. If the body doesn’'t obtain the crucial nutrients it needs, we suffer.

Imagine If You Will - The Digestive Flame
Ingesting ice can negatively affect our quality of health. Imagine you have a burner with the flame on any level and you add a piece or two of ice. What happens? The fire goes out. When we ingest ice, we weaken or even douse our digestive fire. Ayurveda, along with other recent Western studies, has linked health issues such as diabetes, obesity, mucous, depression, anxiety, respiratory infections, allergies and other digestive issues to the effects of ice.

Nectar vs. Poison
In Ayurveda, it is said that the nectar of life is hot water and the poison of life is cold water. For example, cleaning pipes out is more effective with hot water versus cold. Through Ayurvedic practices, when we want to stimulate metabolism and promote weight loss through optimal digestion, we take in hot water. Cold water has the opposite effect and lowers metabolism, causing digestion to weaken and weight to increase eventually and quicker for some than others based on constitution and season.

Prajnaparadha - Crimes Against Wisdom
The other main cause of health issues, according to Ayurveda is, what is called Prajnaparadha, which translates to “"crimes against wisdom".” In other words, it’s knowing what is right for us but choosing something different. Bringing anything cold into the body can affect our naturally maintained warm inner environment, so a second thought may give us the opportunity to make a different choice. Next time you’re at the restaurant, ask for warm or hot water instead of the chilled ice water. Try smoothies without ice or at room temperature. As for cocktails, ask for less ice. Save the cold for application to a wound, fever or burn — since this is how ice works best.

About The Author: 
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at hiddenhealthcenter.com

Disclaimer:
This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


Reasons Why Not To Drink Cold Water - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 

Why Not To Drink Cold Water
Sit down in any restaurant and very often the first thing offered is a tall glass of ice cold water. The wisdom of Ayurveda considers ice cold water as a big no-no. Ayurveda considers optimal digestion as being the fundamental pillar of good health and explains further that drinking cold beverages actually extinguishes the digestive flame. In fact, drinking cold water especially with meals is actually considered to be a common cause of indigestion as we shall explain further.

Your Sacred Digestive Flame
The very act of eating is life-giving and optimizing digestion is a key principle in the science of Ayurveda. Many ancient cultures considered fire to be sacred. Fire represents the alchemical transformation of one thing into another. The science of Ayurveda explains this same principle of transformation as being the governing principle of our digestive flame known as “Agni”.

Ice Water + Agni = Poor Digestion
The ancients did not explain digestion with terms such as hydrochloric acid [HCL], and digestive juices such as mucin and gastrin but rather as a simile of fire [“agni”] - the digestive flame. As we know, the function of fire is to burn. I know that may not sound profound but let’s take a closer look at this principle.

The Basic Qualities of “Agni” 

    • hot
    • sharp
    • penetrating
    • transformative

 

Must Watch ~ Brilliant And Humorous Talk Regarding Cold Drinks

 

“Hot Quality” 

The moment we introduce food into the digestive tract, it is of vital importance to sterilize this food before it enters into the general circulation. The hot quality of this digestive flame does just that. We can liken this to one of the functions of hydrochloric acid [HCL] which not only digest and break food down but also helps keep the stomach pH between 1.5 - 3.5 but closer to 2. This is a very acidic environment in which most bacteria cannot survive more than 15 minutes. More importantly, the science of Ayurveda explains the “cold quality” as having a constricting effect upon tissue.  According to this philosophy the cold quality creates almost a ‘shock-like’ state to the digestive system which is especially untimely just prior to a meal. Therefore, the resultant effect of cold water on the G.I. tract is considered to be the [very] common cause for  indigestion.

3 Simple Tips:
1. Sip warm water rather than cold.
2. Take sips of water rather than gulps.
3. Sip less water during meals

Rev Up Your Digestion:
Ginger is well known for increasing appetite and improving digestion. Therefore, before your next meal consider the following appetizing remedy to enhance your digestion.

- chop up a small piece of ginger
- add a few drops of lime
- add a pinch of salt
- enjoy your meal fully

Want More?
Click Here To Learn About "Trikatu"  - The Digestive Herbal Formula!