By: Emily Zhang
Can Drinking Hot Water Cure Diseases?
By: Emily Zhang
In the US, it seems that people seldom drink hot water. Many people often just drink cold beverages or hot coffee and tea instead. However, in some other countries, such as China, you’ll often hear the phrase “Drink hot water”. Family, friends, and even a few doctors in these countries tell people to drink hot water for multiple reasons: colds, headaches, stomach pains, period cramps, fatigue, and skin infection are all supposedly cured by drinking hot water. While drinking hot water can’t substitute modern medicine, it still has some health benefits.
- Warming the stomach: Drinking hot water can help with stomach pain, especially for children. Drinking hot water and eating warmer foods does not stimulate the gastrointestinal tract as much as colder foods and drinks. This harms less of the various digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, it expands the capillaries inside the intestinal wall and accelerates blood flow. This speeds up the absorption of water and nutrients, promotes gastrointestinal motility, and helps with digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.
- Helping with colds: Drinking hot water can promote perspiration and urination, which is beneficial if you have a cold. The heat of the water also helps to increase blood flow, speeding up some bodily functions. When the water is expelled, it helps rid your body of toxins and excessive heat. Therefore, after drinking hot water, you can get rid of cool down and flush out toxins quicker, speeding up your recovery.
- Lessening Pain/Releasing headaches: Drinking hot water can help relax muscle tissues. Drinking hot water directly or eating warm foods has a certain “soothing effect” on some muscle tissues, which can alleviate discomfort and lessen pain. This also helps to soothe certain types of headaches.
Hot water can be beneficial when sick, but its effectiveness has been slightly over-exaggerated by some people. However, while hot water alone cannot overcome most diseases, it can help to alleviate some illness’s symptoms. It is important to seek medical advice for your health, but if your symptoms are very short and mild, try drinking some hot water!